It’s been one of those mad glorious weeks that tend to roll around once or twice a year, filled with goodies of every kind.

  • Thursday week ago I saw a fab concert performance of Rameau’s Dardanus by the English Touring Opera at the Sheldonian. As it happens, this is my only opera this autumn – the next one will be Monteverdi’s Ritorno d’Ulisse in January.
  • on Friday morning I visited St John’s College, to see their copy of the first Finnish Bible from 1642 – look out for a post on this in the near future.
  • Friday evening was the opening night of this year’s Oxford Lieder Festival, which saw me back in Sheldonian, enjoying Mahler Das Lied von der Erde (the Schoenberg version with a tenor and a baritone)…
  • …while Saturday evening brought on another absolutely wonderful Das Lied, with Dame Sarah Connolly, Andrew Staples and the Aurora Orchestra in London. When it rains etc.
  • while in London, I took a peek at the V&A Museum Opera exhibition, and cannot recommend it enough. It probably is worth its own post, in face. Watch this space.
  • in the spirit of not overdoing it, on Sunday I trekked to St Hilda’s College for a recital narrating the life and times of Richard Strauss’ marriage to Pauline de Ahna, which easily qualifies as one of the more random things I have ever seen. But Dame Penelope!
  • I took couple days off before revering in the Victorian glories of Tennyson’s epic poem Enoch Arden, recited by Sir Thomas Allen, with piano accompaniment – not that it wasn’t amazing (it was), but again a piece that perhaps is still seeking justification for its existence…
  • Wait, there’s more! – before I go on to have a surgery next week, there’s more Connolly, Roderick Williams, college evensongs and other goodies to come. The weather may be bleak, but October has its glories.

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