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Amy Winehouse has never heard of Claude Vivier

Bored by Barber, Bernstein, Britten, Tippett and Tchaikovsky? Try Claude Vivier! Never heard of him? Neither had I, but when I saw the announcement of a DVD from De Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam my curiosity was aroused and I ordered it. Those Dutch are producing the most astonishing array of new opera productions. And I always saw them as a dull and unimaginative tribe. Pierre Audi, the artistic director of De Nederlandse Opera, has become one of my favourite directors since I saw his Ring, now my favourite Ring video, shoving the Harry Kupfer/Daniel Barenboim off its pedestal, at least in the video category.

I can’t possible give you a blow-by-blow report of the opera Kopernikus I watched yesterday. It is not called an opera, but a “ritual opera of death”. I never heard any of the singers, nor the conductor, who, surprisingly, took his applause in a protestant minister’s outfit, his real occupational garb. The performance took place in a cavernous old building, former warehouse or factory or something with a stage-like rectangle covered by a deep layer of sand, matching the general lighting throughout! Same with the costumes; very thick sheets of heavy felt. It might be moulded foam, I couldn’t tell, which the singers use skilfully to wrap themselves in, or their fellow actors. The “furniture” sets are wooden crates.

All this is mostly the background, my eyes were busy following the action. No orchestra, but musicians, in costume and make-up, are on stage, acting while playing their instruments. One brilliant slide trombonist doing a duo with the bass actor-singer, even while flat on his back. The female violinist moved all over the sand, wearing a billowy grey outfit with a very long train, and of course no stand for her notes. It is almost an hour of music she has to memorise. A few woodwind players, percussionists and a solo piano complete the “orchestra”. The music is not as strange as I had expected from a student of Ligeti and Stockhausen; of course I won’t walk around humming it.

Watching the singers gave my eyes more to do. Singing with the open hand occasionally tapping the lips to vibrate the sound created something new, not unpleasant to hear. A soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and bass, plus the narrator completed the cast. I have to include the musicians in the cast, because they were just as skilful actors as the singers. The language is “invented” but a running translation in English helps tremendously to let me know what is going on.

I think I shall watch Götterdämmerung tomorrow, give myself a day of respite from Claude Vivier, and then maybe his Marco Polo during the weekend.

Anybody seriously interested in new music, new composers, new ways to be a spectator and listener of an exciting experience, do try this DVD. Also it would be great to see a gay composer getting more recognition for a change.

All I need to add is that even Stockhausen thought this guy was weird.

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Recommended by Jonathan Ross, the title of this classic is self-explanatory.

In each scene a horny MILF and a younger guy are reaching a sweaty climax when the guy’s best friend walks in and shouts “Dude, that’s my mom!”.

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“I have come forward today, because I feel that it is wrong for a golf ball to have my picture on it because golfers hit their golf balls with a lot of force. As a victim of violence myself, it bothered me to think that someone would be standing with a dangerous club hitting a ball with my photo on it. I was in love with Tiger and because of what he said to me and the fact that we were together for so long I believed that he loved me too.

I don’t think that Tiger would want my picture on a golf ball and I know that I don’t.”

(Veronica Siwik-Daniels, 4 February 2010)

LOS ANGELES, 5 MAY 2010 – Vivid Entertainment, the world’s leading adult film studio, has signed a contract with one-time Tiger Woods mistress Joslyn James to make “The Eleventh Hole”, a movie that will depict never-before-told intimate details of her three-year relationship with the golf champion.

The movie will take viewers behind the Tiger Woods headlines, gossip columns and texting to capture the most secret fine points about James’ affair with the golf icon.

In sensual and graphic terms, viewers will learn the between-the-sheets story behind the personal texts Woods sent to James.

The movie will be released under the studio’s Vivid-Celeb imprint, which has earned fame and notoriety for popular movies featuring celebrities having sex, from Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee to Kim Kardashian, former Miss USA Kelli McCarty and Playboy Playmate and reality TV star Shauna Sand.

James, also known as Veronica Siwik-Daniels, carried on a long-running affair with Woods after meeting him at The Bellagio resort in Las Vegas. She has disclosed numerous steamy text messages the two exchanged to arrange their trysts.

”Even at major tournaments we would manage to hook up, and in fact it wasn’t unusual for us to have sex four or five times a day,” she said in a recent interview.

Steven Hirsch, founder and co-chairman of Vivid, said he anticipates “a great demand for this film because we think it will tell the real story behind Woods’ voracious sexual appetite and the women who satisfied it.”

Joslyn recently consulted with Vivid when the studio held open auditions for the role of Tiger Woods in her upcoming movie which is expected to be released on May 17th.

Joslyn James

Related:

Tiger Woods’ porn star mistress transforms herself into a prim Fifties-style housewife for TV interview

Black Dogs Defined

This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another: my life was as the vapour and is not; but this I saw and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.

(John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies)

Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.

(Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)

This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me.

(Emily Dickinson, This is my letter to the world)

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

(Edna St. Vincent Millay, Second Fig)

R.A.D. Stainforth

I was born before The Beatles’ first LP and brought up in the reeking slums of Jericho. I am in love with a woman called Hazel and in love with her daughter, also called Hazel, both of whom I met at Alcoholics Anonymous.

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