Top 10 cultural highlights of 2017

2017 was an eventful year for culture. My new year resolution last year was to go to more different theatres. Well, it was certainly achieved! In 3 countries and 10 different venues I saw operas, ballet, plays, a panto, a carol concert, a jazz concert and a rock concert played on cellos. This year was particularly memorable because we went to La Scala and Bolshoi theatre for the first time – both absolutely incredible.

10. Christmas Carols with readings by Rupert Graves from Sherlock and others (Temple Church)

9. Sleeping Beauty (The Chipping Norton Theatre)

8. Chris Potter (Blue Note, Milan)

7. Apocolyptica (South Bank Centre) / Hypnotic Brass Ensamble (Electric Brixton)

6. Three Sisters (Piccadilly Theatre)

5. Il Trovatore (The Royal Open House)

4. Queen Anne (Haymarket Theatre)

3. Silfida ballet (Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow)

2. Don Giovanni (La Scala, Milan)

  1. Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci (The Royal Opera House).

What a year! Next year I hope to see more plays. Also as this is going to be my last year as a ‘young friend’ of the Royal Opera House I think I will spend more time there again. I will start quite soon by seeing Carmen on opening night. Anna Goryachova, a Russian mezzo-soprano, will make her debut that very evening so I look forward to supporting her.

In 2017 the world’s culture has also suffered a terrible, terrible loss – Dmitry Hvorostovsky left us. My whole family and I have adored him, certainly all of my life. Not only was he the best opera singer, he sang lots of traditional Russian and Soviet songs and has filled the lives of many people across the world with happiness. I was so fortunate to have seen him in Un Ballo in Maschera in Covent Garden in 2015 and I will cherish that memory forever. He died age 55 which reminds us again that we need to live now and enjoy life now.

I wish you all a healthy, interesting and joyful New Year!

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