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Chiang Mai National Museum exhibition celebres greatest Lanna King

From Broadway to Chiang Mai “The Odd Couple” strikes again!

An amazing collection of King Rama V European media memorabilia

Mahler Invades Thailand!

CRABTREE MEETS THE PROFESSIONAL EXPATS

 

Chiang Mai National Museum exhibition celebres greatest Lanna King

Siriporn Raweekoon
The Chiang Mai National Museum is holding an exhibition between now and December 30 to celebrate the 600th year anniversary of the birth of the great Lanna King, Phra Chao Tilokarat, whose name translates as ‘God of the 3 Worlds’.

(L-r), Saengchan Traikasem, the director of the Chiang Mai National Museum, pictured with Sunetra Nimanant, the presidents of the Thai Red Cross Society, and Chiang Mai deputy governor Chumporn Saengmanee.

The exhibition will also commend HRH Princess Maha Sirindhorn for her support of Thailand’s art and culture, and is sponsored with a budget of 60,000 baht by CMU’s Fine Arts department.
The focus is on three aspects of King Tilokarat’s reign from 1441- 1487, a period which is regarded as the Golden Age of Lanna.; his role in the reform and development of the political and administrative sectors and his military leadership, his advancement of the Buddhist faith, including his hosting of the World Buddhist Council in 1477 at Wat Jed Yod, rebuilt especially for the occasion, and his sending of monks to study the Dhamma in Sri Lanka, and his contribution to Lanna arts through the integration of the exquisite Sukothai style.
The exhibition is open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m; entry fees are 20 baht for Thais and 100 baht for foreigners, with free entry to members of the monkhood and students in uniform. After it closes, educational institutions and organisations are invited to display the exhibits at their premises.
For more information, please call on 053-221-308/053-408-568, or email on [email protected]

 

From Broadway to Chiang Mai “The Odd Couple” strikes again!

CMM reporters
Think Lucy and Ethel, but a different sort of classic. Think Laverne and Shirley, but with a masculine touch. Think Sonny and Cher—maybe not quite Sonny and Cher. Whatever you think when you recall dynamic duos and side-splitting comedy, you can’t help but think of Oscar Madison and Felix Ungar, the laughable, lovable stooges paired in the most unlikely of matches—the odd couple! Neil Simon’s infamous box office hit ‘The Odd Couple’ recounts the tale of two men thrown together by fate and frazzled wives who just don’t know what to do with either anymore. Can two new re-bachelors share an apartment without driving each other insane?
The ‘Odd Couple’, presented by the Gate Theatre, Chiang Mai’s only English language theatre, runs Fridays September 11, 18, and 25 and Saturdays September 12, 19, and 26 at 7pm in the Studio Theatre on the 7th floor of Kad Suan Kaew. Doors open at 6:00 pm for pre-show food and drinks, supplied by the Queen Victoria Pub.
Tickets are available at the information desk on the first floor of Central Kad Suan Kaew for a suggested donation of 300 baht. For more information please call 087-177-2195/ 086-671-3371, write to [email protected] or visit the website at www.gate-theater.com.


An amazing collection of King Rama V European media memorabilia

Elena Edwards
An eclectic collection of memorabilia comprising newspapers published in Europe during the rule of the great King Chulalongkorn concerning the Monarchy and the King himself, was the subject of a recent interview with its owner, Chiang Mai resident Dirk Weeber-Araytumsopon.
Dirk’s collecting obsession began with postage stamps from the time of the German Empire, and led him to focus on Thai Royalty when his discovered a postcard showing a meeting between Rama V and the then German Chancellor Lord Bismarck. He became fascinated with the famous and much-loved Thai monarch and, on his first visit to Thailand in 1999, learned a great deal more about the Thai Royal Family, and King Rama V’s guidance of the country at that crucial time.
On his return to Europe, he haunted antiques shows and markets in Germany, France and the Netherlands, buying up all the antique ephemera he could find on the subject. Over time, the collection grew to a comprehensive record of reportage in the European media of the activities of the Thai Royal Family, centred on King Chulalongkorn himself. As part of the process, Dirk learned a great deal about Thai politics in the 19th century, and about the travels of the Thai Royal Family in Europe, their duties, protocols, family members, stations in life and biographies.
The collection, brought to Thailand in May 2009, was exhibited at Mae Jo University later in the year, attracting a great deal of interest from academics, other interested parties and the 15,000 visitors it drew. Dirk worries that its safety is difficult to guarantee, and that it is also difficult to convince those not expert in the field of highly-collectible ephemera that the examples are genuine. Many visitors commented that the full collection should be housed in a museum for its protection after being exhibited elsewhere in the kingdom. At present it is being kept in a secret location under controlled conditions.
It is Dirk’s aim to eventually sell the collection as a whole; he is in poor health and requires constant medical supervision and regular hospitalisation for tests and treatment. A proportion of the money raised will also be given to help the poor and underprivileged in Chiang Mai province. For more details of the collection, or other info, please contact Dirk through his website, www.mft-thailand.com


Mahler Invades Thailand!

Jai-Pee
On a wave of crystal clear sound, endless energy and a surge of enthusiasm, Mahler has well and truly arrived here in the Kingdom. Not only has the Princess Galyani Vadhana Orchestra just performed Mahler’s Fourth Symphony to great acclaim, but the Siam Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of its founder and conductor, Somtow Sucharitkul, has electrified concert-goers with Mahler’s magnificent Fifth Symphony.
Then, in September, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra is to perform Mahler’s First Symphony at Mahidol University.
Why this sudden rush to perform Mahler and what next? Well, there is a time in the history of all orchestras when they are ready to undertake larger, more challenging works, and the Mahler symphonies are no exception. With this in mind, and according to a recent article in The Nation, written by Somtow, he approached the late Princess Galyani Vadhana some years ago to say that he thought the time was ripe for performing the Mahler symphonic cycle. Somtow is known to many readers as the founder and conductor of the Bangkok Opera, author of children’s books, fantasy and horror stories, some of which have won prestigious awards worldwide. He is also a composer of opera and has set his orchestra, the Siam Philharmonic, the task of performing the complete cycle of symphonies plus Das Lied von der Erde within the next five years. The other performances of the Fourth Symphony and the forthcoming concert with the First Symphony have been undertaken quite independently of each other.
Why Mahler and why now, I asked Somtow. His reply was that the time was now right and that the orchestras were ready for this huge undertaking. Audiences, too, wanted to hear this beautiful music. He also added that Mahler’s music ‘is me’ – Somtow has a deep love of Mahler and was very much around during the 1960’s when Mahler’s music burst into life across Europe and the USA. This period is often called (mistakenly in my view), the Mahler Revival – but it was no revival as such since Mahler’s music was rarely performed during his lifetime or after his death for many years. The great composer had many musical enemies during his life and although several first performances of his works were enthusiastically received at the time, there were few repeat performances except in Amsterdam.
In a letter to his wife Alma written in Cologne (Koln) Germany on Friday afternoon the 16th October 1904 following the first rehearsal of the Fifth Symphony, Mahler wrote these almost prophetic words:Oh that I might give my Symphony its first performance fifty years after my death’. Then, about fifty years later, came the great Mahler revolution – and now it is here in Thailand. Somtow hopes to perform Mahler’s Ninth Symphony next, and then the sections of the unfinished Tenth Symphony alongside Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony before the end of this year with the Siam Philharmonic Orchestra. Next year there are plans to produce the deeply personal Sixth Symphony and the mighty Third Symphony when a Czech Republic children’s choir will be visiting the kingdom, and then in 2011, one hundred years after Mahler’s premature death, a full performance of the Eighth Symphony, often called Symphony of a Thousand, due to its enormous canvas including soloists, choirs and enlarged orchestra. The remaining symphonies will then follow. Let us hope these marvellous plans come to fruition and that many of us will make the trip to Bangkok to support and welcome Mahler to these magic shores.


CRABTREE MEETS THE PROFESSIONAL EXPATS

Archie James

He was a distinguished American chap
Whom I saw at the Lucky Bar
Where I called, strolling home to my usual nap,
For a quiet post-lunch jar
After tasty and filling relationships
With Cheerful Charlie’s Fish And Chips. 

He was there near the pavement, enjoying a snack,
In elegant running gear,
Silver hair pulled tight to a tail at the back
And his mobile phone to his ear. 

‘Honey, I just can’t make it – I really wish I could!
You know how full the days are. I thought you understood.
On Monday there’s Computer Club,
Tuesdays – quiz at The Bell,
Wednesdays I meet the guys at The Pub
And there’s Tai Chi class as well.
Thursday’s the day we discuss books with Janet,
On Friday the Chiang Mai Friends save the planet.
Saturday morning I’m with the Expats
Then at a pets’ shelter to help them sex cats.
Sunday morning it’s golf; in the afternoon tennis
And the Walking Street Market with Kelly and Dennis.
I know that it’s tough but abandon the mutiny –
I promise we’ll meet at the first opportunity!’  

He folded his phone and I gasped ‘Busy life!’
He chuckled ‘Sure is – but tell that to the wife!’ 

Just then, the soft staccato slap of trainers in the street
Announced his herd of jogging friends, all middle-aged and neat.
They stopped and shuffled, gasping, like a gang of grinning mobsters –
Stringy, fit and happy, every one as red as lobsters. 

‘Get your skates on, son, we’re due at one
For drinks on the veranda
At AUA, then – this is fun!
We’re off to see the panda.
The meeting on the Hill Tribes Tour
Begins right after Bridge at four;
At six there’s massage, then, by crikey,
Cory’s going to teach us Reiki!’ 

He bounded out to join the troop
With a cheerful ‘Okay-dokey!
And don’t forget’ – he gave a whoop –
‘Tonight is karaoke!’ 

The herd moved on to Thapae Gate in a haze of Calvin Klein,
Leaving me quite delicate, inadequate, supine.
I raised a trembling finger for another round of drinks.
My life was drab and meaningless, devoid of such high jinks.
I pondered very deeply for some moral I could borrow
And decided I would sign up with AA. Maybe. Tomorrow.