Nina Gouveia - Yoga Instructor - Muse
Saturday, October 13, 2012
My Mother's Red Shawl - El Rebozo Colorado
Nina Gouveia - Yoga Instructor - Muse
This scarlet shawl makes me feel sad and happy .......Sad I miss my friend Alex. Tea in his garden....many hours together in his studio or a lunch here or there. I like and am inspired by his excited mind and talent as a photographer, plus he has a determined passion. Happy because times with Alex ...I left feeling smart and beautiful ....sometimes chastised ...but always in a way that made me smile and know I could not call his bluff. I love the scarlet shawl. I love the history and the color. Many times posing for Alex I was not wearing much, as with the shawl, I never felt exposed . When we worked together we would spend hours in his studio bouncing ideas off each other, it was like a dancing of intuition, of what the next pose would be ...sometimes no words were needed. They were magical times. Years earlier he took a photograph of me holding a bulls head nude .....poetry ...the scarlet scarf, the bulls head ....for shadowing, as I now live in Spain. I miss being Tina Modotti.
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Johnna Wright & Sascha
Director/Mother - Son/Dreamer
Decker & Nick Hunt
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Vancouver Sun Columnist
Statesman, Flag Designer
Vancouver Sun Columnist
Lauren Elizabeth Stewart
Two Out Of Three
Friday, October 12, 2012
This story is weaved (see addendum below) around so many other stories that I almost don’t know where to begin.
But I will take my friend Les Wiseman’s advice to, “Never start at the beginning but somewhere in the middle and then work both ways.” His advice has served me well in the past.
Somewhere in the middle, then, I was at the Marble Arch hotel some years ago with the then-not-yet-quite famous Bif Naked. We were sitting watching the strippers. She over a beer, me over a soda water. The owner of the establishment, Tony Ricci
, with that big smile on his face came to greet me. I introduced him to Bif who was wearing a tight black T-shirt. We had a chat and that was that. Now by then Bif had an impressive set of tattoos on her left arm. A few days later I ran into Ricci who questioned me,” Who was that girl with you, who had that impressive chest?”
Ricci I believe may have asked me in a crasser manner but this blog has some rules of good taste, I believe. What struck me as strange is that Ricci never noticed the tattoos.
I was a year or two before that I had been called by my friend writer, punk bank impresario, and white collar crime investigator (pretty well singlehandedly brought down the Vancouver Stock Exchange) Adrian du Plessis. Du Plessis
had a friend and he wanted me to mentor her in photography. I reluctantly said yes. This is how I met one of my best photographic subjects whom I would call (with an apology to Edward Weston
) my Tina Modotti. I did give Nina Gouveia
some lessons but I quickly realized, most selfishly that it was better to have her in front of my camera. I photographed Gouveia for many years until she left Canada for Southern Spain where she resides with her cats, chickens, etc and teaches yoga.
Gouveia kept telling me of her friend Bif. I thought this was some strong young man who might be a brick layer or logger. Bif turned out to be the much tattooed Bif. Gouveia and I went often to listen to Bif sing with one of her best bands. She seemed to languish. She was super talented they were not. With Gouveia and with my underhanded (was I?) suggestion that we photograph Bif so that she (Gouveia) could learn photography we had a few sessions. One was in Gouveia’s house which I dressed to look what I thought a Mexican house of ill-repute might have looked like in the 1940s. My two subjects posed and I took memorable photographs
that somehow don’t quite fit here. A second session at the Ricci’s Marble Arch, on the very bed that I had photographed many other women including the infamous Ilona Staller
produced beautiful photographs of which an example you can see here.
On another evening I was having another soda water with Bif (over beer) at Sam Sorich’s
Cecil Hotel (sadly gone to accommodate a soon to be finished squeaky vertical concrete establishment that will not feature beer and women of loose dressing habits). One of the waitresses (the term server was yet to be uttered by anybody) was a friend of Bif’s. After her shift was over she sat down. This was Jennifer Froese a beautiful woman with a sad streak on her face.
As so many women I ran into in those days before I became the shy recluse that I now am, I invited Froese to my nearby studio on Granville and Robson. It, the studio has been demolished, and it will soon be a vertical concrete establishment that will not sell beer or feature women of loose dressing habits).
I believe that Froese was the first person I ever photographed with the brilliant red Mexican rebozo that my mother brought back from Mexico City to Buenos Aires in 1952. Shortly after taking pictures of Froese, I photographed Gouveia in the red shawl. Gouveia posed, exposed and I have decided that her photograph is much too beautiful to censor in what I now call my red shawl project
In this project, which features people I know from many professions, I have about 30 up in this blog and ten in the can. I am in wait with those ten until my subjects send me copy (an essay on anything).
My inspiration came from the photographs of German photographer August Sander who for a bit more than half a century in the beginning of the 20th photographed all the walks of life in Germany, from the lowest to the highest. He showed an uncanny objective respect for his subjects. I marvel at these portraits and wonder why he is not better known.
If I were younger (and with money) I would be looking for a gallery and or a grant. I believe that these pictures with their matching essays represent a rich archive of our city.
But I must now take Wiseman’s advice and work my way to the end. I have no idea where Froese may be these days. Perhaps she will see the pictures here, contact me and send me an essay. I would be thrilled. Soon Gouveia will send her piece and those who are reading here will delight in her sensual elegance. And, I will keep my fingers crossed, that the third person featured here might find time to pose for me in my mother’s magical red rebozo.
Addendum: Generally, the simple past tense is "wove," and the past participle is "woven." This is when one refers to weaving cloth or a basket. However, when referring to cars weaving in and out of traffic, the correct past tense is "weaved", e.g. the cars weaved in and out of the line of traffic. Merriam-Webster-Dictionary.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
|October 10, 2012|
Fuji Instant b+w film ISO 3200
In 2000 I had a joint show with two Argentine painters, Juan Manuel Sánchez and Nora Patrich, and an Argentine photographer Claudia Katz. Our show was about our nostalgia for our country. I had been slow all my life to finally realize then that to have nostalgia for your home country you had to be away from it!
The show, called Nostalgia
led to further collaborations with Patrich and Sánchez. But some 6 years ago the couple called it quits, separated and each returned to Buenos Aires separately. I miss our daily conversations on the phone and the almost daily visits in which we sipped mate. I miss, most of all talking about art and not feeling isolated as I feel now without them.
But some months ago I met the fabulous Stefanie Denz
, a painter with German roots who lives in Salt Spring Island. She is represented by Celia Duthie
at the Duthie Gallery
there. Duthie and Denz are also friends. When suggested that I have a show in her gallery next June and that the show be one of my erotic photographs
I came up with the idea of perhaps having some collaborations ( I called my works with Patrich and Sánchez, colaboraciones) with Denz. She did agree and yesterday (Denz took the ferry from Salt Spring) we had a session with Bronwen Marsden
at her house in East Vancouver.
Much of Denz’s work is voyeuristic. She was keen then to have me photograph Marsden while she sketched the proceedings. To me this was a splendid ratcheting upwards of her voyeurism.
|Fuji Instant b+w 3200 ISO|
I realized, that if things go as I think they will I will find myself for the first time in my life as a subject in a painting or sketch. On Wednesday morning I removed a clean pair of blue jeans and put on some black ones. Rosemary enquired if there was something wrong with the blue jeans. I told her that because I was going to wear a light blue dress shirt I though the black would go better. I even considered wearing a tie!
Our session with Marsden was fun. Although I did not sip mate or converse in Spanish, Marsden offered me a hot cup of coffee when I arrived and later we three sipped a lovely tea in beautiful tea cups. I left refreshed and my nostalgia for working with someone else on a joint project was temporarily satisfied. I believe we will continue.
Thanksgiving, A Little Girl, A Cat & Lots Of Pumpkins
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Calabaza: 2, loc. verb. coloq. Desairarlo or rechazarlo cuando requiere amores.
Diccionario de la Real Academia Española (RAE)
As an Argentine, when I was young, an unusual meal was either chicken or pork chops. Beef was the daily dish most of the time. It was only until we moved to Mexico in 1955 that I was exposed to guajolote
which is Mexican for the Spanish word pavo
|Lauren Stewart October 6, 2012|
In Argentina a pava
is not only a female turkey but also a kettle with which you boil water. It is easy to see the resemblance of a turkey’s neck with the long spout of classic kettles. Furthermore in Argentine Spanish pavadas is a soft word for balderdash. Pavadas are never any reason to worry about or prevent one from having a good night’s sleep.
Mexicans with their guajolotes
have no pavas
. They call a kettle in which you may boil water to make tea a cafetera
. We Argentines do not see the logic of boiling water in a coffee pot to brew tea. But then it was in Mexico where I went to a fine Jewish café and ordered a “té con leche”. I was served a cup of very hot boiled milk in which a tea bag was floating incongrously.
Mexicans are not only missing kettle from their Spanish. An apple pie in my Argentina is “un pastel de manzana”. An apple cake would be a “una torta de manzana”. In Mexico a torta
is not a cake but a sandwich made from a special scarab (or turtle)-shaped loaf of bread called a telera
. Neither Argentines nor Mexicans have ever felt comfortable with the Spanish from Spain emparedado
(from the verb to wall up). We call sandwiches just that, sandwiches. Spelling fluctuates wildly. A Mexican sandwich is never made from a telera. That would make it a torta. For it to be Sandwich is has to be made from pan Bimbo
. I am sure that most who are reading this know what that is.
Since Mexicans do not have the Argentine torta for cake they call cakes pastel
(Argentine Spanish for pie). But if you want to find a word in Mexican Spanish to order a slice of apple pie you will be forced to ask for a pay de manzana
(pronounced pie as in English). It cannot be written pie
in Mexican Spanish as pie
is foot. Foot in mouth, even apple flavoured, is no good.
Now in Argentina a zapallo
is what here in Canada you would see as a classic Halloween type of pumpkin. In my youth, Mercedes our housekeeper/cook liked to mix either carrots or zapallo with our mashed potatoes. I could never put pumpkin or any kind of squash or sweet potato here in my Vancouver home as Rosemary will only eat pumpkin pie and none of those gourds can ever be used in any other recipes.
is the classic Spanish word for pumpkins and their cousins. But calabazas
is what you get when your would-be lover rejects you. This term is alien outside of Cervantes’s homeland. I was given calabazas, over the phone, one very cold dreary Buenos Aires.
For the many years I lived in Mexico I tolerated a particular Mexican squash called a chayote
. It is similar to the zucchini but if I understand well they are only related but not first cousins. A squash
in the fabulous chain of Mexican (but almost American-style) drugstore/café/restaurant called Sanborn’s is a fizzy, non alcoholic drink made with cut up strawberries, and pineapple and of course with that wonderful maraschino cherry.
I love maraschino cherries because in Mexico, I could never indulge in fresh cherries. The hot climate prevents the cultivation of cherry trees. There is a terrible substitute called a capulín
which resembles my favourite fruit but the taste is bland.
The above is but an overture explanation as to why last Saturday, when we had our Thanksgiving dinner , it did not feature a turkey. For rosemary and me, a turkey brings us fond memories of many years back when our friend, the travel writer Gary Marchant
came for a post Christmas dinner. We had (unaccountably) a turkey for our Christmas Eve dinner so Rosemary concocted from a Vancouver Sun recipe something called turkey enchiladas. They were wonderful with melted cheese and hot sauce over the baked dish.
There is no way that we could have served turkey enchiladas for our Thanksgiving dinner because Hilary (Lauren and Rebecca’s mother) loves Yorkshire pudding. Rosemary makes the best Yorkshire pudding in the world. Hilary used to have it for breakfast with honey! But here on Athlone Street Yorkshire pudding is a much desired dished as I am in charge of the gravy. Good Yorkshire pudding requires drippings from a roast beef. I would have to stick my neck out if I were to serve turkey gravy on Rosemary’s pudding. The other ingredients of my gravy are shallots, white wine, a pinch of sugar, chopped parsley and cream.
So I was dispatched to Safeway to secure a Thanksgiving roast. But this proved to be a difficult task. Because of the massive recall of tainted beef all Safeway had available was prime rib. I had never ever cooked this expensive cut. I paid a fortune for it and I was lambasted with calabazas by my wife. Dinner was a success. We had barbecued corn on the cob liberally spread with very hot piri-piri sauce from Nando’s. Rosemary insisted I make a batch (the last of the year until next late spring) of my iced tea. This time around I dispensed with the fresh orange juice and opted for mandarin oranges. We went to the Richmond Farm by Fantasy Garden in Richmond to buy the corn, the mandarin oranges and the fresh cranberries (I make the cranberry sauce that Rebecca always expects for Thanksgiving and Christmas). It was there that I went nuts taking pictures with my 3G iPhone of all the many bins full of pumpkins and their derivatives. I longed to buy a few and bake them in the oven. But I would have eaten all by myself - not a happy thought.
|Casi-Casi, October 6, 2012|
Souls & Moments Long Gone
Monday, October 08, 2012
My ship the Río Aguapey a merchant Victory ship of the now defunct Argentine Merchant Marine Company, ELMA was casting off from the Brazilian port of Santos. It was sometime in October 1966. I was the only passenger. The Argentine Navy after my two years of service was repatriating me to my home in Veracruz, Mexico. The ship was meandering up the Southern Hemisphere, one port at a time.
As we cast off, I felt a lightness that came from the fact that I was an inexperienced 24 year-old whose possessions barely occupied my quarters in the ship. There were three books by my bunk. One was Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West,
another Teilhard de Chardin’s The Phenomenon of Man
and the third, a book that was impossible to understand even after various readings. It was The Philosophy of Hegel
by Carl J. Friedrich. To distract me from the heavy reading I had some back issues of Downbeat Magazine.
My hair was down to my shoulders and for two minutes (perhaps even less) I thought of two different futures. In one I would be an officer on a merchant marine ship, living from a compact ship’s cabin and leaving ports behind, with all those insects and vermin (except for the rats!) on shore. I had soon discovered that in the tropics mosquitoes and flies could not survive in the high seas. But knowing how unhappy my friends, the officers of the Río Aguapey, were and how they told me no matter how many girlfriends they had in the various ports they all longed for the stability of a good home and wife. My other future was to become a Brother of the Holy Cross
. I would instantly obey orders from my superior to travel to a mission in Africa. I would pack a Bible, a couple of pairs of shoes,black, and soc, black, a few shirts, white, and toiletries into a suitcase and instantly be ready for the journey. The idea was momentarily most attractive until I thought of my former girlfriend Corinne who now lived in London and the other Susy who was back in Buenos Aires. No, I could never become a priest.
I have been thinking of those choices I did not make as Rosemary consider our eventual moving from our big house on Athlone Street. Arthritis will eventually make gardening impossible for me and our meager funds will not pay for the upkeep of the house. We will become instant millionaires when we sell the house and move with our cats to a smaller place.
What to do with all the stuff that we have collected in our 44-year marriage? Consider the thousands of books and the many four-drawer metal cabinets full of my life’s work in photography.
Not any more practical that thinking about becoming a priest or sailor is my frequent thought on visiting our daughter Ale in Lillooet. I would hire an arsonist to burn down our house. We would come back from our weekend trip to find our house and all our possessions in cinders. What freedom! But I know I would be caught and prison, at my age would not be a pleasant experience.
There are two articles in my NY Times that have given me some relief and a promise that parting from all those possessions will not be as difficult as I imagine it might be.
Both articles involve novelist Mark Helprin. The first, Bumping into Characters
appeared on October 3 in the House section of my daily delivered hard copy. The article is about how Helprin brings the memories of the past houses he lived in to describe houses and places in his novels.
And then there is my study, constructed according to my specifications and dominated by a great wall of books, which lent itself to the description of Catherine’s rooms “In Sunlight and in Shadow.” Giving to her the rooms in which I myself was writing gave me a great pleasure. At first I didn’t know why, but then I understood.
The day of the physical book as anything but a curious artifact is fast approaching. Out of continuing affection, I built a library to hold the books that I have read and those I have written. Much like the sweet smell from a century–old chimney, they are a wonderful, life sustaining record with far greater power than their mere physical presence. But soon enough these books and what surrounds them will be scattered to the winds.
Houses, rooms, our designs of all sorts and all material things will eventually vanish. Because they cannot last, their value in the present, in memories that die with us, in things that come unbidden to the eye and in the electric, immaterial, miraculous spark that occurs when by accident and design they jump the gap and, like life itself, are propagated into something else, becoming for a moment pure spirit, thus to become everlasting
And in the October 7 Book Review of the NY Times there is a review of Helprin’s latest novel In Sunlight and in Shadow
by Liesl Shillinger. Shillinger writes:
As for female readers, it may be helpful to ponder the insight Harry shares with his beloved Catherine: “Girls don’t have what boys have, which is a goatlike capacity to bang with the head against heavy objects that will not move.”
If this is so, “boys” may be more apt than girls to savor the repeat impact of Harry’s floodgate cargo, bearing the news that “the whole world is nothing more than what you remember and what you love, things fleeting and indefensible, light and beautiful, that were not supposed to last, echoing forever.”
And further down:
When Harry looks down on Manhattan from a height across the Hudson River, he thinks to himself, “All he had to do was close his eyes and breathe deeply, and the past would glide forward like a warm breeze – plumes of smoke silvered in the sun, ferries sliding gracefully to land, their decks crowded with souls long gone but somehow still there as if nothing were lost or ever would be.”
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Saturday 4 November 1956
|Photograph of Maria Callas by Sir Cecil Beaton|
On Saturday afternoon I went to Bing’s [Rudolph bing] box to hear Callas sing Norma a the Met. She was fighting a bad cold and all hell was apparently breaking loose backstage, but she completely captivated me. True her high notes were a bit scratchy but she is a fine singer, beautifully controlled and in technical command of every phrase. She is also an artist: she did some superb bits of acting which only Mary Garden could have equaled. The mezzo was a fat cow with a good strong voice and a good strong claque which shrieked and roared every time she came on. She tried to pinch the show from Callas but she didn’t succeed. At the very end Callas got an ovation the like of which I have seldom heard. She is a perfectionist and a stylist and it was fascinating to see how her quality triumphed with that vast, prejudiced, over-knowledgeable audience. At the Met the rule is that only the voices really count. It is a good rule, of course, for Grand Opera but personally I will always settle for a little less vocal perfection it is offset by good acting and strong personality. I believe that the public, even the diehards, secretly agree with me.
The Noel Coward Diaries edited by Graham Payn & Sheridan Morley
Wednesday October 3 2012
Rosemary and I attended the opening of the Arts Club production of Terrence McNally’s the Master Class
directed by Meg Roe at the Granville Island Stage. On Friday we went to the Telus Studio Theatre
for the penultimate Theatre at UBC, performance of Linda Griffiths’s The Duchess aka Wallis Simpson
directed by Sarah Rodgers.
It was for a Life cover that I photographed the Windsors for the first time. They were sitting together rather stiffly, and they looked at my camera with expressions that reminded me of two elderly and hungry hyenas. After taking this picture, I said gaily, “Don’t look at me so carnivorously. You are the most romantic couple in the world – a king who gave up his thrown to marry the woman he loved.”
The Duke and the Duchess smiled, their heads moved closer together, their features relaxed, and suddenly they looked attractive and much younger. I often use these two pictures in my lectures as an illustration of how radically people can change in ten seconds.
|The Duke & Duchess of Windsor, photograph by Philippe Halsman, 1947|
|The Duke & Duchess of Windsor, photograph by Philippe Halsman|
I would normally write (if I like the plays and I do and did) of each on a separate day but I find that both these plays have much too much in common. Alas for those of you who might read on an realize that while you still can enjoy the Master Class, it ends on October 27, it is much too late to enjoy The Duchess, as much as we did, so exuberantly directed by that most passionate This brings me exactly to why I am writing about these two plays. to begin with, there is that Sarah Rodgers
who is exuberant and passionate and a very good actor, also. This matched my realization that director and actor Meg Roe
has a strong suit in those categories, too.
Monday 25 March 1946
At the Embassy [Paris] just a small dinner for the Windsors. Sat next to Wallis. She was very charming and rather touching. He loves her so much, and at long last I am beginning to believe she loves him. After dinner I played the piano to help the party out.
The Noel Coward Diaries
My primary reason for that above assertion is that as photographer I have been lucky enough to photograph both those women twice. Passion and warmth oozes out from them.
And it is as a photographer that I find so much in common between these two plays about two female celebrities from that past of the 20th Century where celebrities had more staying power. My primary image of both Wallis Simpson (and her husband the Duke of Windsor) and of Maria Callas is one that is seared in my mind by photographs (a few, by one photographer, Philippe Halsman) and one by the other Sir Cecil Beaton. How could I possibly forget Halsman’s photograph of the Windsors jumping up in the air? How could I forget Beaton’s portrait of Callas with those eyebrows and eyes? But it is not only as a photographer that I remember these people as real people much in the same way that H.G. becomes real when you step on his name in Westminster Abbey. I recall newsreels at the movies in Buenos Aires in the 50s and in Mexico City in the 60s. The Windsors are there but more so La Diva Callas shocking with all that eye makeup and those eyebrows.
Sunday 23 November 1958
I went to a grand dinner given by Elsa Maxwell for Callas and von Karajan which was quite enyoyable. Callas looked lovely and couldn’t have been more charming
The Noel Coward Diaries.
Both plays had an air of that authenticity that made me suspect that Callas (Gina Chiarelli, my small beef, more eye makeup please!) and Wallis Simpson (Pippa Johnstone) were in a deep channeling mode. The image of these women in the plays matched those in my head of the women I had seen in photographs, newsreels and opera videotapes.
Sunday 7 December 1958
I took Marlene [Dietrich] to hear Renata Tebaldi tear off the last two acts of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, lovely, lovely singing but, oh, I wish it had been Callas.
The Noel Coward Diaries
I was particularly struck in a city where there seems to be very little cross platform transfer (from dance to ballet, from opera to theatre, from ballet to modern dance, from theatre to ballet) that here was a play, the Master Class, where anybody not too interested in opera might find a good reason to attend one. In fact I have never ever seen Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth
but after having Ghina Chiarelli explain that part where Lady Macbeth does not sing before she does, I want to immediately locate the 1952 complete live recording on DVD by Maria Callas. Those who love opera should try the play. Those who like theatre might get a taste for opera with this play.
Sunday 28 June 1959
On Monday I took Graham [David his financial advisor] to Medea at Covent Garden and we were both overwhelmed by Maria Callas, who was completely and absolutely superb. The opera [Cherubini] is not really up to much and should have been by Strauss, but she makes up for everything. She is one of the few really great artists that I have ever seen in my life. On Wednesday I went to hear Callas again, this time with the Droghedas [Lord and Lady, he chairman of the Royal Opera House], Vivien and Diana Cooper in the royal box. She was more wonderful than ever and it was an enchanting evening.
The Noel Coward Diaries
While watching The Duchess I compared and contrasted two piano players. In The Duchess
Alexander Keurvorst, brilliantly shining in his brilliantined combed back hair, played Noel Coward. He was handsome, charming. His accent was bang on and his piano playing and singing superlative not to mention a fair blow of the alto saxophone. His only competition came from Pippa Johnstone’s Wallis and Matt Reznek’s Hitler.
Saturday 6 April 1946
In the evening the Windsors arrived. The hotel [in Montecarlo] got into a fine frizz and old General Politigor was round my neck like a laurel wreath. I gave them a delicious dinner’ consommé, marrow on toast, grilled langouste, tournedos with sauce béarnaise, and chocolate sufflé. Poor starving France. After that we went to the Casion and Wallis and I gambles until 5 a.m. She was very gay and it was most enjoyable. The Duke sat rather dolefully at one of the smaller tables. At the end of the evening I was financially more or less where I started.
Sunday 7 April 1946
Woke with a slight hangover. The Duke telephoned me, full of charm, and asked us to drinks and to lunch, both of which I refused. In the afternoon we joined the Windsors at the ballet, then we had some supper and more gambling. I lost.
The Noel Coward Diaries
As good as Keurvorst was he was matched by the extremely low key but droll Angus Kellet who played Manny as the répétiteur for Chiarelli’s Callas. He said more by saying nothing and his saying nothing matched in excellence the words of Noel Coward as said so well by Keurvorst. There was something about Kellet’s face that reminded me of the puppy in a cage full of barking stray dogs at the SPCA that makes you pick him simply because he (and the dog) is doing really nothing to make you notice him!
Sunday 24 January 1965
On Sunday afternoon I went to see Fleur de Cactus, grossly overplayed by everyone but Jean Poiret, and vilely directed. The play somehow survived. After this, a pleasant tête-à-tête with Maria Callas, who looked wonderful and couldn’t have been sweeter.
The Noel Coward Diaries
The poor (as abused by Chiarelli’s Callas) female singers Shannon Chan-Kent and Melanie amply prove that our UBC Opera Program is doing just nicely as well as all those actors in The Duchess that speak for the excellence of the theatre program at UBC. If part of the outrageous fees for parking at the Chan (where the Telus Theatre is located) trickles down to those departments I will gladly bow to the extortion.
Sunday 28 March, 1965
I am reading Violet Bonham-Carter’s book on Winston which is very good indeed, and rereading Ebelyn’s Vile Bodies, which is masterly and fresh and wildly funny as it ever was. Maria Callas has had a supreme triumph in Tosca at the Met. I never stop plunging into the pool to rescue grasshoppers, bees, beetles and other insects. I cannot bear to think of those intricate, sensitive mechanisms perishing in chlorine. I also salvage an occasional frog. Not one as yet has had the gratitude to turn into Prince Charming.
The Noel Coward Diaries
I cannot stop here and not mention how charming, and funny Frédérick Robert (Tony the tenor) was with his bell-bottom pants that dragged on the floor. Only he was impervious to anything that was thrown at him by Callas. He was not affected and did it with a performance (and sang very well) that strangely reminded me (the appearance not the singing!) of Buck Cherry’s (aka John Armstrong) in that Vancouver punk band the Modernettes. Saturday 23 August 1946
Peaceful afternoon resting and bathing. Joyce and Graham went off to dine together and I went to the Windsors. A large party, Lelia Westminster, Odette Massigly, etc. I sang and played. The Windsors were charming. I like her and I think that, now, she is genuinely fond of him. They are lovers, so perhaps there is something to be said for the whole set-up. I wonder how their story will end.
The Noel Coward Diaries
The Duchess of Windsor refused the first time, but the second photo session, when her new book seemed a success, she was more relaxed. The Duke came into the sitting room of their apartment in New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, saw what was happening and asked to join.
Philippe Halsman had already learned that he could ask his famous subjects to jump – just for fun – after he took their formal portrait.
Since everyone jumps in a different way – feet together or feet apart; knees bent or knees straight; smiling or no smile; high or low – Halsman’s collection of leaps is both amusing and telling.
Telling, too, are the few who refused – pianist Van Cliburn, television’s Ed Murrow and several members of England’s Establishment. But not their former King. He and his love were happy to demonstrate that for a moment nothing was beneath them.
Life - Classical Photographs – A Personal Interpretation by John Loengard
Monday 23 November 1953
|The Duke & Duchess of Windsor, photograph by Philippe Halsman|
November 9, 1959
Tonight I watched on television the departure of the Queen and Prince Philip from London Airport. It was immensely moving. The Queen looked so young and vulnerable and valiant, and Prince Philip so handsome and cheerful. A truly romantic couple, star qualityin excelcis. True glamour without any of the Windsors’vulgarity. We felt truly sad that they were leaving us for such a long time.
Monday 19 January 1959
We had an orgy of theatre-going and social junketing [Paris]. The Windsors’party was very gay. She certainly is a most charming hostess and he was extremely amiable. The conversation was mostly general and largely devoted to the question of whether or not the Duchess should have her face lifted. The main consensus was no. Wallis brought up the subject herself with a sort of calculated defiance. I think, however, that she is a curiously honest woman and her sense of humour, particularly of herself, is either profound or brilliantly simulated. The evening finished with a blonde lady(French) pounding on the piano and everyone getting a trifle “high”. Princess Sixte de Bourbon was definitely shocked when the Duke and I danced a sailor’s hornpipe and the Charleston, but there was no harm in it, perhaps a little sadness and nostalgia for him and for me a curious feeling of detached amusement, remembering how beastly he had been to me and about our earlier years when he was the Prince of Wales and I was beginning. Had he danced the Charleston and the hornpipe with me then it would have been an accolade to cherish. As it was, it looked only faintly ridiculous to see us skipping about with a will. The Princess needn’t have been shocked, it was merely pleasantly ridiculous.
The Noel Coward Diaries
Monday 31 December 1962
Tomorrow 1963 begins and today 1962 is expiring in a splutter of gossip. The Duke of Windsor had been attacked in the Press for having hobb-nobbed with Hitler in the late thirties. Secret papers have disclosed his pro-Nazi perfidy which, of course, I was perfectly aware of at the time. Poor dear, what a monumental ass he has always been!
The Noel Coward Diaries
|Sarah Rodgers & Allan Morgan|