( The Mousetrap )
A few weeks ago I attended a live-transmission of the final performance of Richard Wagner's "Das Rheingold" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. It was steamed in HD to my local cinema, and I only had to pay some 25 pounds to see it. "Das Rheingold" is the first of the four operas in the "Der Ring des Nibelungen" sequence, which also "Die Walküre" is a part of.
( Das Rheingold )
Date: 3nd of October, evening
Seat: Vis a vis the stage, just half a mile away. One of the 110 tickets, I believe. About 100 pounds at least.
Venue: The 02 arena. It's massive. Gigantic. That's all.
( Review )
This is the first time I've used Semagic to post an entry, so if anything looks weird blame that.
Performance: 2nd of October 2010 matinee, second-to-last performance.
Seat: Row A, slightly to the right of the centre. Dad had what was probably the cheapest ticket in the house, rather high up as far I know.
Venue: Barbican Theatre
( It was okay, but I have some issues with what they've done )
All in all, a good afternoon spent! As usual, after seeing Les Mis, I'm back in that particular fandom mood, which is nice:) Been a while since last time. Very good timing too, as I'm reading the book for my thesis-thingy in Norwegian class. Soon finished with book two now (...only four to go, less than two weeks to get there...I've already skimmed quite a few pages I know won't be useful).
A quick recap of the last couple of months:
( Here )
( ...Twilight...yes )
We won't receive our grades until 20. January, strangely enough. I think I will be reasonably pleased, but I'll have to improve a bit. Four of my grades will be final this summer; English, Science, Geography and Social Studies. My English teacher told me she would give me a 6 (!!!), and there's a small chance I will get one in Science (which is very strange, since it used to be my most hated theoretical subject, until this year), and the others are both pretty strong 5's. My Norwegian grades are really bad, but I might manage to scrape a 5 in Bokmål at least.
This term, I've had some experience with bad grades for the first time, which is probably healthy. First, there was a test I got 4- on, in Math, (but just about the whole class failed, so it will be disregarded. Lucky me;)), and then my Norwegian teacher gave me a 3, when I wrote a fairy-tale in nynorsk. That is the singularly worst grade I have ever received, not counting my first term grade in P.E, three years ago (another 3). But, I take my reaction to these grades as a sign of having matured a bit more; last year, I would without a doubt started crying the moment I got home, now I don't care as much. I have until 2011, if not even later (see below) to fix my Norwegian grade, so it doesn't matter.
I'm thinking of taking a break between my second and third year of schooling, and instead taking a year abroad, through EF. I'm thinking of taking what's called EF Multi-Language year; nine months spent on two or three different locations, learning two or three different languages. It sounds very fun, but I haven't quite decided yet. My original plan was taking an EF High School Year instead of my second year, but I gave up on that, and now it's too late anyway (My reason for giving up was simply the fact that I want to take the available electives here next year;)). It'll will cost me quite a bit of money, and I just can't stand the thought of wasting it, so I have to weigh the pros and cons carefully, but come on, how amazing wouldn't it be to spend nine months in London, Paris and München (Munich) (my top three wishes), studying just English, French and German? Living arrangements will be a problem, as I want to avoid having to live with a family at all costs, and it seems like that's the only option in München. London is one thing, I wouldn't have a problem with communication, and in Paris I would at least have some experience with the language, enough to make my wishes known, but I don't speak German at all (I can sing songs from Rebecca, and it's close enough to Norwegian for me to understand quite a bit, but that's it. If I'm lucky I'll get it as an elective next year). In Germany, I would expect most people to speak English, but still...
I'll probably update again sometime this week, as it is time to chose electives for next year. I have a lot to say on that subject:)
School began 16 hours after I got home, so I feel I haven’t gotten much out of my vacation, but it wasn’t so bad. I’ve two grades I’m very pleased with (Science, 6/5, and Social Science, 5+), and one I’m very disappointed with: Norwegian (bokmål) writing, only 4/5. Something including a “4” in any way I would expect in a subject like P.E. or Arts/Crafts (I’m finally rid of the latter, by the way!), it just doesn’t happen in any subject involving writing. But at least it sounds like my teacher would have liked to give me a higher grade; mine and one other student’s piece was handed to another teacher, to make sure the grading was consistent what other teacher’s would have given. My other grades are okay, still no nasty shocks. Could have been better though.
I watched “Les Choristes” today. It was directed by the same director who did Faubourg 36, and included two of the actors as well. Another lovely movie, but not quite as good as Faubourg in my opinion. Wish the kids involved in musical theatre were as good as the boy playing Morhange.
Les Mis in Bergen this weekend! Am excited, but slightly apprehensive. Just realised I have a test in geography on Monday, so I’ll have to bring my text-book. Well, I know most of it already, I just have to learn the difference between rock-types. For some reason, I’m completely unable to remember that part of the chapter.
I’m going to the dentist tomorrow, directly after school, few hours before we’re leaving. Hope I’ll manage to keep from choking on the thing they’ll stuff into my mouth when they take pictures.
I've now been at my new school for six weeks, and I love it! It's so much more fun than my last one, which my sick-days can attest to: no one yet, even though I caught a bad cold with fever this week.
French has actually become my new favourite subject. The last three years or so I've thought "Oh no, I'll have French tomorrow" every time I've packed my bag, for even though I've enjoyed learning it, we haven't had the best teachers. This new teacher knows her stuff, and she can teach (I have yet to learn anything I didn't know already, but that's beside the point), and it's a lot of fun. I even enjoy the oral exercises, which I normally hate. And she has offered to bring me some extra reading material, since I've already started to read way ahead in our text-book:)
I've sadly lost my brilliant math teacher, and his replacement seems crappy (I've only had one lesson with him, but my, I was so bored). I like my English teacher a whole lot more than I expected, though there was an embarrassing incident where I managed to claim that salad is a vegetable. Lettuce, girl, never forget about lettuce. She has a bad side that seems to delight in saying "You are wrong". Another slightly bad thing with her is her love of American English. It's a bit painful to me, to see her write "o" instead of "ou" and things like that. She allows us to do it as well, which means fever spelling errors for my classmates, but I'm glad she doesn't force us to do it, since I can't shake off this feeling that it is wrong (not that there is anything wrong with American English, but we've always been taught British English, and it's too late to switch now)
There has been no nasty shocks related to grades yet: two 5's (math and English oral presentation), one 6 (French glossary test), plus our that haven't been corrected yet (one English I think I aced, one Norwegian writing exercise that was okay, two in Social Science and Science that could have gone better). We'll have a bigger French test directly after the holiday, and that one I know I could ace right here and now without even reading, so nothing to worry about.
My school has an English homepage, actually, and it has taught me the correct English terms for what I'm doing: The school is an upper secondary school, and my program is "Specialization in General Studies focusing on further academic education". As simple as that. I need to stop trying to find complicated answers to simple questions; the above is a direct translation of the Norwegian term.
"Romeo and Juliet" is coming along nicely. The two guys playing Tybalt and Capulet are brilliant, especially Tybalt, Mercutio is to my great surprise decent (he is our new close friend, but I didn't have a lot of fait in him), I love our Benvolio, and Romeo and Juliet are adorable together. And to everyone's great amusement, Romeo and Paris are played by two identical twin brothers:) Due to a lack of male actors, we've ended up with a Queen of Verona (another new friend of mine), and females playing males in the case of Montague and Father Lawrence, but that was to be expected. People were toying with the idea of "the nun Lawrentina" (well, I came up with that name, but it was close), but to my great relief they won't go through with it.
We watched the 1968 movie-adaption in class, and I mostly loved it. I almost choked to death with laughter; Mercutio with a handkerchief over his head really was unreasonably hilarious:)
Les Mis in Bergen
The first reviews and mentions of Les Mis is Bergen have appeared, seems like this is a very big production. The reviewer liked it very much, but he also said something with the gist of "the performance of Valjean and Javert improved after intermission". That doesn't sound too good.
There was a pretty nice picture from "In My Life" included, with Valjean and Cosette. Sigurd Sele looked decent, Cosette seemed to be way too old, as usual in Norwegian productions. But she was wearing a rather nice, purple dress, so I have hopes for the costume-department. Homepage.
There's also a behind the scenes thingy, here. Extremely uninteresting, the one exception being whenever there's singing. This mostly consists of pictures of a half-naked Sigurd Sele. You understand why I can't stand his Enjolras? Speaking of Enjolras... open this page, and look at the picture that replaces the Cosette logo. On one hand, shiny picture, but please don't tell me that's the Bergen Enjolras.
We're leaving for France tonight, at 4 am. After this, I won't go back. My mother has promised to never force me to go again, and I'm going to hold her to it. Knowing me, I'll probably end up going next year too, but at the moment I'm very pleased.
EDIT: Oh, and my bedroom has been renovated! It is now pretty and white, with new furniture, and I've finally gotten rid of that horrible Disney wallpaper.
Once again, I'll have to postpone my Les Mis review, as I have to write a short-story for school within Tuesday, and I've never felt so uninspired in my life. But here's the pictures I've scanned from my new souvenir-brochure (The Final Battle is totally my new desktop;)). Photobucket seems to have died on me, but they can be downloaded, full size, here: http://www.sendspace.com/file/utso1r
And here's my review of Blood Brothers:
I also intended to post my tale of France now, which I wrote while I was in London, but my mum keeps talking about tomorrow, and I'm close to tears, so I think I'll go to bed early today.
And I'm not really that depressed, since the worst thing that can possibly happen tomorrow is one of those "I'm Anette, what's your name?" introductions in front of the class, and I can live that down. I'm already pretty sure I won't be in the same class as my best friend, so I've gotten used to that thought already, and there will be no nasty shocks tomorrow.
The worst few months in my life were the time I changed school for the first time, three years ago, and I'm really worried this will be the same way. Still, school will finally be more serious business, my school is supposedly one of the best in the district, and that might mean I'll actually learn something I couldn't have done better on my own. (Private lessons = one of my suppressed dreams, Norwegian schools = really bad, if you didn't already know)
I've rediscovered (for real) an old celebrity crush, Paul McGann, and gotten a new obsession: Hornblower! lovelovelove:)
I don't really have much else to post about. I'm finally watching season 2 of Heroes, as I didn't see any point of delaying it anymore. I have proven to myself I can show self-restraint:) I have 4 episodes left, and thought it can't be compared the last half of season 1, I still love it.
I've also watched twenty-something episodes of the Death Note anime, and I find it surprisingly enjoyable. My only previous experience with anything anime-ish is Pokémon (I liked the first "series"(?)) and Digimon (I did admittedly like both series very well, though I preferred the first). I'm still not, and probably will never be, a fan of the genre, but at least I know I don't have to avoid it like the plague:)
Yay for pentecost/whitsun that gives us Monday off!
Jesus Christ Superstar turned out to only be a small-scale concert, playing in a church named Votivkirche, which had pretty windows, but the inside was surprisingly unremarkable for a cathedral. Had a pretty pulpit (that apparently is the English word for prekestol) but it was also freezing. I wasn't very disappointed, for I was certainly enjoying myself. The guy who played Caiaphas and Herodes had an absolutely amazing deep voice, which sent tingles down my spine. And Judas had a great voice too, beautiful but still powerful enough for the role. The cast list I barely managed to locate on the only poster in sight wasn't character-specific, but he was most likely named Ramin Dustdar. I also liked Annas, he sounded a lot like Rob Fowler:) The guy who sung as Simon and Peter was good in all of his more minor ensemble lines, but his Simon was rather tame. Pilate had a slightly squeaky voice, and was gayer than Herodes, which was rather disturbing, actually:) But it was hilarious when Herodes tried to act stereotypically gay, and failed:) The sound-mixer seemed to have some problems at the beginning, as he didn't turn on the mics when they were needed, but my biggest problem with the concert was the crappy, pre-recorded music.
Friday we decided to see We Will Rock You on a whim, and bought some very costly tickets, which were the only ones that were left. Though I stilll think the plot is totally lame, I had a really good time. It was great fun, even if I couldn't get all the jokes:) Also, I spent the first act thinking the guy who played Galileo was awesome, and when I bought a programme in the break I discovered it was Serkan Kaya! I love him, and he's definitely worth being called one of my favourite musical-artists:) The production inn general seemed very strong, the only one I think could have been better was Doc, who I think is the guy called Pop in the English version, and perhaps Ozzy (or Meat). I rather loved Khashoggi:)
One of Vienna's biggest pluses was the public transport system, which was just about as good as in London, in my opinion. The U-bahn (underground/metro) and the Strassebahn (tram) never had a longer wait between each departure than 7 minutes (and that was late in the evening. Most often 3 minutes, in my experience).
Once again, a visit is heartily recommended!
EDIT: Herodes is Herod's Norwegian name, and I completely forgot about translating it.
I got home from France this sunday, without troubles, even though the windspeed was crazy. We weren't so lucky when we arrived. The airport in Marseilles closed because of mist, and we had to land in Nice, and sleep on the airport. This was at 00.30 o'clock. They provided flat-beds, since we were flying with Ryanair, and They can't give people hotel rooms, like other normal airlines:( Of course, they could not provide blanket either, so I woke up freezing. But it turned out well in the end, I changed our car-reservation, and the rest of the holiday passed without trouble. During the week we lived in two wonderful small suites (One of them was in an old mansion, in Digne. Filled with original, or at least cleverly copied, furniture. I was in heaven! Though I could have dropped the 7 dish gourmet dinner. I love my father's gourmet dinners, but this just tasted horrible). I had my own room the period we spent at the school, and then a rather crappy room again (again freezing!).
I also discovered the most adorable little village about 15 minutes south of Digne, with absolutely amazing rock-formations. Nearly unbelievable:)
I'm noticing improvements in my French! I can translate and get a meaning out of nearly any sign, poster and restaurant meny I come over, and I often manage to follow what's being talked about on the radio and television. I order my food without hesitation too:) I watched a lovely french movie earliy in the week, and afterwards I bough the Cyrano de Bergerac DVD with Gerard Dépardieu. I love it, but I'm nearly happy it isn't subtitled, as I don't think I would have felt up to reading all that poetry. It's pretty when recited, and I don't even always understand the gist, but completely ridiculous:)
Our hotel room in London was...not very accommodating. It was tiny, and the hotel had no service at all. It was also rather far from everything, it was located somewhere in the middle between Basewater and Queensway station (we had to walk an eternity to get to either of them, it seemed)
I managed to give you the wrong dates; I went to Les Mis monday (Joel Elferink as Marius, Roy Litvin as Thénardier), Lord of the Rings tuesday (Stuart Neal as Frodo, Ben Evans as Merry+ understudy Elranien and Steward), Les Mis wednesday (me alone. Roy Litvin as Thénardier), Phantom of the Opera thursday (Nic Greenshields as Phantom, Leila Benn Harris as Christine, and John Addison as Raoul), and once again Les Mis friday (me alone. Roy Litvin still as Thénardier. I think I'm destined to never see Chris Vincent, as he was away last year too). While I was away wednesday and friday, Dad went to see Mamma Mia (finally! End he really enjoyed it....I don't get how from what I've heard of the plot) and We Will Rock You (he thought that had a really lame plot). And his favourite musical actually is Les Mis, not PotO.
Lovely seats for monday, middle of row 3 in the stalls/orchestra, then on wednesday I moved one seat to the left. We had row seven or so for LotR, to the far left in the Upper circle for PotO, and a rather crappy seat in the upper circle for Les Mis friday.
We didn't really do much else than watch musicals, except we checked out Canary Wharf (that was totally my idea. Anyone who can guess why?;)). Nice area. And that train was just cute:) The same cannot be said about Greenwich, which seemed to consist of ready-to-fall-down houses and wineshops.
I bought a lot of books, a few I've wanted quite a while. I bough a "Prima Donna" t-shirt at the Her Majesty's Theatre, and a brown jacked (to be worn inside) from Zara. I'm very fond of that already:) We also ran around looking for shoes, but as always, one can't say I was enthusiastic. No shoes for me:(
I do have lots of comments to make about the musicals, and I intended to include them here, but Dad hijacked the computer:( I'll post it sometime this week (I'll have to. We're leaving for France this friday/saturday. Mum is going to attend a new french course. This course is of course English-French. Mum's English is horrifying. I'm suspecting I'll be translating a good part of her work for her...
I'm leaving for Sandefjord sunday, and our flight to London is sometime Monday morning. Monday night we'll see Les Mis, LotR on wednesday, and then Les Mis again on thursday (I just know the whole theatre are going to hate me, after I''ve finished coughing). I'm seriously tempted to go to see Phantom again (Ramin! And it's dad's favourite musical), but I think we'll drop Fiddler. The only tickets I can find goes for 95 pounds, and it isn't worth that much. Apparently, Assassins just closed at the Landor Theatre, and it had Jeff Nicholson playing Guiteau. That would have been brilliant:( I've decided Wicked definitely isn't worth seeing, I read the book (Fiyero is love) and enjoyed parts of it, but most of it annoyed me. And there's only one song I can stand in the score, No Good Deed (I love that one though). The Wizard and I is standable when John Barrowman sings it:)
It's really easy to fall for Doctor Who, isn't it?;) I've just finished watching the last christmas special, after season 3. I've decided Ten is rather brilliant, but I still prefer Nine. I also prefer Rose over Martha, but Martha's not bad either. Now I'll watch Torchwood;) And four episodes with Three, and that movie (since Paul McGann is in it. I adore him in Hornblower). And, I have to say this: So that's the Master! I've wondered. He's awesome;) John Barrowman looks good when he's dirty...not that he doesn't always do.
My fever didn't break until late Wednesday evening, and then, on Thursday I hurt my knee. I was bending down, and twisted around to pet my cat, and then I was lying on the floor. I tried to get up, and I could hear my knee clicking back into place. This, naturally, hurt. Now, finally I'm able to walk down the stairs without pain, but I still have to keep my leg stiff when I bend down. This isn't easy, as I have cats to care for. But i've made good progress today, so I hope PE will go okay at school tomorrow.
This week, Mum started talking about my dear cat Casper dying. I do know he nearly died of sickness when he was a year old, I know we never manage to get our cats to live past their 14th year (he's 9 and a half now), and it was my most common nightmare for years, but I don't need to talk about it!
Luna's little friend has disappeared. Every night the past year or so, the neighborhood cat has come to our celler window, and met up with our youngest (who doesn't go outside). They meow to each other, and sometimes Luna attack the window. She misses him, keeps staring out:( His owners called around the area a few days ago, but he hasn't showed up. Mum reckons it's that gigantic fox she claims to have seen last year who has taken him. RIP, Milkshake (...must be the kid who named him) (also, there's a running joke in the house that it was Casper who did the evil deed...they didn't like each other much, though they sometimes managed to keep themselves civil)
I spent 29-31 December visiting Trondheim again. That girl (soon 7, but less mature than the norm) can be really annoying, but she does know how to make us adore her. Our families are close, we see a lot of each other (more than I see my real family), and we live in their house each time we visit. So one day, when we came in the door, she said something like "What if we were all a big family? Then you'd be my big sister!" and she went on about how nice that'll be. She hugged me a lot, and in the mornings she crawled into my bed (we shared her room). She even stayed there 40 minutes one morning, falling asleep on me. Who can resist that? <font face="Symbol">©</font>
Also, later, we heard by telephone that she'd been asked about what she remembered clearest from her holiday. it was me, mum and her playing with those magnet-building things I can't remember the name of. Geomags? <font face="Symbol">©</font>
PS- Theatretrades (or was it theatrefoorwear?) has temporarily disabled accounts with 0 posts. I only registered this week! And I'm in the middle of an awesome trade! I've sent most of my end, and now I can't check if I've gotten my wonderful links, as I can't access my damn account!
PS.2- I wish I didn't feel bouncy at 23.30 nine out of ten nights
PS.3- I've started playing Prince of Persia on my computer. It's cool, and I feel rather good at it. I have technique;)
I went to see the new Elizabeth movie with dad the other day. I enjoyed it. Cate Blanchet and Geoffrey Rush (hee! Barbossa! Notice how I ignore Javert. Though I don't hate that movie, he was a strange Javert. Though not as strange as in '82) are both good. Mary Stuart had a horrible accent, which really bothered me. I loved Clive Owen, but then I always do:) Good movie, but a bit long. Not a very interesting plot. I haven't seen the last movie, but it didn't matter much to me.
I actually caught the end of The Virgin Queen on TV last night, and I re-discovered my love for Joseph Fiennes:) I think I'll actually see the whole thing sometime, just for him. (I saw a discussion at his IMDB page, about him playing Greyback in Half-Blood Prince. I hope not! Though Tom Riddle senior would be great.).
I'm also planning to see that mini-series, which dad apparently has seen. He commented upon the movie having the same plot as the series...yes, he realized how stupid that sounded after a couple of seconds. I had a similar moment under Virgin Queen, I thought "Hey, that man is wearing Shakespeare pants! And then "duh, I just learned about the elizabethan theatre. They lived at the same time." Silly me:)
I think I love Elizabeth movies for three reasons: Clive Owen, Joseph Fiennes and Jeremy Irons:) See icon.
(school is killing me, at the moment. By the way, I learned my schedule, lionhill: Mocks next week, then real mocks (entirely like exams) after Christmas, and then exams. Might throw in another not real mock too:)
lionhill also reminded me of: I have tickets for London (and West End!) in February! Two Les Mis nights at row 3 or so, and one at LotR. Me paying. Dad happy, since my mum has allowed me to go to Les Mis alone one of the nights:) I wonder which other musicals I shall see cheap? Wicked? And duva, you failed at reassuring me of LotR. I'm still worried for my beloved.
I love my new desktop:)
I'm listening to the English audiobook "The Vampire Lestat", and I like it very much. I've never really liked vampires, but I seem to be developing a thing for them. The book is much better than "Interview with the Vampire", at least at the moment. I'll never get used to hear Nicolas pronounced without a "s". The reader and I have different opinions regarding English pronunciation too (especially three words), but I'm not arrogant enough to assume I have the correct one:)
Had my math and norwegian mock exams this week. Not my best, but passable. I'm very pleased with my nynorsk (I listened to my ipod that day, and Hayden Tee's "Roundabout in Paris" came on. I nearly laughed of loud. I had heard it once before, but now I actually paid attention to the lyrics. Who came up with that?;))
I thought for certain part 1 (of 3) of the math went horrible, but we got to look at it yesterday, and I got 20/22. I'm relieved. I probably won't get another 6, but I'll survive. But friday we had a test in politics, and for the first time in my life, I had to turn in an un-finished test. Am positively horrified. We have a new teacher in that class (who ought to rant about, as I really dislike her as a teacher), and my christmas grades depends on my ability to impress her. Must start studying harder for that class.
In a few hours (5 o'clock in the morning...I'm not going to bed tonight) we leave for a holiday in France. We've rented the same flat as last year, in Sainte Maxime. We were supposed to go with our friends from Trondheim, but something came up:( This year I think we're going to travel more in the direction of Marseilles, instead of Cannes, Nice and Monaco, which is great. They are very nice, but it gets boring to visit the same cities over and over again. I'll be back next sunday, hopefully with a tan, and hopefully after having spoken a tiny bit french:)
*must finish packing*