A Little Culture and Art

We get so tied up in politics and social commentary and sometimes we forget about the other things in life. Things that make life a bit more rewarding and happier. Things that move our spirit and our soul as well as our brains.

Last night a friend and I went to see London’s National Theatre production of Phedra by Jean Racine (1677) starring Helen Mirran and Dominic Cooper. It was, in a word, astonishing.

We didn’t travel to London to see the production. London’s National Theatre films their stage productions and beams them to cinemas around the world. For $17.00 at Allentown Symphony Hall we saw one of the greatest of the Greek Tragedies performed by a consummate ensemble of wonderful actors.

The Reading RC-11 theatre at 2nd and Washington Sts, which, for some unknown reason, did not show Phedra, IS scheduled to show the rest of the National Theatre season which includes Hamlet, King Lear (with Derek Jacobi), Fela!, Frankenstein and Chekov’s masterpiece The Cherry Orchard.

And even if the RC-11 decides to back out, the trip to Allentown is worth it for shows of this quality.

For those of us who love great theatre, London’s National Theatre program is a wonderful treat.

The Reading RC-11 also shows the Metropolitan Opera for those of you who are opera lovers. Not really my cup of tea but the Met is showing new productions of the first 2 operas in Wagner’s Ring Cycle this year, Das Reingold and Die Walkure. I assume Seigfried and Gotterdammerung will be coming next season to complete the cycle.

If you want to know more about London’s National Theatre Live program you can go to www.ntlive.com.

For info on the Met Opera go to:


and click on ‘HD Live’.

The opera program starts on 9 October with Wagner’s Das Reingold and I believe the RC-11 charges $22.00

For those who enjoy theatre, the NTLive season begins 14 October with Complicite’s The Disappearing Number followed in December by Shakespeare’s tragic Hamlet.

Opinions aside, opera and theatre enrich our lives in so many ways.

If you enjoy the theatre or the opera I urge you to take advantage of these wonderful resources and to introduce young adults to the wonders of great theatre. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, I know but what a great way to enjoy an evening for those who do enjoy.

13 thoughts on “A Little Culture and Art”

  1. Kirk,

    I enjoy the operaic songs sans the singing dialogue.

    However, I do take great pleasure in the orchestration of many operas, among them the works of Mozart, Wagner, Puccini and Verdi.

    There was one very brief winter scene from Puccini’s La Boheme in the motion picture “Moon Struck” actually shot at Lincoln Center.

    So emotionally stirred were my wife and I by that one tiny scene, we immediately felt deeply sorry for anyone incapable of being similarly moved.

    This one remarkable experience represented to both of us the true magic of opera.

    We seriously envy your full appreciation of the art.

    Matt Thomas


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