Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Arts in London

We visited the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square a few days ago. It was gorgeous. We had time for one exhibition only, so we chose "Manet to Picasso". I'm a huge Van Gogh fan and his works were displayed alongside some other famous modern artists. I got to see Sunflowers and Van Gogh's Chair. I was able to get a matted print of Van Gogh's Chair to bring home, which will be a wonderful reminder of my first sight of the sweet, happy, little painting. I think Van Gogh's story is what draws me to him. I remember as a young child hearing the story about the depressed man who had cut off his ear and then immortalized himself through art. I felt sad and compassionate toward him. It was as a child in art class also that I began my love of his painting Starry Night, which is not in the collection at National Gallery as it is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Maybe I'll see it one day.

More arts last night as we went to see "Phantom of the Opera" at Her Majesty's Theatre on Haymarket. Wow! is all I can say. The level of professionalism was like nothing we'd ever witnessed. The voices of the main characters were out of this world. We love theatre and usually get to see one or two shows per year in our small town. Because it's a university town, traveling Broadway shows visit and they're usually pretty good. But as my husband and I discussed last night, nothing we've ever seen could hold a candle to this performance. The costuming, the set, the caliber of voices...all were phenomenal or as the English would say, "brilliant"!

Hubby started work this morning, so I'll be venturing out to the National Portrait Gallery and back to National Gallery today. I'm hoping to catch a guided tour today at National Gallery. They do these for free, which is great, because as we're discovering, London is expensive! I also plan to spend some time walking through the Covent Garden Market. I'll let you know what I discover. Until then...cheers!

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