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30 August 2011

Posted by DMC on 30 August 2011 in Diary |

Unusually I’m going to start with a video which reminded me of an amazing coincidence 50 years ago. I may have already recounted this in the earlier part of my blog but it bears repeating. 

An absolutely remarkable story!  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agwnwqCdwl8

You might wonder what this amazing coincidence has to do with me.

I had similar experience myself a few years ago in Australia. It all came about because I played a small part in half a dozen operas at Sadler’s Wells when I was 18 years old. If you’re interested then I suggest you read the whole story which is included in the Anecdotes Section under the heading of Treading the boards at Sadlers Wells..

The point being that although I only played this small part in these operas I could not do it every night so I alternated with someone else who, of course, I never met as we were never there and the same evening. This then is my story. 

55 years later I found myself sitting in the Sydney Opera House waiting for a performance of La Boheme to commence. A group of five people came and sat next to me and after some shuffling about the seat immediately adjacent was occupied by an elderly gentleman. Passing the time of day we discovered we were both from the UK then, he said apropos of nothing in particular, ” I actually appeared in this opera some 50 years ago”. “Really“, I said, ” Surprisingly, so did I.” It took us no time at all to establish that we had both been performing at Sadlers Well’s during the same season and this, now retired surgeon, who started his medical career at Guys Hospital, was the person who performed with Big John on the nights when I wasn’t there. What an absolutely amazing coincidence, even to the point of which, of the five people sat next to me on that evening, it just happened to be that one.. Afterwards, I wondered what role he played in LaBohème. Certainly, not like me, an urchin. He was probably a far more accomplished actor than I, or at least, a better rehearsed one.. Sadly we did not exchange cards otherwise it might have been amusing to have caught up with him in the UK, but maybe just those few magical moments were enough to spark a fascinating memory.

Today, being a Tuesday, it was geriatric golf day. I went with Ollie as usual and buzzed around the course in my wheelchair before enjoying a decent lunch with dear Carl Creasey doing the honours by feeding me.

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