I've been eagerly anticipating the start of this year's 30th anniversary BBC Cardiff Singer of the World contest, which has been firmly in my diary for the last 18 months. I've been following the months of preparation leading up to next week, to the extraordinary, challenging competition, which viewers and listeners around the world have the chance to see - and it represents the culmination of many, many months of musical preparation by each of the candidates. It's a world-wide event, a fantastic platform!
Every night my mother would put us to bed to classical music, my younger brother would fall asleep instantly, but I was different and I couldn't sleep until the record was finished. I would secretly leave my room and stand in front of the mirror that was in the long corridor next to my room and I would dance and pretend I was Montserrat Caballé in La Traviata.
If you think Tarantino is extreme, read any story about Greek Mythology. It makes him look like a schoolboy who wrote a fairy tale that went wrong. The Greeks did it better - and bloodier. Fathers devouring their sons, mothers murdering their loved sons just to avenge their ex-partner. There is no such thing as a happy ending in the ancient Greeks.
I always wonder why it is that audiences boo. Opera audiences can get extremely cross about interpretations of their favourite operas, especially the classics. I'm more concerned with the need, the irresistible urge even, to be outraged by a director's interpretation and to give voice to that frustration.
The arts industry is, especially today, awash with the cult of personality. Too often the focus is drawn to the people at the top, or the PR stunts that propel them onto a few thousand twitter feeds and by which an industry appears to now be judged, diverting the issues or introducing unnecessary ones.
English National Opera's new production of Vaughan Williams's The Pilgrim's Progress highlights the company's commitment to celebrating great 20th century British opera. Yoshi Oïda's directorial debut with ENO marks the first full professional staging of Vaughan Williams's seminal work since its premiere at the 1951 Festival of Britain. The waiting is finally over.
My eye was caught by the largest of these graves, at the very bottom, the name 'Luciano Pavarotti', his date of birth and date of death. Gifts left in front of it, small toys and sealed letters. With the cameras pointed at us, Charlotte and I spoke about the great man and what it was like to be at this monumental site in his hometown... I almost cried.