In which dashing Donners and oracular Oreo contend for the pond's top spot ... - Nothing delights the pond more than reading an anti-censorship tract, especially if it emanates from the bowels of the Catholic church, or perhaps dashin...
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Two of Australia’s singing superstars, tenor David Hobson and baritone Teddy Tahu Rhodes will be touring Australia in March 2009 for Andrew McKinnon Presentations. These will be the most romantic nights of the year with much loved arias and songs from Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter, even Australian folk songs!
Fresh from recording their first album together for ABC Classics (You’ll Never Walk Alone), these two dazzling singers are set to wow audiences with their beautiful arias and songs including operatic arias, folksongs, show tunes and, of course, the duet from The Pearl Fishers, voted the greatest opera moment of all time by ABC Classic FM listeners, as well as a few surprises thrown in. This exciting once in a lifetime concert features two of the hottest names around will be a highlight on any music lover’s concert schedule. Separately, these two stars have carved themselves indelibly into the echelons of Australian musical history. Together, and with Australia's leading accompanist Sharolyn Kimmorley, they will create a night of pure musical delight.
“What excites me most about this concert is the variety of repertoire. In the first half Teddy and I will be singing some of opera’s greatest moments and in the second half we bring things closer to home with some show tunes, folksongs and more contemporary works,” says David Hobson.
Somewhere in this country ... that day, somebody had been given news that would end their little world. Somebody, some unknown person somewhere, was being told that somebody else was not coming back. And all that stood between that poor person and oneself was chance, and luck, and forces that we would never master nor understand. What if it was she who would be the recipient of such news this night? No, she could not think about that, she would not.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
The men had been hand-picked for their piety as well as their prowess in combat. They believed the thing they protected was worth the fighting and, if necessary, the dying for.The Prologue over, we are catapulted into present-day England, where the hero Martin's self-made millionaire father has bought a wrecked schooner called Dark Echo. Martin is very unhappy; he's just been down to the boatyard -- inexplicably dark and deserted -- where Dark Echo is being expensively refurbished, and he believes he's had a run-in with the violently malevolent ghost or presence of the boat's original owner Harry Spalding, an unnaturally tall, white-blond American playboy with a shady reputation, who committed suicide in 1929 at the age of 33. This may be the moment to mention that the stolen sacred relic is nothing less than the spear of Longinus, the Roman centurion guarding the Cross who took pity on the dying Christ and speared him through the side, and afterwards became a Christian. Harry Spalding wants it for ... well, never mind what Harry Spalding wants it for.
But you cannot turn a cathedral into a fortress, as Destain kept repeating afterwards in his grief and shock, as the gangrene slowly devoured him in his hospital bed. ...
The Americans came grinning through the mist. The defenders of Rouen cathedral and the sacred relic it housed smelled before they saw the Americans ... At their centre was a man taller than the rest and bare-headed. His white-blond hair picked him out ... He was a glimpse, a phantom. ... Of course I knew what he had come there for, Destain said.
'There was an educator in the 1930s. A man named Arthur Mee ... Mee compiled a children's encyclopedia. By the time I encountered it, it was thirty years out of date. But its volumes were packed nevertheless for the child I was with exotic and spellbinding vistas of a world for which I was not just eager, but greedy.' ... He led me to the library where he took a key from a bureau drawer and opened a locked display case. Behind its carved oak and scrolled-glass doors I saw Arthur Mee's encyclopedias on their shelf, his name on their worn, blue cloth spines...Now this alone is enough to induce a bit of a shudder. Hubris meets the supernatural and defies it: it's like a variation on Macbeth and every bit as creepy. But what was more creepy was my own living room, in which I sat reading this novel. For it was very late, and beyond the rim of the reading lamp's light I knew what was sitting in the bookcase: my own father's set of the very same Arthur Mee encyclopedias, battered and well-read by him as a child in the 1930s by the light of a kerosene lamp on the farm.
He reached for a volume, thumbed out a spine. Volume six, it was. He held the spine of the heavy book in the palm of his hand and it fell open. I took a step back and looked at the open pages.
And I saw a picture of Harry Spalding's schooner rounding a buoy in brilliant sunshine on sun-dappled water ... 'Dark Echo,' my father said. There was an inset picture on the page of text facing the full plate of the racing boat. It was a grinning Harry Spalding ... with a trophy in his grip and his blond hair a halo of gold...
'When I saw these pictures, Martin, I swore that I would own and sail this boat. And I do and I will. And nothing will stop me.'
Inside, the diner is meant to look like the 1950s, but it doesn't look anything like how I remember them. Somewhere along the line, people became convinced that the decade was all about sock hops, poodle skirts, rock and roll, shiny red T-birds, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis. It's funny how a whole decade gets reduced into a few seemingly random pictures. For me, that decade was about diapers and training wheels and miscarriages and trying to house and feed three people on $47 a week.This is another set of uncorrected proofs. But somehow I just know that any errors in it will be typographical or otherwise mechanical; that the person responsible for this seamless marriage of style and content within a vividly realised character's narrative voice is not going to say slither or lent or inferred. This is someone who understands his craft and has worked to master it.