So 2012 has come and gone, and we are getting ready to welcome 2013. Will it be better or worse than 2012? That remains to be seen. There is something I wanted to share with you, though–a saint generator for 2013. It’s a computer program that generates a saint’s name that you can take as your special patron for the New Year–or not; it’s all up to you, really. I just wanted to share it because I think it’s pretty neat.
You can read more about it at the following site, which also provides a link to the generator itself: http://catholicseeking.blogspot.com/2011/12/patron-saint-for-year-devotion.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook
One of the presents with my name on it under the Christmas tree this year was the 25th anniversary cast recording of Les Miserables. Now this is different from the 25th anniversary concert which starred Alfie Boe and Norm Lewis; this was recorded during a live performance of the touring UK production that was revamped especially for the musical’s 25th anniversary. Since it was essentially awesomeness in a box, I wanted to share my thoughts about the performances. Please note that I won’t be including Katie Hall in this since she played Cosette in this and the 25th anniversary concert, so I was already used to her singing.
- John Owen Jones (Jean Valjean): I knew what to expect but was blown away anyway. I’m beginning to think this man could sing from the phone book and still make it sound passionate, introspective, and moving.
- Earl Carpenter (Inspector Javert): I’m awfully sorry, Norm Lewis, but I think Earl Carpenter has replaced you as my favorite Javert. His voice had the perfect amount of haughtiness without going over the top. His voice is also pretty evenly matched with John Owen Jones’s, making their shared songs outstanding. Seriously, the confrontation is outstanding. And Carpenter’s version of “Stars”…whoa.
- Madelena Alberto (Fantine): For several months Lea Salonga has been my ideal Fantine…and then Madelena Alberto opened her mouth. Now they’re battling for supremacy in my head.
- Ashley Artus and Lynne Wilmont (The Thenadiers): I didn’t think much of the Thenadiers when I first saw them in the 25th anniversary concert, but Ashley and Lynne’s performances meshed perfectly, and each complemented the other in a way I hadn’t expected to hear. After listening to them, I can see how the Thenadiers, as despicable as they are, are an integral part of Les Miserables. The show simply wouldn’t be the same without them.
- Rosalind James (Eponine): Samantha Barks is and always shall be my favorite Eponine…but Rosalind James is an awfully close second.
- Gareth Gates (Marius): Yay, a Marius who can sing (cough, Nick Jonas, cough)! Seriously, though, Gareth gave a nice, solid performance as the young student/revolutionary who falls in love with Valjean’s adopted daughter Cosette.
- Jon Robyns (Enjolras): I’ll be honest; it was difficult to be 100% objective judging this character after hearing Ramin Karimloo sing the same part in the 25th anniversary concert (anyone who has ever heard Ramin sing anything will understand), but I did my best. Jon seemed a bit shaky at the start, but he quickly found his footing and gave a rousing performance.
And as for everyone else in the cast, it was as if the producers cast all of the awesome people they could find.
I realize that this post was probably very strange and will most likely not make sense to most of the people who read it, but I wanted to write it, so there. Merry Christmas. 🙂
It’s that time of year again, the day before Christmas, the day when, to quote “It Came upon the Midnight Clear”, “The world in solemn stillness waits to hear the angels sing.” I just got on to wish everyone a Merry Christmas in case I don’t make any Christmas-themed posts tomorrow and to share an interesting article on Christmas itself.
Merry Christmas! Christus natus est! Glorificate Eum!
I don’t know how many of you are familiar with The Red Green Show, a Canadian comedy that ran for fifteen years and spoofed handyman/outdoors shows, but it has a reputation for having some of the most hilarious sketches I have ever seen. Case in point is this clip from The Red Green Show‘s very first Christmas special; the clip focuses on Red Green arguing for Santa Claus’s reality…in the most unexpected way imaginable.
There’s another good clip from the show wherein Red’s friend Dalton raves about the “pagan origins of Christmas” and how he won’t let his family celebrate anymore because of that, but, alas, I can’t find it on YouTube, so Red’s discourse on Santa will have to suffice.
Pity, though, because there’s a great line in there: “You know, I’m not a psychiatrist, Dalton, but I think you finally have all four wheels off the road.”
Today, the Third Sunday of Advent, is Gaudete Sunday, a day in Advent when we take time to rejoice in the fact that the Birth of Christ is almost here. It takes its name from the first word of today’s Introit (“gaudete” is Latin for “rejoice”) and is notable because it is one of the two times in the entire Liturgical Year when the priest wears rose-colored vestments (the other time being Latarae Sunday in Lent). It was also the inspiration behind the popular medieval Christmas carol “Gaudete”, which just so happens to be one of my favorite seasonal songs.
Today happens to be the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of all the Americas. The story behind this feast is one of the most intriguing in the Church; you’ll see why in this article as it explains the extraordinary symbolism in the imagery.
To this day, science has not been able to explain how the image was produced on the tilma or why the tilma has not disintegrated in the normal fashion. To anyone who believes in God, however, the answer is simple.
Our Lady of Guadalupe (image from Wikipedia, which has actually proven useful for something)
So I saw an interview that Hugh Jackman, one of the stars of the upcoming film release of Les Miserables, did with a news program, and it included some clips from the movie. My verdict on Hugh Jackman’s singing as Jean Valjean: “Gaaahhhh! It’s Gerard Butler as the Phantom all over again! Noooooooo!”
It’s sad, really; I had such hopes for this movie, especially hearing some of the other cast members sing. Anne Hathaway is a beautiful Fantine; Eddie Redmayne has some impressive musical chops as Marius, and I already know from the 25th anniversary concert that Samantha Barks is a killer Eponine. But Valjean is the central role of the entire play, and if the singing is weak on his part, the entire impact is lessened.
This is how “Bring Him Home” should be sung, ladies and gentlemen:
Need I say more?