almaviva90: (The Merry Widow)
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Probably the second stanza/verse of Ralph Vaughan William's 'Let Beauty Awake' includes my favourite lines ever in an art song. Plus it helps when it's the incomparable Sir Thomas Allen singing them as well =DD

Let Beauty awake in the eve from the slumber of day,
    Awake in the crimson eve!
    In the day's dusk end
    When the shades ascend,
Let her wake to the kiss of a tender friend
    To render again and receive!
almaviva90: (Default)
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Can I actually put forward two songs? Funnily enough, they're both by Coldplay. First off is 'Speed of Sound' since it invariably reminds me of the times we did our GCSEs and of course, the immense fun I had in Mr Giddings' (who's already quite a personality by himself) and his physics classes at SIS and who *always* had the radio on in the background as we worked (and which almost always aired Coldplay songs..naturally, he got me into the band soon afterwards). XDD

The second song is 'Viva la Vida' which came out during the summer we were preparing/waiting for the results of our A levels. I also have a very strong memory of listening to this song while waiting alone for the 76 bus at the bus stop opposite the school on a rainy day. At the time, our A levels were obviously not happy times (i.e. non-stressful times) but looking back, I do feel a kind of nostalgia toward those days when we were all rather young and carefree compared to nowadays. And gosh, do I sound old saying that... -____-
almaviva90: (Wellington2)
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LONDON...ooh, and probably the rest of the UK, e.g. Durham, Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, perhaps also Scotland too. I'd go mental going round all the museums (I simply have to go to Apsley House and the Royal Opera House), theatres, sites, cathedrals, second hand bookshops (people are probably going to go 'WTF?' at the last place) etc. Then a massive book/souvenir shopping spree will ensue methinks. XDDD

I'd probably take my mum but she's technically more like family though I would really consider her my friend too. I'd go with [livejournal.com profile] enserric but I'm not sure how that will work seeing that she's already in the UK!
almaviva90: (Sherlock)
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This would be a no-brainer...it's Justin Bieber. He's literally everywhere nowadays and I simply don't see the point why on earth he should garner this much attention. I was never a fan of Michael Jackson, for example, but I understood why his music was (and still is) so popular...something which I don't understand with Bieber. To me, Bieber's basically the musical equivalent of that wretched fantasy series, Twilight...overrated and uninteresting.

Instead of Bieber, give me Queen, ABBA, Muse, Coldplay and on a more traditional note, Mozart, Purcell and opera singers any day.
almaviva90: (wellington2)
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. Despite being the HP fan that I am, I have never watched any HP film twice when it was out at the cinema...and this time, I loved the film so much that I saw it a second time.
almaviva90: (la ci darem la mano)
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I think there's only one band in the world which would ever make me want to go back to past...Queen, esp. so when it happens that the title of this question comes from the Queen song, 'Killer Queen.' XDDD Hurrah for the late 1970s and 1980s!
almaviva90: (don alfonso)
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Hmm...early childhood memories all seem a jumble to me like flashbacks in a distinctly muddled order. I can remember various things but can't quite place them in chronological order. The most vivid and possibly earliest memory is one where I being pulled along by my mum from kindergarten (it was Wembley, if you wanted to know the name XD) to Cityplaza (yes, the very same shopping mall in Tai Koo) since we were in a hurry to meet her aunt and we were, as usual, already quite late. I think this was on a late summer afternoon (or perhaps late spring) and as I was being tugged along, I tripped and grazed my knee pretty badly on the pavement. I can't have been more than 3 or 4 years old at the time but I do remember it bleeding badly enough so that my mum had to go to a hair salon nearby (which she often frequented) and ask for a bandage or something.

And all this didn't quite help matters between my mum and her aunt, the latter of whom was pretty annoyed, I think while my mother herself was pretty furious that I had injured myself. She wasn't angry at me, by the way, she was probably more angry with her aunt who as I recall wasn't particularly sympathetic to the news that I had grazed my knee as a result of this mad rush to see her.

Another random childhood memory I have is of me locking myself in my room around the same time because I didn't want to play with my cousin who was a year younger than me and had visited us in Hong Kong. I remember holding this plastic ball in my arms and stubbornly ignoring my mother's entreaties on the other side of the door and my cousin's crying...it's kind of embarrassing remembering all this (God, it was just a effing *ball*, you silly girl!) but I have the feeling that I found my cousin annoying and wasn't used to sharing my things with someone who I had basically just met a few days before. And to be honest, even 16 or 17 years on, I don't think we still have anything much in common despite the fact that I'm only a year older than she is!
almaviva90: (Captain Hastings)
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Being a fanfic writer myself, it's hard to be neutral on the topic. One of the reasons why people resort to reading or writing fanfics usually stems from the fact that we'd like to delve deeper into the fandom universe, whether it be writing an extended narrative explaining what hasn't been expanded upon in the novel/television series/game, etc or just putting our favourite characters into a relationship which alas was never meant to be in the canon. Well, at least, those are some of the reasons why I write/read fanfics. So in a way, fanfiction can be seen as a sort of acknowledgment from us as fans to show how much we love the fandom and I've seen some fantastic fanfics which can stand on their own as publishable novels.

On the other hand, there is of course the dark side where the most terrible dribble can be written where the characters are made to do totally OOC things or say the most atrocious dialogue or put into another universe altogether. The problem is that nearly ANYONE can think to themselves 'Say, I'd like to write a fanfic about so and so' and put their pen to paper (or hand to keyboard) and start writing. And sometimes the results aren't pretty. And the worst case scenario is when bad fanfiction turns into equally bad published novels (I've suffered my fair share of awful Austen sequels)...quel horreur. But that is the case in almost every form of media these days, and fanfic isn't an exception.

Regardless, I'm still a big proponent for fanfiction, esp. when put in the capable hands of talented writers who really know their fandom/characters back to front.
almaviva90: (Default)
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1. The Sound of Music (1965)
2. The Remains of the Day (1993)
2, Sense and Sensibility (1995)
4. Great Expectations (1946)

...those four films should definitely not be remade in any way.
almaviva90: (la ci darem la mano)
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If I had the choice, I'd move back to the 1980s to the UK. Of course, the Tory government and the economic situation wasn't all that great in those days but I'd suffer those willingly just to see Thomas Allen at the Royal Opera House singing Don Giovanni and Count Almaviva amongst other roles. Plus the 80s were the time to see Queen in their prime in their concerts.

Second choice might be to go back to the early 19th Century during the Napoleonic Wars or the late 19th/20th Centuries in Britain. Imagine what fun it would be for my history-focussed mind to see Jane Austen's works being published in the Regency, hear news of Wellington's victories in the Iberian Peninsula as well as Waterloo or even see Oscar Wilde's plays opening in London. *sighs*

But of course, those things will never happen, alas.
almaviva90: (Default)
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As much as I'm making it my goal to be an academic historian, I'd definitely love to be a world-class writer, stage actor or even opera singer.

Unfortunately I don't quite have the talent to be the latter three as much as I want to be. But a life in the arts would definitely give the more fulfilling life for me...you can travel the world, get new experiences and meet more people rather than being shut up in your lonely research lab or office, trying to write your research paper or book (I've seen firsthand how academics work and it's a rather daunting looking prospect). A life in the arts might seem the more glamorous career but in the words of my favourite baritone, 'Everyone sees the swan gliding across the lake but not the frantic paddling that goes on underneath'. Don't quite remember exactly the words he said but that's the main gist of it.

Alas, one can only dream... *sighs wistfully*
almaviva90: (thoughtful TA)
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The high point of 2009 for me was most definitely getting a lovely and totally unexpected handwritten card from a certain operatic baritone whose name I will not mention since I'm too shy to say so publicly...I'm still in disbelief whether as to he really wrote back to me. *thanks profusely him once again for being so generous to an almost anonymous fan* And yes, I would so totally rewind and go back to the moment I realised what I was holding and reading in my hands...the feeling was incredible!

One fond memory of 2009 is hanging out with [livejournal.com profile] x_reggg and [livejournal.com profile] enserric at Elements over the summer...that was probably the most fun get-together of the year for me seeing that I was and still am totally lacking in social life at HKU. This could be rivaled though by the little escapade we had at the airport to see off [livejournal.com profile] cerulean88 to the States on January 1st of all days! Oh, and watching the sixth HP film was simply awesome...SNAPE!!! *clears throat loudly after her sudden fangirling* Mr Wray coming to my prize giving ceremony in November was also nice and memorable. It was wonderful  to see him again. Plus 2009 has been pretty great regarding my personal interest and progress in understanding and enjoying a rather new (give and take, lol)  interest: opera. I've made two lovely friends as a result of this and the ensuing emails and discussions really helped in keeping my mind sane over the year!

Low points? Eh, don't want to dwell on them too much...but being still stuck at HKU and being unable to go to Durham was REALLY a total point for me this year. Ah well...I'll try to at least visit the UK next year *crosses fingers*...hello 2010!
almaviva90: (posa)
[Error: unknown template qotd] For me, it can range from the smell of perfectly toasted toast, a perfect cup of milk tea or to  the smell of newly printed books, to name a few. Or even a person getting my last name remotely near its correct pronunciation (which alas creates many 'versions' of my name, from the utterly humorous to the utterly dismal -__-)
almaviva90: (the merry widow)
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The language which I'm best at (and might be tentatively called my mother tongue despite me not being English or American at all) is English while the second best language I'm good at is French though I seriously need to revise the latter. I know a bit of German and Italian but would love to have a go at learning Russian which is just simply awesome.
almaviva90: (posa)
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First, lol at the choice of title for this...since 'Sense and Sensibility' is one of my favourite novels/films.

I think it'd be tough choice between all of them but I think I'd keep my sense of hearing...my world would be awful, I think, if I weren't able to hear the voices of those I love and care for. Plus a world without listening to music and opera and the sound of Alan Rickman or Thomas Allen's voice, for example, would be unbearable!
almaviva90: (maestro)
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Gah...now that would be a very hard decision to make... =/

Probably I'd choose the 1990 recording of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte with Thomas Allen, Franciso Araiza, Jose van Dam, et al, conducted by Sir Neville Marriner - that is, if I really had to be forced to pick one out of my favourites. Either that or the 1984 recording of Don Giovanni also with Allen and conducted by Bernard Haitink.

But I guess I'm kind of cheating in a way since both recordings take up 3 CDs...

almaviva90: (danilo)
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It really depends...sometimes after a really long holiday and basically I've done everything that I planned to do beforehand, I can't wait to get back to school. But nowadays when you're in the full swing of essay deadlines, work deadlines, etc...I've got to admit that I'm definitely living for the weekends when they're the only time you have some semblance of a reasonable excuse to relax without anyone pestering you.
almaviva90: (the merry widow)
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There's simply too many to choose from -- but my top three are probably:

1. The infamous 'book scene' from The Remains of the Day which I know probably isn't classically categorised as a romantic film but that scene was positively mesmerising.

2. The gazebo scene from The Sound of Music, yes...I'm a real romantic softie at heart. That scene always makes a certain part of me melt no matter how many times I've watched it. And a very dashing Christopher Plummer doesn't help much either in this case!

3. The scene where Hugh Grant's Edward Ferrars finally confesses all to Emma Thompson's Elinor near the end of the film, Sense and Sensibility...his quote always sticks in my head: 'that my heart is, and always will be, yours.'

almaviva90: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Well, in my case it's not a matter of seeing a band...it's more like trying to see a particular singer, an opera singer to be precise.

And goodness, do I have to travel more than just moving from one city to another or one state to another...it's more like one country to another since I have to make a trip all the way from Hong Kong to the UK in order to get any chance of seeing him perform.

The things I do for my interests...*head palm*
almaviva90: (maestro)
[Error: unknown template qotd] At the moment...Viva la Vida  by Coldplay on my Creative Zen. The next most played rock song is Read my Mind by the Killers.  The most played opera/classical song/aria is probably 'Vedro, mentr'io sospiro' from Le nozze di Figaro or Some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific, both sung by Sir Thomas Allen.

I listen to some very strange music, lol.

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