Saturday, April 19, 2008

London Itinerary: Friday, 16 May 2008

10:00a Take a short browse of the Geffrye Museum. It doesn't look like this is one of the most popular museums in London. I circled it in my travel guide because it had a unique premise: a "living" museum. The museum is divided into areas to show the typical living quarters of Londoners from different time periods and from different SES. They even have three/four gardens to show, for example, what a typical Victorian garden might look like. I find it more difficult to picture myself in a particular time period and setting when wax figures are standing in the way. They're just too distracting and creepy. So, this seemed like a good spot to stop and imagine what it might be like to be someone else.

12:00p It's no secret. I love my tea. It's the highlight of my day when I can sit down to a pot of Earl Grey. Such a release of tension, such a respite from apathy... I absolutely love tea. So, why not stop off at the Bramah Museum of Tea & Coffee on the South Bank? I can pick up a little FYI about my dearest routine of the day, and I can sample everything in sight in their tea room. The museum will probably be boring, but I wouldn't be satisfied if I didn't at least stop by.

2:30p What a time to have planned a trip to London! Not only is Marisa Robles (one of the world's premier harpists) serving as a visiting professor at the Royal College of Music for the next few years, she's giving a masterclass today. Let me translate this for the rest of you "rock stars" so that I don't get a lot of rolling eyes: you get the chance to sit in on a guitar lesson with Bruce Springsteen. She's harpist royalty. Check out a sample of her recording of Handel's Harp Concerto in B-flat Major.

4:30p Let's fill a few minutes with the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington. I'm not the biggest fan of art and design museums, but as I do remember my time as a costume designer with fondness, I will enjoy their reputedly large collection of period clothing.

7:30p I love period orchestras. I bought a CD of Renee Fleming's not too long ago. On the album, she sang with a period orchestra called The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Everyone plays on period instruments. Their sound has the kind of richness one can only get on gut strings. I just love it--quite thoroughly. Tonight they play a whole program of music that Handel composed while living in London. I am going to die! As much as I love Handel anyway, I'm going to be slapped by the kind of richness in sound produced by the amazing acoustics in the chapel. The custodians can just mop me up afterward.

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