Lectures Thursday 26 November: Lecture: 11am Christmas at Covent Garden Sarah Lenton The London Christmas season was invented at Covent Garden. The first theatre on the site was the home of Harlequin and Columbine and 300 years on Harlequin and Columbine are still dancing in The Nutcracker. Most of what we now consider to be quintessential Pantomime – principal boy, fairy tales, transformation scenes and the dame, can be traced back to the operas and ballets put on at Covent Garden during its first 200 years. Panto has moved on to the Palladium, but you can still see its basic components in the seasonal operas and ballets the Royal Opera House puts on every year: Rossini’s Cenerentola (Cinderella), for example, or Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty or Ashton’s Cinderella. The repertoire changes every year and this lecture is up­dated to include current ROH Christmas offerings. Grimaldi in pose opposite an actor who was playing the part of a "pugilistic vegetable". Taken from the Christmas Pantomime "Harlequin Olio" which was staged at the Covent Garden Theatre in 1816. This watercolour drawing is by T M Grimshaw, who performed with Grimaldi from 1814 to 1823 at the Covent Garden, Sadlers Wells and Coburg theatres Thursday 10 December: Lecture: 11am Debo Mitford, Devonshire and Housewife 1920 - 2014 Simon Seligman Deborah Devonshire, the youngest of the Mitford sisters and wife of the 11th Duke of Devonshire, was hefted by marriage to one of Europe’s greatest treasure houses, Chatsworth. In the second half of the 20th century, in partnership with her husband, she imbued it with a spirit, elegance and sense of welcome that transformed it from being the worn-out survivor of decades of taxation, war and social change into one of the best-loved, most-emulated and popular historic houses, gardens and estates in the country. With responsibility for Lismore Castle and Bolton Abbey as well, no wonder her passport stated her profession as ‘housewife’. Along the way, she became a best-selling author and sell-out speaker, champion of the countryside, its skills, traditions, livelihoods and food, trustee and patron of numerous charities, businesses and good causes, and the most famous poultry keeper in the country. She met Hitler and Churchill, was a trusted confidant of the Prince of Wales, played her part as the steady heart of the Mitford sisters’ melodrama and was friends with a dazzling array of some of the brightest and most fascinating of her contemporaries, including President Kennedy, Evelyn Waugh, Oscar de la Renta, John Betjeman, Lucian Freud, Tom Stoppard, Neil MacGregor, Patrick Leigh Fermor and Alan Bennett. She said herself that charm was the hardest quality to describe in another person; hers lived in her unique turn of phrase, her stoic Mitfordian perspective on life’s challenges, her curiosity about everyone she met, her stylish beauty, quick wit and delight in all that life offered her. Debo had a lasting impact not just on Chatsworth but on everything she touched and everyone she met; I was lucky enough to work for and with her over more than 20 years and in this lecture I pay tribute to an astonishing life.
Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training.
Lectures 2020 Membership Year Thursday 26 November: Lecture: 11am Christmas at Covent Garden Sarah Lenton The London Christmas season was invented at Covent Garden. The first theatre on the site was the home of Harlequin and Columbine and 300 years on Harlequin and Columbine are still dancing in The Nutcracker. Most of what we now consider to be quintessential Pantomime – principal boy, fairy tales, transformation scenes and the dame, can be traced back to the operas and ballets put on at Covent Garden during its first 200 years. Panto has moved on to the Palladium, but you can still see its basic components in the seasonal operas and ballets the Royal Opera House puts on every year: Rossini’s Cenerentola (Cinderella), for example, or Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty or Ashton’s Cinderella. The repertoire changes every year and this lecture is up­dated to include current ROH Christmas offerings. Grimaldi in pose opposite an actor who was playing the part of a "pugilistic vegetable". Taken from the Christmas Pantomime "Harlequin Olio" which was staged at the Covent Garden Theatre in 1816. This watercolour drawing is by T M Grimshaw, who performed with Grimaldi from 1814 to 1823 at the Covent Garden, Sadlers Wells and Coburg theatres Thursday 10 December: Lecture: 11 am Debo Mitford, Devonshire and Housewife 1920 - 2014 Simon Seligman Deborah Devonshire, the youngest of the Mitford sisters and wife of the 11th Duke of Devonshire, was hefted by marriage to one of Europe’s greatest treasure houses, Chatsworth. In the second half of the 20th century, in partnership with her husband, she imbued it with a spirit, elegance and sense of welcome that transformed it from being the worn-out survivor of decades of taxation, war and social change into one of the best-loved, most-emulated and popular historic houses, gardens and estates in the country. With responsibility for Lismore Castle and Bolton Abbey as well, no wonder her passport stated her profession as ‘housewife’. Along the way, she became a best-selling author and sell-out speaker, champion of the countryside, its skills, traditions, livelihoods and food, trustee and patron of numerous charities, businesses and good causes, and the most famous poultry keeper in the country. She met Hitler and Churchill, was a trusted confidant of the Prince of Wales, played her part as the steady heart of the Mitford sisters’ melodrama and was friends with a dazzling array of some of the brightest and most fascinating of her contemporaries, including President Kennedy, Evelyn Waugh, Oscar de la Renta, John Betjeman, Lucian Freud, Tom Stoppard, Neil MacGregor, Patrick Leigh Fermor and Alan Bennett. She said herself that charm was the hardest quality to describe in another person; hers lived in her unique turn of phrase, her stoic Mitfordian perspective on life’s challenges, her curiosity about everyone she met, her stylish beauty, quick wit and delight in all that life offered her. Debo had a lasting impact not just on Chatsworth but on everything she touched and everyone she met; I was lucky enough to work for and with her over more than 20 years and in this lecture I pay tribute to an astonishing life.
Web site designed, created and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training.