Saturday, 14 May 2011

Joachim Bäckström - A future world class tenor from Sweden

Good operatic tenors are always in great demand. That´s why it is particularly satisfying to know that there is a young Swedish tenor, Joachim Bäckström, who is very much on his way to international stardom, and deservedly so. I had the pleasure to hear Bäckström in a recital in Helsingborg a couple of weeks ago, and was very impressed. In addition to possessing a beautiful, natural voice, Bäckström also is an outstanding scene personality, who already at this early stage of his career is able to give convincing interpretations of such demanding songs as Sibelius´s "Säv, säv, susa" and "Demanten på marssnön". Bäckström also sung Lenski´s aria, "Kuda, kuda, kuda" and "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" better than many famous tenors. I am convinced that a great future is in store for this young Swedish singer.

On this amateur video from 2009 Bäckström sings Kalinka at a concert with a Swedish student choir. The recording is not very good, but I think that one can hear that this is a singer with an extraordinary voice:

For more information on Joachim Bäckström, visit his agent´s presentation page.

Costa Luminosa in Øresund

The Italian owned Costa Luminosa early this morning entered Øresund on its way to Copenhagen. The impressive 294 meter long cruise ship, which was built in 2009 by Fincantieri - Cantieri Navali Italiani , takes 2260 passengers. Later today the Luminosa will begin its Baltic cruise with stop-overs in Tallin, St. Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm. This is an ideal time to cruise in the Baltic, because usually the weather is very fine in May and June.

The Costa Luminosa approaching Helsingør at 05..38 this morning

The Costa Luminosa is called "the ship of the light". The videos on the Costa home page will show you why.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Unique photographs of Moscow before the bolsheviks took over

The American horse writer Murray Howe visited Moscow in 1909. During his stay he took 400 photopgraphs of people, places and horses, wrote articles for the Horse Review - and got arrested several times for taking unauthorized pictures! Many of the unique photos can be viewed on this flicks site:

Vintage Photographs of Moscow 1909

Slide show

These a excellent pictures of great historical interest. Have a look, if you have not visited the site!


Why not let this wonderful old Russian romance accompany your viewing:

Performed by Ekaterina Yurovskaya

"Nishchaya" (A Beggar) romance

Winter, snow falling, strong wind.
At the church entrance there stands an old woman,
She is alone, dressed in rugs,
waiting for alms
With her cane she is there, winter and summer,
standing with her bare feet...
Give her alms,please give her alms.

I will tell you that this old woman
just 20 years ago, was a poet's dream
and Glory weaved a garland for her.
When she was singing on stage,
Paris was delighted, nobody could compete with her...
Give her alms, oh give her alms.

After the concert she was surrounded by crowds,
Young people, with admiration, would shout "bravo"!
What a splendid words she heard from her guests;
when we are happy, everybody wants to be friends with you,
but when you are in grieve,
those friends are not around ,
yes, those friends are not around.

It was the will of the Providence, that she fell ill,
lost her voice and vision, and now walks around alone.
It used to be that beggar was not afraid
to come to her for alms,
but she is ashamed to ask you for alms,
so give her alms,
yes, give her alms.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Cruise ship AIDAsol in the Sound

I woke up early this morning in order to watch the brand new cruise ship AIDAsol pass Helsingør/Helsingborg on its way to Copenhagen. It´s a gorgeous 252 m long ship with room for 2192 passengers (although I have to admit that I am not used to ships being painted in this way). Facilities include an onboard brewery and a 2,300-m2 spa. This photo I shot from my terrace:

Here is a short video presentation of  the ship:

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Windsurfing in Øresund

Today, on this glorious spring day, I observed the first windsurfers in my part of the Sound (Øresund), in the vicinity of Kronborg Castle.

Kronborg Castle in the background

This must be fun! I wish I were younger, and could try it out myself.

He had good speed!

They don´t make singers like these anymore

Three great entertainers to remember: