An unexpected joy of lockdown is seeing world-class performers in their natural habitats. Habitat is the apposite word for Simon Keenlyside, who read zoology at Cambridge before focusing on his operatic career and who describes a love of nature as “the marrow” of his existence. He looks to music for its validation.
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For Wasfi Kani, the unstoppable founder of Grange Park Opera, even a pandemic is only a temporary setback. As soon as she had accepted this summer’s country house opera season at The Theatre in the Woods was lost, she set about mobilising the “pandemicists” and amassing funding for a Found season.
Money and heroic self-sacrifice have been considered throughout history the rational motivations for risking life. In pandemic lockdown, we’re more aware of that than ever as governments weigh economic damage and national health, while workers battling on the frontline make the ultimate sacrifice.
Psychoanalytic psychotherapist Juliet Rosenfeld published her meditation, as her publicist so aptly describes it, on her own journey from an intellectual understanding to a deep, personal grasp of Freud’s distinction between harrowing grief and the gentler sorrow of mourning in February – when today’s equivalent of Spanish flu had begun to throw wives, husbands, children, lovers across the globe into states of emotion they may never fully process.
For those suffering withdrawal symptoms, Stay at Home with Crazy Coqs is providing a thrice-weekly fix on YouTube as some of its regular artists post recordings from their homes or reissue previous Crazy Coqs performances.
Brontë’s angry classic, which has for decades fired up rebellious, ambitious girls and women, has found new resonance in our self-isolating times as the National Theatre at Home allows another frustrated generation to ponder its lot.
Rachel Donohue’s ambitious young journalist protagonist, driven by a hunger to get to the bottom of a 25-year-old mystery, observes from the sidelines of a meeting of editorial egos: “The stories we told were ancient. But we acted like they were new.”
Léon Spilliaert was an insomniac. He walked a great deal in the dead of night and developed an appreciation of all the shades of darkness that establish the still, silent, brooding atmosphere of his work displayed in a long overdue first British monograph exhibition at the Royal Academy.