Tuesday, 13 November 2012

A Little Night Music & Art

This week I was able to take in some of the arts here in Oxford. I love that there are classical music concerts  as well as other musical opportunities every night of the week here! I attended a production of Stephen Sondheim's 'A Little Night Music' at the Oxford Playhouse. This community production was pretty well done, but the premise of the play was a little odd. The entire musical is about a group of aristocrats sleeping around in Sweden in the early 1900s. My favorite song was definitely 'A Weekend in the Country', seen below:

This weekend I also visited the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology with my friend Collier. This museum was the world's first university museum and opened in 1683. It's collection of Greek statues and Egyptian artifacts was really impressive! 

There are a slew of museums in Oxford including the Museum of the History of Science, Pitt Rivers Museum, University Museum of Natural History, Bate Collection of Musical Instruments, and the Museum of Oxford.

Here are a few of my favorite items at the Ashmolean:

The crook from a priest's staff

A Nordic Rune stone

Sword with a crystal hilt

Amati instruments

Early Virginal

 Apparently the Romans valued full figured women. 

It's been really nice to be surrounded by so much art and culture. Oxford offers so many opportunities to hear top notch musicians and the museums function off of donations rather than selling tickets. Visitors are also allowed to take photos in the museums here, which is really cool. The mentality is more about exposing people to art and history rather than selling tickets and limiting viewing. 
My voice lessons have been going really well while I've been in Oxford. My teacher is a counter-tenor, meaning that he sings incredibly high notes. He's awesome enough to have a wikipedia article (because nothing says FAME like a editable internet profile)! Here's a video of him performing a piece from Handel's The Messiah. He's really helped me identify and fix some of my vocal flaws. Laughing about differences in diction and pronunciation has also become common place during our lessons.
Nicholas Clapton- Counter tenor

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