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Friday, May 30, 2008

Andy's First Visit to the Opera

Last night I went to the Opera for the first time. We (Lara, her Dad and me) all went to see The Merry Widow Opera at the London Coliseum run by The English National Opera. The London Coliseum is quite an impressive building, from the outside it looks very tall and thin, but is very detailed with a kind of big ball on the top, and on the inside there is a lot of marble. I actually liked the stairways the best, they swept round and had really short (about 18 inch's long) sturdy looking marble pillars holding up the heavy stone banisters.

The Opera itself was similar to going to a musical in that there was a lot of singing and dancing with some really clever choreography. However unlike going to a musical I did not know any of the songs and even though The Merry Widow Opera is in English I could not understand many of the words, especially when they where being sung (which was most of the time) so I found myself having to read the subtitle's quite allot. The story was very straight forward, a very wealthy widow (she had 20 million Franks, which in today's money would make her a billionaire), was being courted by a wide range of men all after her money, there were some sub plots too all based on people being unfaithful in their marriages. Although very easy to understand I thought the actual story itself was pretty weak, but it was very entertaining, their where a number of jokes and I am told as Opera's go this is a light hearted one.

For all the avid slots players reading this, the only Opera themed slots game I know of is actually based on a Musical (one of my very favourite musicals in fact) and is simply called The Phantom of the Opera Slots Game, which can be played at Slots Plus, as the Phantom of the Opera slots game was only released on tuesday we have not yet done a full review of it (should be done for middle of next week) but we have of course done a review of slots plus casino.

Every time I go into London I always think how lucky I am not having to make a daily commute to work like that. Whilst standing on the train platforms I heard a lot of apologies for delays from the rail company (mostly Capital Connect on my route) and coming home both the train we needed to catch and the train that came after it were delayed! Lara's Dad had also been delayed on his way into work, you would think by now a city as old as London could have a clean reliable train service.

Speaking of clean it simply wasn't, I paid £20 (that's about $40 US for my non UK readers) and got nothing but delays, a seat (and sometimes only standing space) on a few over crowded trains. But whilst I was waiting to come back and heard yet more 'Sorry for the delay's' type announcements, it hit me, there is not really any other way in and out of London, the congestion charges and over crowded roads along with a total lack of parking spaces rule out driving in, so the trains have got people over a barrel they can charge what they like (and pretty much do) and they really don't care what level of service they provide as people can not simply switch to their competitors as they are the only option on any given route.

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