Britten's 'miracle' opera
RADIO and TV. Though I was
disappointed not to see Fr. Owen Hardwicke in A.B,C.'s "Sunday Break"—because it was not transmitted to the south of England —it was impossible to object to the entrancing programme we had instead.
Radio and television have largely taken the place of the lavish patrons of the arts of earlier centuries, and A.T.V. were the first in presenting Benjamin Britten's new opera "Noye's Fludde" to a large portion of the British public last Sunday.
It was a short and very simple opera telling the story of the Flood with Owen Brannigan superbly acting Noah. Gladys Parr was a wonderful roystering Mrs. Noah with an affection for the bottle.
Apart from the Voice of God (Trevor Anthony), all the other parts — Noah's family and the animals—were acted by children
with a simplicity that was positively tear-jerking. I feel we must be grateful to the invention which has brought the opportunity of seeing this opera to thousands who might never have thought of actually going to see it.
THIS is most definitely the sport
ing season, but before I dwell on Ascot, Lord's and Wimbledon I must mention two serious-minded programmes I listened to of the kind that all Christians should try to hear as a matter of duty.
The first was on the Home Service last Wednesday and was called "Fundamental Beliefs". It was a conversation between Professor C. A. Coulson. F.R.S., and Professor H. G. Longuet-Higgins, F.R.S., about the reasons why they both held different beliefs about the Christian religion.
There was the one professor on one hand who had been brought up a Christian and believed Our Lord to be the Son of God, and the other professor who believed Him to be merely a good man.
The conversation lasted half-anhour and that, of course. was not long enough for such a discussion. But it did give the listener a chance of overhearing an intelligent talk about a serious subject and to learn of the difficulties of those outside the Church.
ON Thursday evening, B.B.C.
television had Lord Pakenham and Lord Birkett discussing the problem of young offenders in the series "Lifeline". Again, a very serious subject, and one which the intelligent citizens cannot ignore.
Needless to say, Lord Pakenham stressed the importance of the Christian upbringing in the nation's efforts to overcome the sad increase in delinquency among young men and boys.
Lord Birkett made the objection that there were very good persons among non-Christians, which made me wonder whether that remark had been put in to counterbalance the strongly Christian views of Lord Pakenham or to throw out a sop of comfort to those who think we can have morals without religion.
1 AM beginning to feel we cannot have enough of — Joseph Cooper and his piano. His reminiscent episodes from his life on B.B.C. television and his wonderful handling of the AssociatedRediffusion "Music in the Making" lessons have made him one of our favourites.
We even went so far as to decide that his musical parodies were better than those of the famous Victor Borge, whose clowning at the piano had delighted us all earlier last week.
No time for sport now, but as there is plenty to watch in the next few weeks it can wait.