And to celebrate, here’s Bryn Terfel singing Suo Gan, the traditional Welsh lullaby,
Yesterday I was watching Empire of the Sun, which is a troubling movie in many levels (but not quite as troubling as JG Ballard’s other works), and the Welsh lullaby Suo Gân punctuates a key scene of the film.
Bryn Terfel performs my favorite version of Suo Gân. You can buy the MP3 from Amazon, but it was also used in this beautiful short film, The Dinner Guest by Joe Gleason, to great effect:
Here’s Bryn, with a piano accompanist,
Today is the Feast of the Epiphany. May God bless you and your family and loved ones.
The Metropolitan Opera is doing Wagner’s Ring, and The Manolo is thrilled.
Bryn Terfel is playing Wotan.
Here’s the big guy singing Wotan in Die Walkure,
However, as much as I love BT, I do not like Wagner.
So it’s great that The Manolo has provided Anna Russell and The Ring of the Nibelung for our cultural edification,
Now, if we could get BT to do Mrs. Russell’s analysis, life would be perfect. Eye patch optional, of course.
And I would pay for that.
At that time, in the comments section, Erica said,
This is somewhat embarrassing to admit, but I found myself weeping, and I cannot quite for sure say why.
This wasn’t a sad film, but it had a sadness to it that drudged up some kind of abstract emotion inside me.
It was almost too beautiful for words.
The first time I saw The Dinner Guest I didn’t weep, but for some reason, while watching it today I did. It could be that the film’s wonderful combination of familiarity and yearning got me this time.
The film was made by Joe Gleason, who contacted the Anchoress (who is a big Bryn fan) and explained,
It’s an incredibly economic film; I borrowed many of the props, I manned the camera myself, the actors are friends of mine, and the mansion is right near where I live.
I’m a strong Christian, and I’m so glad to read your insights into the film. You’ve touched on many of the themes I hoped to communicate, and expanded on ideas I hadn’t even fully developed while making it. I hope to continue making films that provoke reflection and discussion, and ultimately, I’d like to impact the world and draw people closer to God through them.
Here are four more of his intensely lyrical, lovely films,
A Letter, where Mrs Sutton leaves the room…
A Birthday Party, on families and change,
The Hospital, on hope,
Today The Anchoress posts on another of Joe’s films, Almost Evening, in two parts,
The only other director that comes to mind who has such a deft touch on portraying characters and their relationships with each other is Ang Lee. I hope Joe’s career is as successful.
Wishing all of you a happy and prosperous 2010, and thank you for your support.
Roger Kimball has a hilarious take, Jean Valjean = Obama: Who knew?, on Les Misbarack:
Maybe Obama is not the Messiah, precisely, but a suffering martyr for liberty–Jean Valjean, in fact, Victor Hugo’s hero in Les Miserables signing “One Day More” with the rest of the cast: “One more day to revolution,” etc. etc.
Here’s a question. Is Mr. Walsh’s skit life at Obama’s HQ just before the on election a spoof, as it some people have described it? Or is an homage?
For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, here it is:
The scene above takes place at “Obama National Headquarters” on “November 3, 2008”, the night before the election.
Now, if you have seen Les Miz on Broadway you’d know that the eager revolutionaries got wiped out right after that song.
NOT a good metaphor for any electoral campaign.
If only Jibjab would do Bill & Hillary, they of the Lincoln bedroom, singing Master of the House:
As it turns out, Fox Movie Channel was playing back-to-back film adaptations of Les Miserables. The first one was the 1935 version with Frederick March and Charles Laughton, on which the Broadway version is based. The second was a pretty dismal 1952 British version that curiously skipped anything having to do with France.
Anyway, here’s an antidote to the singing O’campaigners, Bryn singing Stars.
Via LGF linkviewer, Bryn Terfel gears up for the Last Night of the Proms, and it turns out we’ve been mispronouncing his last name:
To his many fans around the world, and most people who work in and watch opera, he is simply Bryn, partly because outside his native Wales, pronouncing his stage surname — actually his middle name; he was born a Jones — is a problem for many. In the UK and America, you usually hear “Turfle”, which suggests a homicidal gardener in an episode of Midsomer Murders; but at home, it’s closer to “Tare-vell”, with a lovely rolled “r” and a back-of-the-throat, guttural, almost Russian-sounding “l”.
You can call me Fausta (FAH-oos-tah), Bryn. But I digress.
Bryn’s got a new album coming out next month, just in time for my birthday.
Continuing the white tie theme, here’s Bryn singing Stars:
And here’s Bryn’s voice as background for the beautiful short film The Dinner Guest:
The best of two worlds:
Which would you choose?