We arrange outings, usually by coach, to cultural events, normally within the North West region. At present the events are limited to concerts and ballet performances, but we are aiming to expand to include, opera, theatre and art exhibitions.
Members interested in attending any events should contact the coordinator (see the Newsletter for details) when they will be added to a circulation list for new trips.
Participation in particular trips must be booked and paid for in advance.
Early in February, 21 members went to the Empire Theatre, Liverpool to see a performance of the ballet, Cinderella, performed by the State Ballet Company of Siberia. The ballet was very entertaining and at times amusing. The choreography was a mixture of classical and modern and the dancing was of the highest quality.
The trip to see ‘Miss Saigon’ was cancelled due to insufficient interest.
On Wednesday, 23 May, 26 of us will be going to The World Museum in Liverpool to see The Exhibition of China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors. It is the first time in over 30 years that such an exhibition has been showcased outside London.
I hope to be able to organise more trips during the year.
If you would like to be informed of future Culture Trips please let me know by email or telephone.
On Thursday, 26 October, 22 members enjoyed a concert at The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. The programme was ‘The Hebrides Overture’ by Mendelssohn, the Sibelius Violin Concerto and Symphony No 4 by Brahms. Again the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra lived up to its excellent reputation – the music was superb.
The solo violinist, for the technically demanding Sibelius Concerto, was the Norwegian, Henning Kraggerud. Anyone who knows this concerto will be familiar with the theme of the 3rd movement, described by one critic as ‘a polonaise for polar bears’. The violinist was almost dancing with the music and several times turned completely to face the orchestra playing the same melody. It was an outstanding performance and the violinist and orchestra treated the audience to an encore.
Equally beautiful was the Hebrides Overture and the Symphony by Brahms.
On 4 November we went to see ‘The Threepenny Opera’ at The Octagon Theatre, Bolton. Members had mixed opinions about this production – some enjoyed it and others did not. The original play, a critique of capitalism by Bertholt Brecht, was based on John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera, and was first performed in 1928. This production, set in modern times, had been rewritten although its theme remained the same.
I have been asked to organise a day trip to the Elizabethan Globe Theatre, London. The trip includes the exhibition, a demonstration of Elizabethan clothing and a tour of the Globe and the archaeological site of the Rose Theatre on Bankside. This tour, on 20 February, including a cream tea at The Swan overlooking the Thames, costs £29. Travel is not included. Contact Ann if you are interested.
In April we went to The Theatre by the Lake to see the play, Wordsworth. It was well performed and provided an interesting insight into the poet’s life and his rather rocky friendship with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Due to heavy traffic we just made it to the theatre in time.
In May we were blessed with beautiful weather for our trip to Harrogate and the Mercer Gallery. As this is a small gallery the art on display is not overwhelming. Isabel Alexander’s work was stunning. Particularly impressive were her black and white portraits of Welsh miners and an agricultural worker. Next to each one was a resumé of the individual. Several members shared my enthusiasm for her art and went back for second viewing before we returned to Kendal.
Currently I am trying to organise a trip to see the English National Ballet performing Kenneth Macmillan’s ‘Song of the Earth’ and a new production of the classic ‘La Sylphide’ at The Palace Theatre, Manchester, in October.
I am also investigating forthcoming classical music concerts, possibly in Liverpool.
If you are interested in trips to the theatre, ballet, classical concerts, opera and/or art galleries please contact me by phone or email.
On Friday, 3 Feb. we went to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall to a ‘Russian Superstars’ concert. Stravinsky’s dazzling Jeux des Cartes was written for a ballet choreographed by George Balantine and premiered in New York in 1937.
Rachmaninov’s 4th piano concerto was played by Tchaikovsky Competition winner, Daniil Trifonov. His playing has been described as phenomenal and he certainly lived up to the accolades. He received a standing ovation and, succumbing to audience demand, played a beautiful Russian melodic encore.
The final piece was Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony, first performed in Moscow in 1945. The composer wrote it in the USSR in the space of 1 month in 1944 when war was raging. He said that the music filled his soul. It certainly filled the souls of the audience. Such was the applause for a brilliant performance of this magnificent music that the orchestra was obliged to play an encore. With 2 encores in one concert we all left on a high.
On 12 April, 33 of us are going to ‘The Theatre by the Lake’ to see a new play about William Wordsworth. The setting is the Old Rectory in Grasmere. Wordsworth, beset with worries and with little income, has ‘writer’s block’ and Dorothy is at her wits’ end trying to inspire him.
On 25 May we are going to Harrogate. At the Mercer Art Gallery there is an exhibition of the paintings of Isobel Alexander whose work has been likened to that of Georgia O’Keefe. It is a day trip and members are free to spend the day as they please. It is open to all U3A members and their friends and family. See p.
We usually travel by coach from Kendal and I try to organise a variety of trips covering, plays, classical concerts, ballet, opera and art but whether these come to fruition is dependent on numbers in order to keep the cost as low as possible.
If you would like to join this group and be kept informed of possible Culture Trips please contact Ann by phone or email.
Unfortunately, due to illness which prevented me from travelling any distance, I was unable to arrange any culture trips since our trip to the theatre in June. However, as I am now almost fit again, on November 29th 19 members will be going to the Manchester Opera House to see Shakespeare’s ‘Loves Labours Lost’ acted by the RSC.
In 2017 I hope we shall be able to visit an art exhibition and enjoy at least one classical music concert plus more visits to theatres. It all depends on what is available within reasonable distance of Kendal.
If you enjoy opera, ballet, classical music, art and/or plays and would like to join us please contact Ann by email or telephone.
In June 18 members went to The Grand Theatre, Blackpool, to see ‘Lotty’s War’. It poured with rain so plans to picnic on the seafront were scuppered. However, the play was excellent and portrayed the deprivations suffered by the residents of Guernsey in the last war as well as the conflicting emotions and loyalties experienced during the period of German occupation.
I hope to be able to organise another trip before Christmas.