Sunday, 5 October 2008

Cultural delights

This weekend we have taken advantage of the cultural delights on offer in the republic of Kazakhstan, a country where music is thought to remove evil from a man's heart (if played on the traditional instrument, the Qobyz). We bought tickets to the opera Madame Butterfly for Saturday night (husband and youngest daughter had a dinner/theatre date night together) and the ballet Sleeping Beauty on Sunday (for me and the two older daughters). Total cost for all our stalls tickets was less than $50. 

I have just returned from my first trip to the  Kazakh National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet named after Abai, and the performance of Sleeping Beauty was excellent. The theatre is delightful, a really charming place that is simple but not austere, well run but not stuffy and as a result is popular and full. 

Apart from a wildly
 expensive trip to see the Mary Poppins show in London's West End last summer, we have hardly been to the theatre in recent years, mainly because of where we have been living. In Thailand, there is little on. In Seoul, you have to book within about 30 seconds of the tickets going on sale or they are sold out (and given that most of the publicity is in Korean, you have a slim chance of even hearing about it in time), and if you do get there in time, you have to spend about $100 per person. 

The Abai Theatre is just six blocks down the road from where we live at the moment and we just got home in under 10 minutes at the end of the performance, having parked outside the front door. Yippee! 

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