Saturday, 6 February 2010


Oh what a joy it is to have my son Charles home for the day, within one hour he has destroyed my diet by bringing me the most delicious freshly made Victorian sponge cake from The Dolls House on Harrow on the Hill, and then I have now had a lecture on Callas for an hour.. What were her best years, whether she should have kept her weight and is it a good idea that people in the future will live until 150 years.. Well, its okay if we stay looking young, but heavens if we look terrible. I love Callas singing Norma and Nabucco. Callas sang Nabucco in a live recording 1949, and Norma was probably best the same year although the recording was in 1950.. I had to listen for twenty minutes the notes that destroyed her voice. I gently asked could we listen to someone else, for example Lucia Popp, Charles snaps at me, there is no one but Callas. Of course there are, Montserrat Caballe among them.. but ultimately of course he's right, because if we ask people in the street the name of an opera singer, they will say Maria Callas, they are unlikely to know the rest. Why would they, they think Katherine Jenkins is an opera singer, she's a fake classical singer and can't sing anything correctly, she's got an okay voice and no technique at all. Facts are facts she is pretty.
The other day I went to the Fountain Room at Fortnum's, why I do not know, It is a lunching place for grandmothers and aunts , wanting to buy the best Marmalade, because they no longer make it.. However I had the most delicious Caesar salad and talked with the waiter. We had just been to see the Van Gogh exhibition at the Royal Academy. I asked him who the best artists were of today, and he said the guy who did the Shark, and the girl who did the bed. Now whether they are or whether they are not, it depends on taste, but you see, you have to be marketable to be a huge star. Charles is going to be marketable not overtly commercial, that's vulgar apparently. Just be a marketable force.Also just in case I should forget The Dolls House is the only place to eat on Harrow on the Hill not the school.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

I recently read somewhere (memory fails, as usual) that if one looks back to the time when we all belonged to tribes, each tribe had its own artist, musician, singer, etc. leading to a high employment rate and a many accolades for them. Now, thanks to global communication, we are one big tribe so a few superstars suffice for all of us. That leaves all the other considerable talents to languish in obscurity.

And as I am married to an art dealer and am knee deep in paintings most of the time, I am reminded daily that there have been many fine artists in this world other than Rembrandt and Picasso.

I am drawn to conclude that what we consider progress is often anything but.