After having ravenously devoured this fascinating trilogy last winter, I re-read Crazy Rich Asians in anticipation of the film adaptation. Of course, no film can ever approximate the layers of nuances and breath of ideas between the covers of any book. Moreover, reading is a purely subjective experience and with someone possessed of such a rich dream life, a book is always like the most welcome lucid dream.
I was beyond wowed by this film. Nick and Rachel were beautifully cast; however, I had always envisioned Astrid to be deliciously long-necked and more reserved… I think that they ought to have gotten an exquisite beauty who is in repression mode because no one does refined hauteur like a woman in repression mode. Love the greens of Tyersall Park. This was one of the most glorious movies that I have seen in long ages.
Also this summer, I headed off to the Cineplex in Dundas Square to catch an opera production, which initially I had not when it premiered three years earlier. Lucian Mann-Chomedy a mature scholar entity mate and I have been catching movies and attending the opera together. He is a world-renowned expert on Voltaire. Sublime and strastopherically knowledgeable, he is always welcome company. Usually, we gather at my place once per fortnight and have tea, talk ideas but of late, we have naturally been looking at the recent royal wedding of TRH Duke and Duchess of Sussex. More of that later…
In any event, there were we happily settled in in our back row seats, eating popcorn and excited at being transported by Verdi’s mastery. As ever Anna Netrebko was superb and nothing was more moving whilst simultaneously sad than seeing Dmitri Hvorostovsky in glorious song. We both held hands and silently lost tears as his passing two years later, November, 2017 was highlighted at the end of the film. A truly remarkable performer with a lot of sage and king energy going on somewhere in his casting and role in essence.
So there were Lucian and I returned to Dundas Square to have yet another vicarious theatre experience. This time, it was the Royal Ballet’s new production of Swan Lake with choreography by Liam Scarlett and the most fuck-all fabulous sets designed by the gifted and visionary George Macfarlane – that gold-leaf-looking set in Act III is worth flying to London and seeing it in person at Covent Garden. Vadim Muntagirov and Marianela Nunez were the pricipal dancers. Now this is world-class dancing of the highest order. I would rather fly to London and catch a performance than time-waste and money-waste on a season of the National Ballet of Canada. If I’m honest, the only dancer in NBC I ever recognise, when onstage, is Skylar Campbell thanks to his russet afro.
Besides, I was deeply disappointed when in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary as captured territory – let’s be real here – rather than look forward to the future, one just had to go raiding the Canada Council Grant system. I can understand that these are all friends socially but I am so tired of this “one Anglais, one Français” approach to things. God forbid that Canadians outside of Québec should ever be nationally presented on their nightly news with what goes on in Montréal each July 1, Canada Day. After a week earlier celebrating Fete National, everyone moves house rather than celebrate the country’s holiday. Of course, for the poor Anglo newcomers to Montréal, living in English enclaves, who did not secure indoor parking, they find themselves with slashed tyres and knocked off side view mirrors – all for being Anglo in god forbid supposed Canada.
Instead of saluting the fact that Indo-Canadians in the GTA (greater Toronto Area) have arrived by mounting a production of La Bayadere, instead we had to settle for two non-choreographers mounting crap that you know I had no time to waste on. I heard from friends that it was utterly dismissible fare as can well be imagined. After the opening night performance of a new production of La Bayadere, one could then cross Queen Street West to the grounds of Osgoode Hall (Law Society of Upper Canada) with a few pitched marquees and have an Indian themed party with a handful of Bollywood stars thrown in for good measure. Naturally, this would see new sponsorships for the NBC – god knows arts funding is always hard to come by – and it would be a wonderful way of being both inclusive of all Canadians and looking forward to the next 150 years. The maudlin fare staged will not be in the repertoire ten years hence, you can count on that.
Alors, enough about what might have been… this after all is Canada. Lucian and I had ourselves a fantastic time vicariously enjoying a live performance from Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. The dancing, staging and orchestration were all stellar. Vadim and Marianela were fabulous. Of course, had I flown to London to see Swan Lake, I would have opted for Natalia Osipova’s interpretation of Odette/Odile or a partnership wherein Steven McRae danced Prince Siegfried.
One of the things that Lucian and I also do when getting together for tea, entity mates as we are, is we delight in looking at the recent royal wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex. When initially her overleaves were channelled as requested by moi, she was said to have had two prior lives as a high ranking member of the British Royal Family. Naturally, as I was completely taken with the sweeping theatricality of their wedding, I had those past lives explored and was not surprised in the least.
Back in 1995 whilst living in Vancouver, I spent a glorious weekend with a friend who had moved from Toronto at least a decade earlier. A great cook and marvellous raconteur, he also happens to be an artisan entity mate. In among his stellar library was a book that he highly recommended; he devoured biographies with true relish. The book was a favourite of his, The King’s Mother: Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby – it proved a most fascinating portrait of someone whom I had never before heard of. There was no doubt in my mind that this was a phenomenal woman without whom there would have been no House of Tudor.
Cousin to King Henry VI, mother of King Henry VII, grandmother to King Henry VIII and great-grandmother to Queen Elizabeth I, here was the most sweeping portrait of a life lived in full and of a truly remarkable woman. Not surprised was I then to learn that the soul now incarnate as Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex was in that past life, Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby. Indeed, there sat Meghan, holding hands with her beautiful-of-spirit husband, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex with the black marble tomb of King Henry VI behind them in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Furthermore, like true Queen and Mother of the House of Tudor returned, Meghan on entering St. George’s Chapel was greeted by fanfare, which is reserved for the arrival of the Sovereign.
Lucian and I have spent much time, trying to spot as many persons who attended the wedding beyond the usual fare: Oprah Winfrey, Amal and George Clooney – whom I thought were both sartorially off. One does not wear a hat on the left side of the head anymore than one would a medal on the right breast as David Beckham did at the royal wedding of TRH Duke & Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. I loved every shot of Emilie van Cutsem; she looks like a real tough broad who is definitely got a goal of dominance. Of course, there she sat in the quire next to Jack Brooksbank in her ruby brooch to match her monochromatic outfit. By far the most handsome of her four sons, is Hugh van Cutsem who sat two rows in the nave behind royals, Cleopatra and Franz-Albrecht zu Oettingen-Spielberg; a baroness at birth, her husband is a Bavarian prince and friend of HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex. Hugh van Cutsem also sat two rows ahead of Chelsy Davy and her brother Shaun.
So many persons seemed to have gotten it wrong, claiming that Chelsy looked glum whilst being simply focussed and meditative – I rather suspect that she is either a scholar or warrior soul, which would give her that singleness of focus. There was a beautiful moment, one of my favourites, where whilst chatting with two ladies, she and one of the other women silently break open their faces in spirited laughter – it was one of the more memorable moments. At the time, they stood next to another troika Jake Warren father of bridesmaid Zalie Warren and HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex’s goddaughter as he chatted with Marcus Mumford and his wife the actor, Carey Mulligan.
Edward van Cutsem is, of course, married to another the late Gerald Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster’s daughters, Tamara, older sister of Dan Snow’s wife, Lady Edwina who sat directly ahead of Adam Bidwell – a man with a most sexually dynamic face – who entered the chapel’s south door in a cluster of males which included Jake Warren, Mark Dyer, Thomas and Charlie van Straubenzee, Arthur Landon, Hugh – the current Duke of Westminster – and Jack Brooksbank.
One of the more beautiful intimate moments between the Sussexes went unnoticed by 95 per cent of persons watching the ceremony. Yes there was that beautiful moment during the Kingdom Choir singing Stand by Me when the camera cuts to an adoring HRH Prince Henry as he taps on his beloved’s fingers and she turns and smiles into his familiar soul, being the only sunshine that lights his world – this is the 21st time that these two souls have met during the course of reincarnations. As he slipped the golden ring onto her finger in movement that was sexually charged, HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex then winked his left eye at his ravishing bride – sly, intimate and subtle, most persons would not have noticed the wink as it happened.
Veiled, I love this photograph of Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex as the veil represents the vision of Lady Margaret Beaufort having a lucid dream of herself into the future where she is being crowned, as it were, at a wedding in Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel. How like a true queen, Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex appears as her train is carried by the Mulroney twins, who along with the other eight pages and bridesmaids beautifully fulfilled their tasks. The dark and umbra lighting also suggests the past and that soul, having been the mother of the House of Tudor coming through to claim her reward as a member of the House of Windsor, which would not have been Anglican, indeed might have gone the way of so many other monarchies were it not for the shrewdly calculating and indomitable Lady Margaret Beaufort from whose womb like an acorn indirectly passed two of the greatest of the United Kingdom’s sovereigns, King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I.
Theirs was a truly remarkable and beautiful wedding. Here’s to TRH Duke & Duchess of Sussex and their tasks ahead as Commonwealth Youth Ambassadors, charter members of the Royal Foundation, the driving force behind the Invictus Games and strongly bonded entity mates who have found each other anew. Hip! Hip!
For now, I have returned from the emergency at St. Michael’s Hospital after being thrown from my chromium steed by rain-smeared steel crating. As ever, I got up and after a vituperative bouquet, I resumed singing and scatting my heart out as it is the only way to stay focussed when bike-riding in this town. Though it has done my arthritic right knee no favours, my laptop survived unscathed.
As ever, thank you for your ongoing patronage. Don’t ever forget to deeply breathe in, plié then push off because life is but a most glorious of dreams and right here is where it’s at. Sweet dreams as ever.
©2013-2023 Arvin da Brgha. All Rights Reserved.