Victoria

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The 2nd Season of Victoria has been released and I can’t believe that it has taken me this long to write about it!

It’s impeccably written and staged. Aimed at the same audiences that enjoyed Downton Abbey, and The Crown.

Victoria follows the young Queen from the time she becomes The Queen of England through her passionate courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. The TV series Victoria dramatizes the romance and reign of the girl behind the famous monarch. Jenna Coleman is absolutely perfect as Victoria, and there are strong supporting roles like Tom Hughes as Albert and Rufus Sewell as Lord Melbourne. I have to say that Rufus Sewell is superb in the role of Lord Melbourne. He managed to appear supremely noble, with just a hint of sadness and vulnerability lurking beneath the surface!

I’ve always been fascinated by the Victorian era and I love how the Queen and her Prince have changed the face of London to what we know it today! .. My favorite novels have been written in her era and yet I always imagined her as a sad lonely old woman!…..I guess it’s because she spent half her life in mourning the death of her beloved husband!

I can honestly say that this show made me look at her from a different light … I’ve gained a new admiration for the Queen! Here she’s been portrayed as an independent outspoken, and quite a determined young lady… Love that!

 

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The Queen’s links with Europe’s royal families earned her the nickname “The grandmother of Europe”! She and Prince Albert had 9 children, 4 boys, and 5 girls … They had 42 grandchildren, of whom 34 survived to adulthood. Their descendants include Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Harald V of Norway, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Margrethe II of Denmark, and Felipe VI of Spain.

 

 

 

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Vintage Photos Of The Academy Awards From the Golden Age of Hollywood

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 Humphrey Bogart and his wife Lauren Bacall arrive at the 27th annual Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theater in 1955.

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 Presenters Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly wait backstage at the RKO Pantages Theatre during the 1956 Academy Awards.

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Frank Sinatra and Donna Reed hold their Oscars as Best Supporting Actor and Actress in From Here to Eternity — a film that won eight statuettes in 1954, including Best Picture.

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Natalie Wood, Best Actress nominee for her role as Deanie Loomis in Splendor in the Grass, gets her hair done prior to the 1962 Academy Awards.

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 Grace Kelly and Clark Gable arrive at the 26th annual Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theatre in 1954

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Marlon Brando (right, with French singer and actress Line Renaud) casually holds his Best Actor Oscar for On The Waterfront at the 1955 Academy Awards at the RKO Pantages Theatre.

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Elizabeth Taylor walks through a crowd of admirers at the Oscars in 1961 — the year she won her first Academy Award, for her role in Butterfield 8.

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Last but not least…..The great, inimitable Charlie Chaplin — who had been living in self-imposed exile in Switzerland for two decades — blows a kiss to the crowd while accepting an honorary Oscar in 1972 for “the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century.” When he was introduced to the audience, Chaplin received a twelve-minute standing ovation.

 Pictures Via LIFE Magazine

The Crown

Anyone who knows me knows that I love costume dramas…  So it comes as no surprise that I have been waiting for The New Netflix production to be released!…..Other than “Games of Throne” “Downton Abbey” has been my favorite TV costume dramas until now….  “The Crown” to me is just another level of entertainment! It’s my new addiction!

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  “Downton Abbey” was/is fun to watch but it is fiction, whereas “The Crown” is based on fact, with a far weightier dose of history and politics, including issues of constitutional duty and complex political issues. Writer Peter Morgan and the director Stephen Daldry — have succeeded in balancing the seriousness of intent against popular appeal, and for Netflix, which I think has already attracted a huge international audience!

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This is not the 1st time that Mr. Morgan, the creator of the show, has written about the Queen…. He actually has extensive experience writing about her. His 2006 film “The Queen,” won several Academy Award nominations and the best actress award went to Helen Mirren as the monarch, facing public reaction to the death of Princess Diana. Then in 2013 came his successful play, “The Audience,” also starring Helen Mirren and directed by Mr. Daldry, which swoops through some 60 years of the weekly meetings between Queen Elizabeth and her prime ministers. And actually this experience of writing “The Audience” gave him the idea for “The Crown.”

Part of the pleasures of watching “The Crown” is its ability to offer glimpses of life at Buckingham Palace and other royal residences (The furniture! The objects! The clothes! The jewels!). But it also offers a history lesson in world events, politics and the social manners and mores of postwar British society, seen through the prism of Elizabeth’s reign.

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For example, I was really surprised by the relationship between Winston Churchill and the young queen! I never thought the either one of them struggled in this relationship! Never thought that either one of them ever doubted themselves… until now!

I don’t want to say more and spoil it for those of you who haven’t watched it yet… but here are a few reviews I read about the series … Both +ve and -ve:

  • The New York Times says it is “just an orgy of sumptuous scenes and rich performances” in its Review: Netflix Does Queen Elizabeth II in ‘The Crown,’ No Expense Spared.
  • Vanity Fair’s review, The Crown Is Netflix’s Most Expensive Series to Date, and Worth It, says “A grand saga about the British royals begins with a sumptuous look at midcentury monarchy.”
  • USA Today gives The Crown 3-1/2 out of 4 stars in its piece titled Review: ‘The Crown’ is sumptuous miniseries with the stellar cast!
  • From the Maclean’s review by Patricia Treble, ‘The Crown’ on Netflix is riveting. And not completely true. “Unlike many so-called documentaries that are little more than rehashed tittle-tattle and gossip, The Crown’s fact-heavy fiction puts dramatic meat on much more substantial and accurate bones.“

Mr. Selfridge

 My hubby and I started watching Mr. Selfridge and although it’s not as good as Downton Abbey it is still fun to watch and I highly recommend it!!!

The series is about Harry Selfridge, the American entrepreneur who had created London’s famous department store. He is known to have revolutionized shopping by simply making it fun!!! Sure, people always shopped, but it was more of a chore before Selfridge redefined the experience in 1909….

 Assistants working at Selfridges were encouraged to help customers rather than patronize them….He was actually the one who invented the phrase ‘the customer is always right’ !!!

Selfridges was the the1st place that had restaurants and hairdressing salon in-store and the 1st place that had lighting in shop windows that were lit at night.

Before Selfridge, cosmetics and toiletries had been hidden discreetly away at the back of the shop, considered too racy and taboo to be on display. He decided to move them to the front entrance of Selfridge’s so that people entering were assailed by a cloud of sweet scents…..He was revolutionary and full of great ideas.

I won’t say anymore although I am really tempted …. but I wouldn’t want to spoil it for my brother A 😉

Russell Peters In Muscat


Just what the doctor ordered…Yesterday Russell Peters made us laugh the whole night! Even after the show!!… We had a great time and really enjoyed every minute of it….. BUT I felt that he was making some of the stuff up as he was going along!!! Not sure why but I think its probably because they censored half of his jokes?!!!… Anyways it was interesting to see him come up with so many witty comments when he was talking to all the “smart” people who chose to sit in the front row!!!…. Some of the comments he came up with were hilarious. I don’t know how he came up with them, but it just showed how talented and funny this guy really is!

Tango Metropolis At The Royal Opera House Muscat

My husband and I traveled around some parts of South America for our honeymoon…. it was a great trip.. we tried to eat, drink, watch and breathe anything and everything that was part of that culture… we had a wonderful time and have been wanting to go back there ever since!!!…Well, today to my surprise we were taken back to Buenos Aires!!! We were taken there through the mesmerizing music and the sensual choreography of Argentinian Tango!!!…..Tango Metropolis was just brilliant….The dancers were so passionate, you could almost feel their chemistry!!!… And the music was just so uplifting, it brought back so many beautiful memories…. So glad we went tonight … I so needed this!!!

Il Trovatore At The Royal Opera House Muscat

Thursday was such a busy day for me!… I am not sure how I managed but I guess that I did!…. Well barely!!!...Anyways after a long hectic day, we went and saw Verdi’s Il Trovatore at The Royal Opera House, Muscat…..This was a modern production of the Opera (set wise)…..it was a high-tech multi-media production that featured massive projected images that created a dynamic 3D effect ….. I have to say that a lot of people didn’t like it!!!… but I loved it!! It was something that you don’t see every day and a nice change…. I got this picture above from the net for you to see what I mean!!! the stage was empty except for the people on it, the rest was all projected!!!… It looked so real… Thought that it was brilliant!!!…

The Opera was Directed by Cristina Mazzavillani Muti, conducted by Nicola Paszkowski,  and accompanied by the Orchestra Giovanile and the Coro del Teatro Comunile di Piacenza.

Celebrating our 10 Years Wedding Anniversary With José Carreras And Ofelia Sala!!!

We had the most amazing night tonight…José sang most of the arias I was hoping that he would sing and Ofelia’s voice was unreal… it was so perfect and beautiful it sounded like a  dream!!!

What a perfect way to start our 10 years anniversary celebration weekend… I couldn’t have asked for something better!

Thankx again ROHM!!!

The Vienna Philharmonic At The Royal Opera House Muscat

The Vienna Philharmonic which is one of the finest orchestras in the world was led by the acclaimed Russian Maestro Valery Gergiev tonight and was also joined by the very young and very talented  Tchaikovsky competition-winner Daniil Trifonov (on the piano)… What a performance!!!…I didn’t want it to end… The Vienna Philharmonic is on a different League!!!… No other Orchestra is like it!!!… We enjoyed every minute of it and hope that they will be back soon!

Here is one of their performances … it’s obviously not in Muscat and doesn’t have the same conductor!!! …..But I couldn’t resist choosing it simply because my husband and son are big Star War fans!!….This is for my boys xxx