Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Richard Armitage in Australia, April 29, 2013

Five books Richard - you've been reading 5 books for five (5) potential roles in potential films!  Five books!

Aaaargh! What are those five books??????! The mind boggles!

Richard, Richard, Richard, you're going to make me pay again for a subscription to IMDB Pro aren't you?  Oh yes you are! I'm going to want to know what films are out there in pre-production or just a glimmer in some producers eye based on some book! Oh yes you are, aren't you Richard darling! My financial loss is IMDB's gain! 

Oh Richard

Oh my Richard! Who cares about big CV's! Who can look and listen to you and not cast you in all five or more films! Producers and Directors, listen to us! Cast Him!!!

Based on a "charming book"?  Oh Richard!!!! 

To know what I'm talking about read the charming interview/conversation with Alice Tynan on The Vine:


"Oh My Goodness"

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Dear Sean Bean

Happy Birthday Sean

How long can you be a fan? How long can you be a fan of someone you've never met? I don't know the answer for everyone, but for me, on Sean Bean's 54th birthday, it will be 24 years of fandom. 

I've never worked in the same place, or lived in the same apartment/house, for that long. Yet I've been a fan of Sean Bean's for all those years, and at times it seems only yesterday I first saw him on screen, in that small townhouse movie theater that no longer exists.  

I could not have guessed at that moment that it would last this long.  Looking back I can't believe Sean and I were that young once. He's aged well like fine wine, much better than I have I can confess.

Like all human beings our real lives have had their ups and downs.  For me his private life is his own business. I respect him for being his own man and not going Hollywood. I've never met, or even glimpsed Sean Bean in real life, and I sometimes wonder if we would even like each other. But our "relationship" as fan and admired actor is tried and true. 

Has it always been happy times, this fan relationship I have with this man? The answer is no, it hasn't been all fun. It has brought me great joy at times, and I've met very interesting people because of it, many who have only connected with my life for a blink of time, but what an unforgettable blink of time. Because of Sean Bean I've dared some things I would never have dared without him, and I'm grateful for that. But it has also brought me unhappiness at times. Not because of him, but because of me and what was going on in my life and heart at certain times. Through it all Sean Bean has been true to me, because whenever I've seen him on the big screen, or small screen, or laptop screen, I've always been moved by his performance. 

Have they always been wonderful cinematic and TV experiences?  Truthfully they haven't all been. I've seen some movies and TV shows I would never have watched except to see him. I've fast forwarded through several films and shows and watched just his moments. Some films and shows might have disappointed me, but Sean Bean, the actor, never has. That is the truth of all actor's careers - you have to take the good with the bad. As a fan, I enjoy the good, and accept the bad.   

Ah, but some roles can be magical: Mellors, Lovelace, Boromir, Ned Stark...and so many more. 

Then there's Richard Sharpe!  Sean's Sharpe for me is a separate entity from the actor and my "love affair" with Sharpe has also had its peaks and valleys.  But like all first fantasy loves, never to be equaled. 

I'm very happy that this year Sean Bean the actor is finally being recognized. Recently he won the prestigious Royal Television Society award for Best Actor in Accused and he's nominated for a BAFTA this year for  Television Leading Actor also for Accused.

Happy Birthday Dear Sean Bean - Have a Wonderful Day

Photos: Google Images - Various Sources

Remembering Brian Bean


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Bass Sound in a Male Voice

"You know, there's nothing like a male voice choir; the bass sound in a male voice choir is very rousing, I think." Richard Armitage,  DIY Interview

I have to agree that there's nothing like a male bass voice and Armitage has that male bass voice that is very rousing indeed.  

Thorin and the Dwarves singing the Misty Mountains song in the first Hobbit movie has inspired other bass voices as well:

"Misty Mountains Cold" from The Hobbit, live by the U.S. Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

I have an earlier post somewhere on the blog that was inspired by an earlier interview when Richard Armitage talked about the Russian  male choir, and I talked a bit about my family history listening to Russian male army choirs. I grew up in a family that loves the arts and so I grew up going to all sorts of live performances, including the opera. Several members of my family were big opera fans and as a child and even later, I tagged along for many wonderful performances. If only I would have appreciated it more at the time, but I certainly appreciate the memories now. 

Though not an opera fan like some of my relatives, I have a few favorite operas and favorite arias, and have always appreciated the bass voice more than the tenors. Here are two of my favorite arias, one performed by a male choir and the other by a great opera bass singer of an earlier generation.

Welsh Male Choir Nessun Dorma from Puccini's  Opera Turandot 

Italo Tajo "Madamina, il catalogo รจ questo"  The Catalogue Aria, Don Giovanni  

Richard Armitage can relate to the "mille et tre" with his growing legion of fans.

We have to remember that Richard is a musician and knows much better than I the power of music. I have my hopes up that we'll hear him sing more in the next Hobbit film this December.  

I also started volunteering for arts and performing arts groups at an early age, when I was in High School and later college. I remember volunteering for a time for the Washington National Opera sorting tickets and mailing them out to subscribers. A group of us would be in a room backstage sorting through all this while the evening's performance was on stage. We could listen to, though not see, the entire opera from loudspeakers in our windowless room. 

Going back to Armitage's comments on the male bass voice and male choirs, below are more examples of the power of the voice and the deepest of male singing voices: 

Russian basso profondo - Russian choir

Serbian basso profondo - low voices of Serbia

Canto Gregoriano - Monjes de Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgos, Spain

In conclusion, my favorite male choir-  Richard Armitage and The Hobbit (Dwarf Cast):

Thank you Richard Armitage for the inspiration. 

From the DIY Interview - the entire quote:

"I suppose an extended version of the boot camp was when all the dwarves went into the studio and started singing. But because I had to work on that little bit of singing on my own, we did work on a sound for him. I didn't want him to sound like he was any kind of trained singer, he was just somebody who had a voice. The dwarves were notoriously good singers though... it was very nerve-wracking! You know, there's nothing like a male voice choir; the bass sound in a male voice choir is very rousing, I think." Richard Armitage

For the entire interview click HERE

Thank you to Richard Armitage Central and RichardArmitagenet.com for the pics/scans.

(apologies in advance to all the opera aficionados for any mistakes in opera terminology)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Graham McTavish Mentions Sean Bean at Hobbitcon

If you listen to Graham McTavish and his first audio clip at link below, audio from Hobbitcon, about halfway he mentions working with Sean Bean and filming in India (Sharpe's Challenge).


Link and audio from Heirs of Durin

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Ceramics of the Ancestors: A Spring Day at the Mall

Photos of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in 
Washington DC. 

This weekend the museum's first bi-lingual exhibit (English/Spanish), Ceramica de los Ancestros (Ceramics of the Ancestors) opened to the public. It is a temporary exhibit that will be on display until 2015. If you live in the Washington DC area or are visiting in the next few years I recommend you go and see this beautiful exhibit of ceramics, pottery, jade, and gold from Central America. 

NMAI Photo from the Exhibit

"The ceramics these diverse communities left behind, combined with recent archaeological discoveries, help tell the stories of these cultures and their achievements. The exhibition examines seven regions representing distinct Central American cultural areas that are today part of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama." (quote from the exhibit press kit).

There are some beautiful ceramics and sculptures in this exhibit. My favorite are the different portrayals of women. Some are whimsical and some are mysterious, but all are beautiful. The detail on some of the works on display are amazing and really provide a historical and social record of daily life and of  the spiritual beliefs of the people in this area a thousand years ago, and still today. 

There are also a few beautiful jade carvings and gold pins that are again amazing in their detail.  You can get a little taste of the exhibit from the Smithsonian video below:

My visit to the exhibit was too short and I know I will go back several times before the exhibit closes in early 2015. 

(Photos of Washington DC and the NMAI Museum are mine, sorry they're not perfect quality, but it was still a lovely almost spring day)


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