a night at the opera - thames festival
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a night at the opera - thames festival

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Found 13th Sep 2013
1513: A Ships' Opera

A spectacular water-borne performance for the River Thames.

An armada of historic vessels from the age of sail, steam and diesel will perform a live, moving, operatic concerto of ships’ steam whistles, bells, horns, hooters, sirens and cannon as the centrepiece of the 2013 Thames Festival.

The first act of this symphonic maritime performance begins at sea, at the mouth of the Thames Estuary. A lone steam tug, the historic Barking, will make her way into the tideway to central London, all the while broadcasting her swag of steam whistles.

At 6.25pm, around Trinity Buoy Wharf (home of London’s last lighthouse and where Trinity House used to manufacture the buoys that guide the world’s mariners to this day), Barking will muster her fellow opera performers: the Trinity Lightship (LV95) pulled by two handsome red diesel tugs, historic Clyde puffer steam ships VIC 56 and VIC 96, the diesel tug Kent, and twin-masted 19th century Dutch sailing klipper De Walvisch - all bedecked with a range of steam whistles, horns and bells - the collected vocal cords of a ship of provenance, now long dead... lost voices calling again.

Here an audience will experience the second act of the opera, the magnificent fleet calling to the shore, waters and airwaves against the backdrop of The O2.

At Tower Bridge, at 7.45pm, the curtain opens as the bascules rise and the company of ships enters the theatre of the Pool of London. The main act of the performance begins, the ships now joining the cruiser HMS Belfast in an acknowledgment of our historic naval might.

500 years after the foundation of the great Corporation of Trinity House and 500 metres from Trinity House itself, as the bascules close, Trinity Light Vessel LV 95 swings her lifesaving beam of light illuminating architecture old and new from the Shard to the Tower of London...

2 Comments

I DON'T BELIEVE IT !!!. Richard Wilson was good in 'One foot in the Grave', not sure how good he is at writing opera's.
Has the potential to be as underwhelming as the Thames armada for the Diamond jubilee. But hey what do i know , it might be spectacular.
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