Tag Archives: old

A very young Jose Carreras in Budapest

jose carreras 1970sThe internet is magic! I’ve just found the original performance that ‘turned me on’ to opera – back in the early 1970’s.

It’s by this young Spanish tenor called Jose Carreras, and he’s singing ‘E lucevan le stelle’ from Tosca.

It is still my favourite aria for a tenor [sorry Nessun Dorma] and you can hear it by clicking on the link below [not Youtube unfortunately so I can’t make it nice and easy for you. Also I have to warn you that the sound production is a bit iffy, but the voice is not].


Now here is the reason this particular performance is so special to me – I was there, in Budapest, in that audience, going nuts with a few thousand other opera fanatics. Me, the girl who didn’t like opera. You can hear us after the aria is finished.

I kid you not, we loved his performance so much we would not let the opera continue. He had to do a ridiculous number of encores – ten?…more? – before we, the audience, would let him rest.

Sadly, while I remembered the aria and the opera and the performance, I completely forgot the young tenor’s name, and by the time I came across him again in The Three Tenors, he had had leukemia and that glorious, soaring voice did not soar any more. So I thought it couldn’t be him.

And there my memories would have remained had David Prosser’s post not sent me down memory lane. On a whim I googled ‘Jose Carreras Cavaradossi Budapest’ and bingo…a hit, and not just any hit, it was the hit. Time travel for real.

Actually, the whole thing feels a little spooky. As I listen to the audience going mad at the end of the aria I keep expecting the camera to zoom in on the audience to find one enraptured 21 year old and her aunt. The old me looking back at the young me.

Didn’t happen, of course, but it does feel odd.

Anyway, I hope Jose Carreras remembers that night with as much fondness as I do.










But I like my horse and buggy!

meerkat pic smallI’ve never been a true techie geek, but I did pride myself on being one of the early adopters of personal computers back in the 1980’s. I used to shake my head in dismay at my peers who were bending over backwards to avoid computers. Could they not see computers were the way of the future?

Fast forward to 2015 and the new ‘tech’ is not computers, it’s not even mobile devices like tablets and phones, it’s the apps on those devices. And guess who doesn’t want to have anything to do with those apps? Yup, me.:(

Oh don’t get me wrong, I do have a smart phone, and I do have a tablet, and I use both, but only in small, timid ways. I did work out how to get music on my Kindle Fire, but I don’t listen to it because the speakers on my computer [at home] give me a far better sound experience.

Another thing I don’t use on my tablet is the ability to browse and buy – we don’t have wi-fi at home, and I have yet to work out how to access the so-called ‘hot spots’ outside the home. Instead I do just one thing on my tablet, I read.

My smartphone is even more unloved because I can’t afford to pay for the plans that allow you to download masses of data from the internet. Here in Australia, data is expensive, so basically my monthly download limit is reserved for my bushfire warning app.

[Note! Since upgrading the firmware on my phone from Ice Cream Sandwich to Jelly Bean, the EmergencyAus app works properly.]

I don’t check emails on my phone because all my data would be eaten up by the flood of spam I always get. I don’t ‘read’ on my phone because I’d need a magnifying glass to see what I was reading. I’m not interested in Facebook or Twitter so I’m not going to waste data on social media, and I don’t play ‘games’ because…

Hmm, the real reason I don’t play games is because I don’t really know how to do the whole ‘app’ thing. And that is the part that has me scared. Why am I not embracing this new technology the way the youngies are?

When I was a kid, we used to marvel at my friend’s grandmother – the old lady would always get properly dressed before sitting down in front of the TV. Why? Because she believed the people inside the TV could see her and she wanted to look her best!

Years later, I remember wondering why old people were always so negative about new things, and so unwilling to learn. Well now that I’m becoming one of those old people, I have the answer to my questions: we all learn on a need-to-know basis, and it’s all too easy to decide that we don’t need to know the latest craze sweeping the younger generations.

I know I’ve been guilty of that ‘I don’t need to know’ attitude, but after reading about Meerkat this morning, I’ve recognized the folly of my ways. Frankly, if I don’t embrace all this newfangled stuff, and soon, I’m going to become one of those little old ladies who talks fondly about the horse and buggy, and how much nicer life was ‘back then’.



p.s. What’s that? You haven’t heard of Meerkat? Mwahahahaha! Google it and find out, or click on the cute picture. 😀

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