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My Cultural Year: 2013 Recap & 2014 Preview

Posted by Weeping Tudor from Cardiff - Published on 02/01/2014 at 15:54
5 comments » - Tagged as Art, Creative Writing, Movies, Music, Stage

  • WMC

And so we come to the end of 2013. What is there to say, since I have said so much already? I’m sure I’ll try…

This exceptionally boring time of year between Christmas and New Year is enough to make me manically throw presents out the window and slam a glass of port threw the TV (all while wearing my Christmas cracker hat, of course). Withdrawal comes quickly this most boring of days. It’s just reassuring to know some great events are on their way.

Puffing up my chest like a proud momma bird, I can proudly say it has been a thrilling year of cultural endeavours. For ten years I have been haunting our venues in Cardiff. Where do I go from here? More shows of course! I will list below my favourite performances/concerts/events of the year. I have wracked my brains over what should be the best. Choosing sure can be hard. But what can we look forward to next year? There is plenty to whet my appetite both near and far in the cultural world.

2013 was certainly the year of British composer Benjamin Britten. Wagner and Verdi are always celebrated (a cheeky visit to the former's Bayreuth Festival in Germany is in order), but I do feel I didn’t get to hear enough LutosÅ‚awski. With countless Britten concerts and operas played all over the world, this was undisputedly the biggest festival ever given for a composer from our shore. I heard his music more than any other composers this year. With a visit to Suffolk to his Aldeburgh Festival (being my only trip of the year), it will certainly be a journey that will stay with me.

So What Does 2014 Have For Us?

The centenaries of Dylan Thomas and the start of the First World War will loom over the year (along with other composer b-days). But this sombre (and hopefully sobering) fact won’t stop an exciting list of events that I shall list now:

Welsh National Opera have their Fallen Women and Faith seasons including the crowd-pleasing Manon Lescaut and Nabucco. The more adventurous opera-goers will embark on Boulevard SolitudeMoses Und Aron, and The Fall Of The House Of Usher double bill. These three I can hardly wait for.

BBC National Orchestra of Wales continues their season with such choral masterpieces as Fauré’s Requiem and Brahms’ German RequiemMahler’s 9th Symphony will also be a blazing highlight and will most likely be my favourite concert for months. A shout out to the Glendower Ensemble’s morning concert of Messiaen’s Quartet For The End Of Time and a new work by Christopher Petrie at the Reardon Smith Theatre in May as well.

Saint David’s Hall will have more international orchestras and choirs with the Simón Bolívar Youth Choir of Venezuela and Basel Symphony Orchestra. BBC NOW, as part of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival performs a concert devoted entirely to the music of recently past away Sir John Tavener. Susan Boyle and Elaine Paige will grace their stage and also Ellen Kent’s touring production of La Bohème feature also.

The New Theatre sees EvitaFiddler On The RoofThe Full Monty and the expected Under Milk Wood all staged next year.

Lastly, the Wales Millennium Centre has billed WickedWar HorseCatsWest Side Story and Matthew Bourne’s take on Lord Of The Flies for the coming months.

As for London, if I go to see only one thing, it has to be the world premier of Henryk Górecki’s 4th Symphony preformed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in April. After the remarkable success of his previous work in the symphonic canon, The Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs, this new worked has been dubbed Tansman Episodes. Forty years in the making, this long awaited composition will sell out and remain a special event. I already have two tickets that I treat likes holy relics, occasionally kissing them for good measure.

I know I have fought tooth and nail with some of you for some certain theatrical events this year. I have loved our passion for getting these tickets and our casual one-upmanship in our attempts. As I always say, please feel free to join me for a show. After all, with my time at theSprout.co.uk, I have taken over forty-five people to shows. Yes, really.

Exhibitions, Books and Creative Writing

Although I have been labelled as the "opera and classical reviewer" for theSprout, I always try to be as diverse as possible in what I see. Exhibitions, books and my own creative writing are what I would like to write about more now. I did attend some exhibitions, yet never got round to reviewing them this year, to my upset. But I was able to see Ana Mendieta and Dayanita Singh at London’s Hayward Gallery. So expect a review of that shortly. I will try and branch out from haikus as well, which I love so much. Much more to write about when it comes to LGBT+ issues as usual.

The Puffball circus project is also on my mind constantly. I’m pleased to say this is a work that I will be actually performing in April at the Roundhouse in London. With circus professionals and a cast of young LGBTQ people (which includes my fabulous self) this will help inspire me to do more performance. More acting I would like to do too and I’ll take any opportunity I can get my hands on. It’s easy to say you want to become a better person and go to the gym. I’d like to think these New Year resolutions will materialise. Articles on my fitness would help for sure.

Thanks again to all at theSprout, CLIConline, ProMo-Cymru and the gang along with the press ticket offerings from numerous venues. You have helped me all a great deal the last year and a bit. You all know who you are. I am so grateful for the opportunities you have given me and the support and encouragement you have offered. Much love.

And so, the very thought of all that next year will ensue puts a twinkle in my eye and a big cheesy grin on my face.

I have enjoyed many great events, with some being truly outstanding milestones in my life. So many memories and so many ticket stubs.

2014 - Here I come!

My Highlights of 2013

Notable Highlights:

Aldeburgh Festival, Iris Prize, Puffball Circus, The Real Conversation, Cardiff Wales LGBT Mardi Gras, Words On Fire: A Youth Poetry Showcase, somewhereto_ re:store, The Sprout Awards, CLIConline Residential and much more.

Info Â» Things To Do Â» Performing Arts Â» Concerts, Events and Festivals

Events Â» January 2014's Sprout Editorial Group Meeting

Organisations Â» Cardiff Soundscene

Articles Â» Categories Â» History

Articles Â» Categories Â» Music

Articles Â» Categories Â» Stage

Photo Credit: A_E_P via Compfight cc

5 CommentsPost a comment

bookathon1

bookathon1

Commented 28 months ago - 2nd January 2014 - 17:14pm

Nice article! Turns out I am in to the same sort of thing as you.

Weeping Tudor

Weeping Tudor

Commented 28 months ago - 3rd January 2014 - 05:13am

Thanks! Good to hear. Do you have a favourite show from last year as well?

bookathon1

bookathon1

Commented 28 months ago - 3rd January 2014 - 11:31am

Well last year I went to see Swan Lake Ballet, and that was very captivating, but I didn't go to very many shows last year!
Sorry.

Weeping Tudor

Weeping Tudor

Commented 28 months ago - 7th January 2014 - 18:10pm

Good, no? Was that at the WMC or Saint David's Hall?

I did the review of the SDH one:

http://www.thesprout.co.uk/en/news/review-russi-davids-hall/11237.html

Weeping Tudor

Weeping Tudor

Commented 28 months ago - 8th January 2014 - 09:26am

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