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Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

At the start of the Opera Locos performance, the announcement says that they really are singing. You could be forgiven for wondering that, given the amplification turns up the backing track and the voices so loud that you can't always tell what's real. But this is a mostly harmless and slightly eccentric blend of opera classics fused with the occasional pop classic. However, recognising the pop tunes would help if you were over a certain age. The most recent of them dates back twenty years. It's currently playing at the Peacock Theatre .  Five performers play out a variety of archetype opera characters. There's the worn-out tenor (Jesús Álvarez), the macho baritone (Enrique Sánchez-Ramos), the eccentric counter-tenor (Michaël Kone), the dreamy soprano (María Rey-Joly) and the wild mezzo-soprano (Mayca Teba). Since my singing days, I haven't recognised these types of performers. However, once, I recall a conductor saying he wanted no mezzo-sopranos singing with the s
1066 and all that

Hastings was an interesting afternoon adventure. I forgot about all that 1066 business but was reminded about it when I got there. The town itself has seen better days. It seems to be a relic of tourist salad days long gone. Now it seems to be over-populated by post-pubescent teens with a penchant for breeding as there isn't much else to do. It is a bit of a pity given the history of the place.

I took a cable lift up to East Hill and went for a walk around the Hastings reserve. It struck me as very quiet. There were people about but it still was strangely quiet. The park scene with low bushes reminded me of the film Blow Up. I was expecting a flustered Redgrave to run into me while I was photographing badger holes (well that's what I hoped they were) and other things and then to find a body. It didn't happen. Just an active immagination.

Walking through Hastings and then to St Leonards along the seafront was great for some fresh air (and to note the maps that pointed out just how far away the French town of Dieppe was) but it was still a little quiet. It was a little too early for the hibernation period, I just assumed that Hastings and St Leonards (unlike Brighton) were just quiet places.

Worth every bit? Apparently if you sold everything in the UK it would be worth £5 trillion. I wonder if that even counts for the shabby footpaths in Haringey and the endless amounts of rubbish everywhere? Actually there were some stats about that too. Londoners produce enough rubbish to create a Canary Wharf-sized tower every 10 days. I don't think I have lived here long enough to care about this problem. But that's okay. London's recycling authority calls my market segment Urban Trash. I guess that's a bit better than being called "white trash"! Now where is that pizza box??

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