60 Minute Countdown

In my last week of September, I experienced some performances of beautiful music.


On Monday I went to the Royal Opera House to watch a performance of La Boheme by Puccini. It was very special to me as I have never seen the production live before and the music is just stunning. I was lucky enough, in August, to purchase a student ticket for the performance. These special student tickets were greatly subsidised and ranged from £1-25. The seats were generously donated by the Bunting Family and Sir Simon Robey and I’m so grateful to them to be able to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity as watching these fabulous operas is so important to our development as students. The production was vivacious and the singers had great chemistry on stage and sublime voices. The set design by Stewart Lang was divine and I remember sitting with my mouth open during the transition of scenery from act 1 (the annex) to act 2 (boutique streets of Paris), which was visible to the audience.


Then on Friday evening after a busy week of making music at the RCM, I went to see Sarah Connelly perform at the Wigmore Hall. The concert was very moving and her beautiful velvety tone was consistent from the first song to the last. It was wonderful as a student of Opera to watch and admire her stamina and artistry guiding the music of the evening. Connelly also wore a fantastic sparkly dress which I particularly enjoyed. After all sparkles on Friday is definitely a must especially now the nights are drawing in.

Then today to bring in the new month, I celebrated my parent’s wedding anniversary with them over FaceTime and then I went to an Escape Room with my brother Matt and our friends Alex and Sarah. We arrived at clueQuest just before 13:00 and there we were ‘locked’ (safely) in a room, that expands as you successfully find more clues. Whilst in the Room you have to solve all the puzzles in a 60-minute countdown. I was able to live out my Nancy Drew fantasy of solving a detective crime story. It was a wonderful experience and very mentally stimulating, perhaps not the most restful Sunday activity. All in all, it was terrifically entertaining and I would definitely go again.

Blog 02-01-10-2017

54 thoughts on “60 Minute Countdown

    1. Thanks John it was a great midday activity, my brother is the ultimate game person, so it’s always very exciting, when I asked Matt what happens if you lose the game he said the room blows up hehe only joking!
      Best wishes

  1. You can picture yourself on that stage one day, can’t you?!! I’m very glad you were able to final see it live.
    Please wish your parents the very best for their anniversary! They have done such a wonderful job with you and your brothers.

    1. I’d love to be on that stage one day 💕 😀. I’ve seen it on DVD and read about the opera but it’s just so exciting to see the whole spectacle come to life.
      34 years ago they got married after meeting a couple of years before on a blind date 💕I’ll pass your best wishes on. Thank you.
      Best wishes

  2. Charlotte, It is wonderful to hear from you again! The relatively infrequency of your recent posts shows me that you are using your time well as a music student, and I really enjoy sharing your excitement as you discover more and more repertoire! Of course, I love the music of La Boheme—especially since my son was able to be one of the children in the second act. He even got to steal an apple from one of the street vendors! I remember a composer I knew whom I called once to discuss one his new pieces, and I heard Boheme in the background at his house. “Puccini?” I asked. “Melodies to die for!” he said.
    And 60-minute countdown sounds like so much FUN! But what happens if you don’t solve it in 60 minutes? I am imagining a scenario like “The Pit and the Pendulum” by Edgar Allen Poe . . . Glad you made it out alive!

    1. Loved reading about your son I bet he loved it. I particularly enjoy Puccini and his slightly shorter Acts I think work well.
      My big brother doesn’t like to lose so he probably wouldn’t invite me back for another visit hehe.
      Best wishes

  3. Such adventures you undertake… I am smiling because I can feel the excitement in your words. Many happy returns to your parents. And I have to say that as I have never heard of such a thing as an Escape Room but I grateful I can live it vicariously! Cheers.

    1. It was a great fun activity and gave me a nice midday break, I’d like to go back and do another challenge. I asked my parents if they’d had a nice relaxing day and typically they’ve been doing a declutter all weekend 😳.
      Best wishes

    1. I love my bird cage dress I’ve had it a while now and it washes great. It’s settling down well with some new teachers and a new coach this year so lots of new experiences.
      Best wishes

  4. Nice news, nice share, nice to see your smille. Thanks a lot to take time for all of us , really nice of you !! wishe you the best, for you and familly 🙂 !

  5. Dear Charlotte,
    Way to go at the RCM may the Lord bless you richly my beloved. Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not to thine understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct the pathway.

  6. Know what you mean but I do Scooby Doo perspective. Now since on the Gulf Coast it is why did Harvey do that.:) I just switch to the Jimmy Stewart movie Harvey where Harvey remains an invisible white rabbit that cleaned some of my base boards and left by the back door. Left a mess in the garage. Did not disturb the electricity.

  7. It’s great to hear you are so enjoying this time and soaking up all the experiences of other’s performances. One day when you have become established on the stage it will be other young people coming to hear you. .
    Someone else was telling me about these escape rooms. She went with her young grand children and every so often they got a clue over a loudspeaker so there must be someone watching from a control booth. You smart detectives obviously didn’t need any help 😀

    1. They said over half the teams don’t escape and our team work and communication was good – it was clear we had good rapport which was good Matts really competitive and a real energy in situations like that so it was good fun.
      I always try to help out young students or their parents that write to me as best I can.
      My best wishes

  8. Escape room was fun. I had a chance to go to one and our team barely made it. I am wondering whether after you came out, did they give each person in the team evaluation or not? The room we went did that. My evaluation was not great 🙂

    1. We had 1min 5 secs spare, they just said well done. They said over half the teams don’t escape and our communication and team work was good – it was clear we had good rapport 😀.
      All my best wishes

  9. Looks like you were found out. Great selfie! Love your dress. Love the mystery puzzles.
    Wonderful venues and wonderful entertainment! Great fun and inspirations too.
    All the best, Darlene

  10. Once again Charlotte you have lifted me up and put me in your world for a few moments and once again I loved it! You look so happy you are truly blessed to be able to work doing something you love, well done. It is a lovely photo of you and Matt and I am intrigued with the escape room, never heard of them! Is it a bit like crystal maze? If you don’t complete the puzzle you get locked in? Awesome, 😘

    1. Matt said I’d get blown up if I didn’t do well 😳 hehe. I haven’t seen the Crystal maze to say, but it’s like that game you used to play on your computer using logic. You’d enjoy it.
      Best wishes

  11. I envy you La Boheme and the Wigmore Hall recital. I’ve seen the former several times including at Covent Garden but the most recent was in Leeds with Opera North, a few years ago now. I liked the ‘modern’ setting but some did not. Always look forward to your posts – keep the coming please.

    1. I’d like to see the opera performed by different companies and sets you must spot something new each time and the music is just divine. Thank you,
      Best wishes

    1. There were three scenarios and they follow on from one another we started with number 1, there are lots of different challenges in that hour but I don’t want to say what they are because it’s great fun to do if someone’s in London.
      Best wishes

      1. Yes, yes, don’t spoil the surprise! Hoping it is still around, because I’m so looking forward to doing this if I visit London in the future. Happy week to you.

  12. Seemingly you’ve had some very special entertaining experiences!Belated wishes for your parent’s wedding anniversary!Have a peaceful and creative autumn,dear Charlotte 🙂 xxx

  13. Belated congratulations to your parents! I am glad you enjoyed La Boheme and the recital at Wigmore Hall. I remember seeing La Boheme at the Royal Opera House many years ago (in the 70’s!) and still recall the beauty of it and my great pleasure at seeing it. My elder daughter recently went an Escape Room with her friends and had a fantastic time. I love solving puzzles but I think I’d probably have difficulty coping with the countdown! I don’t respond well to pressure! 🙂

  14. Happy Anniversary to your parents! How nice that you got to spend time with your brother and took part in the mystery. There is a little Nancy Drew inside you! LOL! Must have been quite enjoyable to see La Boheme. Hugs xx

  15. A perfect day it seems ~ especially to bring in the new month along with your parents and their wedding anniversary. From your opening photo and the happiness of this post, I think it will be just a matter of time until some young girl is writing about seeing you up on the stage performing. 🙂

  16. We have Escape Rooms here in the Raleigh area – they are great fun from what I’ve heard, so we’ll try one soon! I saw a live production of La Boheme at Severence Hall (home of the Cleveland Symphony) when I was a grad student in Cleveland – I got in free because was an usher. Spectacular. Being an usher got me in to see and hear the most wondrous music and productions. Lovely to hear you are having fun!

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