Here are a couple of new photographs taken with my new Hipstamatic app on my iPhone on a wet spring morning in Lewes, UK. A bit of rain and a small gust of wind brought one of my camellia blooms to the ground and it was lying there on the York flag stones, when I came out into the garden.
A melancholy sight which fitted perfectly with my attempts to capture old-fashioned film effects with my new toy.
It was a melancholy sight on a melancholy day and I was reminded of another crushed camellia, the heroine of Alexandre Dumas’ Lady of the Camellias who was a real person whose short life as a beautiful Parisian courtesan ended in poverty and illness but who found immortality by being transformed into the tragic Violetta of Verdi’s great opera La Traviata.
I came indoors wanting to hear the moody prelude to the opera – doubly so because, to my horror, I had just recently had to witness its use on a Sky Sports TV promotion for an open golf tournament. Nothing could be less appropriate, I thought, and my regard for golf, never high, sunk to a new low. I am with Mark Twain on this, golf is, in his opinion, “a country walk ruined.” Sadly, if Sky Sports have their way, it will be La Traviata ruined too.
To redress the balance, here is the great Italian conductor Tullio Serafin showing us exactly what this music is about. It was recorded in the 1950’s at performance starring the great Maria Callas. Now put all thoughts of balls out of your heads and listen.