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I'm playing a gig at Dingwalls next week

I also have an audition for an agent with my other band on the same day. Joy. But still, DINGWALLS. I remember seeing the White Stripes at Dingwalls with Pricey n Peacock Punk. Awww, happy memories. And now I get to play my bass on the stage FTW!
So errr, yeah - come! http://www.dingwalls.com/listings/?lgig=2dc58384-a775-4e29-88fa-0fdfac9f7f62&performance=1

proud of the BBC meme

here's the video:

you're meant to list it everthing mentioned then 'bold' everything you love/are affected by. I am proper biased, I know, but my feelings are still genuine. imagine I did that, and then bold-ed, underlined, italicised and flippin' MARQUEE-d EVERY SINGLE THING.

I love the BBC.

Music Monday

Ed asked me to do an spotify opera playlist. So I did one.


I didn't want to do just soprano arias, or even just arias, and because really what works best is a whole three hour beast of a full piece, live in a theatre, without ad breaks or even CD track stutters, I needed to find some way of linking some quite random bits together. And what better link than *ME* (darlings!), just because it might as well come from my experience. So here are my wee reasonings:

1: from A Midsummer Night's Dream - Benjamin Britten
This is the first opera I was ever in. Being twelve, and having no concept of what opera was/should be, or even what makes a "tune" (my Dad, for example, wastes a lot of breath saying Britten has "no tunes"), I fell in love. Partly because I was already in love with the Shakespeare, and even as an adult, I can pretty confidently say this is the best musical setting of a Shakespeare play ever. The bit I've chosen is not a bit I was in, but I just think it's dramatically and musically magical (which, given the subject matter, is appropriate). The four lovers - Hermia & Lysander, Helena & Demetrius - wake up the morning after being lead a merry dance by Puck and Oberon, and having magic potion on their eyes, and find themselves in love with the right partner and not knowing how or why they got there.

2: Lensky's Aria from Eugene Onegin - Tchaikovsky
A huge skip, to a stand-out memory of watching opera. I had gone to the Royal Opera House to see two big opera stars sing Onegin and Tatyana (the main two parts) and was not enjoying myself. Onegin is a difficult opera, not in it's lack of tunes, but because to me the main characters are Just Not That Interesting. In a really good production, I can see that they might be interesting, but on this night, no. And then Rolando Villazon came on as Lensky, and I burst into tears, not really knowing why. He's not really the right singer for the job, but he is so in love with singing and sings with his whole soul, it's just astonishingly thrilling. Lensky is a poet, and sings of his love for Olga, just before dying in a duel with Onegin for her honour.

3: from Madama Butterfly - Puccini
On my 26th birthday I sang Madama Butterfly. And we had to cut this bit, because we didn't have enough singers. I don't know why I love this so much, I think it's just the colours, and the humour. It is just after Butterfly has sung her famous aria (Un bel di - One Fine Day), 3 years after Pinkerton has left her, but she still believes he is coming back. She's grumpy when someone knocks at the door, but she is all smiles when she realises it's the American Consul, Sharpless. He has come to tell her that he's had a letter from Pinkerton saying he's remarried an American and will never come back. But they keep getting interrupted. She offers him cigarettes, anything american she can think of.... She wants to know when american robins nest, because Pinkerton had told her he would come back when the robins build their nests. Goro the marriage broker turns up with the Yamadori (a rich Japanese suitor for Butterfly), and the Yamadori's music I think is the most brilliant moment in the whole opera - and it's shimmering joy shows utterly the other life that Butterfly could have, if only she could forget Pinkerton, but she rejects him, and it's followed by the music that Puccini uses earlier when she's describing her father's death (he was a Samurai and committed hari kuri (sp? right words even? honourable suicide, anyway), and will use again when she decides to die to allow her son to have a life with his father.

4 Soave sia il vento from Cosi fan Tutte - Mozart
This could have gone in at several points, but I first sang in this not long after I sang Butterfly, for the same company. Mozart can't help himself, but if the situation wasn't so funny, would the music be as sublime? The two sisters with their friend Don Alfonso sing to wish their lovers safe journey as they sail off to war. The girls are being melodramatic, and Alfonso is humouring them, but it's not even true (the boys are pretending to leave and will swiftly return in disguise to woo the sisters again as a bet with Alfonso who is convinced all women are fickle. At this stage, they don't believe him). The nice thing about this recording is the Fiordiligi (the top part, which I sing) is sung by Margaret Marshall, who taught me a bit in Scotland.

5 Pierrot's song from Die Tote Stadt - Korngold
I don't know this opera. I don't really know anything about it, but while I studied at the RSAMD I had to listen to all my classmates sing, all the time. Felipe, our baritone, would often sing this, and it's just SO BEAUTIFUL. Pierrot is old, and when asked to sing a song, he sings this, about his youth. (nb - in this recording it goes on a long time after the aria, it's all good, but you're allowed to skip on when the woman starts singing - I won't mind).

6-9 from Der Rosenkavalier - Richard Strauss
Der Rosenkavalier is such a wonderful piece. One day, I want to sing the Marschallin, but that is many years off. When I was studying at RSAMD in my first year, we had to rehearse and perform opera scenes, and I was in this one. We were working with Lee Blakeley, who remains one of the top directors I've ever worked with (though blooming heck it was tough). the scene opens with Sophie (a young girl with a rich, but not upper class father) musing on her forthcoming wedding. Marianne her maid (as played by me, "a bit Carry On" - Lee) is beside herself excited and keeps shouting over the top of Sophie's wonderings, describing the scene outside (offstage). Sophie is to marry a Baron, and in the upper class tradition, the baron has sent a young relative as his formal wedding proposal - Octavian (a trouser role - sung by a woman), who is dressed up formally (the first time I saw a full producition - David McVicar's at Scottish Opera, Sarah Connelly was dressed entirely in a silver suit of armour, with a tremdous train) and carrying a silver rose. Of course, what with Octavian being a gorgeous young man, and Sophie being a gorgeous young woman, they fall in love at first sight. Oh, but the MUSIC! And the lovely moments- they are so gauche, and don't know what to say to each other. Oh just have a listen.

10 Salve Regina from les Dialogues des Carmelites - Poulenc
In my second year at RSAMD it was my turn to sing in full operas. I did Cosi (see track 4) and this. Also, the summer before, I sang as one of the un-named nuns in this scene as the closing piece of the closing concert of the Edinburgh International Festival. This is pure drama. The nuns have been condemned to death and sing this Salve Regina as they are sent one by one to the guillotine. One by one the voices are cut off until only Soeur Constance, the youngest nun is left. She, terrified, goes to the blade. Watching all this has been Blanche (the central character) she had gone into hiding some time before, and suddenly, she steps out of the crowd, in her civilian clothes, and finishes the song before dying with her sisters.

11 Song to the Moon from Rusalka - Dvorak
If it's possible, this opera as a whole is even sadder than the Poulenc. BUT this aria is from the beginning of the opera, and it is such a lovely expression of hope, and love. Rusalka is The Little Mermaid, essentially. Well, she's a water nymph. When a prince swims in her pool, she wraps herself around him, and falls in love with him, but he doesn't even know she's there. She sings to the moon about him, and begs the moon to tell her where he is, and also to tell him that she's waiting for him with her arms open, and begs that they could be together, even if only for a short time. I sing this aria in auditions (and also sang a large chunk of act 3 in the same scenes as 6-9) and this recording is of my singing teacher - Amanda Roocroft.

12 Parez vos fronts from Alceste - Gluck
This is what I was just singing in at the Festival Lyrique d'Aix- en-Provence. I utterly love this moment. Again, it's another shaft of light, joy and hope within a tragedy. It is towards the beginning of Act 2, and the chorus are celebrating Alceste and Admete's marriage, because Admete has miraculously come back to life. Everyone knows that this is because an un-known hero has offered up their life instead, but as yet no-one knows that the hero is actually Alceste, who has offered to die so her husband can live.

13 Klange der Heimat (Csardas) from Die Fledermaus.
a little taste of the future - I'm singing this aria at the end of the month in South Wales. The scene is a huge Viennese ball, and Rosalinde, there to catch out her husband (also in disguise), has come as a Hungarian countess. The Prince Orlofsky asks her to sing, and staying in character, she sings a Hungarian dance "sounds of my homeland".

14 Ah! Mio cor from Alcina - Handel
I've mentioned this one before. It just gets me, the aria is beautiful, the singing is what I aspire to. One day, this will be me.

Hope that's enough to be going on with!!!


for moleintheground and all other Prince lovers...

Prince is letting stuff stay on youtube!!!!!

a) I hope someone reposts starfish & coffee/sesame street REALLY SOON,
b) have you heard this? Oh my god, I wish I'd seen this tour...curse my youth!!

I would have facebooked this, but facebook is broken.

these emails still exist?!?!?!

From the desk of Rev Wiiliams Roull,
The New Director foreign operation unit of
Central Bank of Nigeria



I am Rev Wiiliams Roull, The New Director foreign operation unit of central bank of Nigeria.I decided to contact you because of the prevailing security report reaching my office and the intense nature of politICS in Nigeria. This is to inform you about the recent plan of federal government of Nigeria to send your fund to you via diplomatic immunity cash delivery payment.

This system will be easier for you and for us. We are going to pay you USD $10 Million part contract payment of your total sum via the above approved mode of payment. Every necessary arrangement has been put in place for the securing of all required security documents to cover the money. The Money is coming on 2 security proof boxes, the boxes are sealed with Synthetic nylon seal and padded with machine.

I will use my position as the foreign operation director of this apex bank to make sure this consignments (fund ) are been safely and legaly release to You.The boxes are coming with assigned diplomatic agents who will accompany the Boxes to your approved destination address For a hitch free and safe delivery, you are required to furnish me immediately upon receipt of this message with the below sated information, (1) Your full house address . (2) Your identity such as, international passport, driver's license or national identification card (3)Your contact phone numbers, The diplomatioc Agents attached will travel with these required information's For the delivery of your fund.They will call you immediately they arrives Your country's airport I hope you understand me.


The diplomatic Agents does not know the original contents of the boxes.For security reasons, what we declared to them as the contents of the consignments are Sensitive photographic Film Materi al.I did not declare money to them please So if they call you and ask you the contents, please tell them the same thing ok.Contact me immediately and I will let you know how far I have gone with The arrangement. I will secure the clearance Certificate that will be tagged on the boxes which I will dispatch along with the security inner Keys of the consignments to enable you access these consignments as soon as it delivered to you. This clearance instrucments will make it pass every custom check point all over the world without hitches.Confirm the receipt of this message and send the requirements to me Immediately you receive this message.Please I need your urgent reply because the boxes are schedule to airlift as soon as we hear from you.

Best Regards

Rev Wiiliams Roull, ,
Director of foreign
operation unit Central bank of Nigeria.


look what thermaland did!!

sechsy ladies


possibly a little nsfw.

anyway, just to say this shoot is v purdy and makes me full of joy. and I'm so bouncy I have decided to try and work out my stiff muscles in the gym. pilates isn't going to beat me!

a thing

thoughts more than appreciated. I can't believe I've been sitting on this for ever...


I could have danced all night

cor, I am SO DEHYDRATED now. I actually had a headache by the time I left last night, that'll teach me. I didn't drink much, but I drank fast, and almost all at the beginning of the night. Water. Why did I not think to drink any water? I wouldn't go to the gym without water. Silly kitty.

I played some records. I suddenly realised part way in I should be keeping some kind of record of what I played, especially as I started to panic that I would manage in 45 mins to play the same record twice. I don't *think* I did...what I did play (not really in order) was this

Smash Sumthin - Redman/Adam F
What More Can I Say? - Jay Z + Beatles = Dangermouse
The Night - Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
No Diggity - Blackstreet
Higher & Higher - Jackie Wilson
Harlem Shuffle - Bob & Earl
Ms Jackson - Outkast
Wish I Didn't Miss You - Angie Stone
The Sweet Escape - Gwen Stefani ft Akon
Wait A Minute (Just A Touch) - Estelle
Black Sweat - Prince
Control Myself - Ladies Love Cool James ft J Lo

Was that everything? I think that might have been everything. Later on I am pretty sure some more of my tunes managed to get an outing through the all-powerful Ed. I did a bit on the door (4 people arrived, it was after midnight), some of my friends who are not part of the usual Mole crowd came along (6 of them! I did WELL!). I danced a lot later on, notably with perfectlyvague to Singing In The Rain. I can't believe it was as fun to watch as it was to do.

Not much dancing happened in my set, but I think people were dancing "on the inside" and I could see a lot of singing on and heads bopping from where I was hidden away at the back, so I think I did ok.

I love music SO MUCH.


why do I have to be all of the busy. ALL DAY tomorrow?


seriously dudes, if anyone goes, can you get me some kind of dress uniform jacket? thank you please.