On 16 April, 1996, 17-year-old Kelly Anne Bates was drowned in the bath, after suffering weeks of torture at the hands of her 48-year-old partner, James Patterson Smith, who had began grooming her when she was just 14-years-old. After realising that Bates was dead, Smith went to the police station and said he had accidentally killed her after an argument. An investigation showed that Bates’ blood was in every room of the house and her autopsy showed that there was over 150 separate injuries on her body. She had been kept locked in the house and brutally tortured for up to a month prior to her death. She had been burnt with cigarettes and a hot iron. She had multiple stab wounds caused by a knife and scissors. Her hands and kneecaps had been crushed, rendering her unable to walk. She had been partially scalped. She had been stabbed inside her mouth. Her ears, nose, mouth, lips, and genitalia had been mutilated. Both of her eyes had been gauged out and her empty eye sockets had been stabbed. She had also been starved and hadn’t been given water for several days before she died. Before she drowned, she had been beaten over the head with the shower head. When asked why he had tortured her so much, he claimed she had dared him to. Smith had a history of violence towards women he dated. He was charged and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Favourite musicals [3
] - The Phantom of the Opera
Softly, deftly, music shall surround you Feel it, hear it, closing in around you Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind In this darkness which you know you cannot fight The darkness of the music of the night
“This ‘Rosenkavalier’ will be performed in a chamber version called ‘Someone Younger,’ cut by about one-third and arranged for a small instrumental ensemble. The staging will be worked out with the assistance of a director, Lee Biolos, but the process is meant to be collaborative and, [Brenda] Patterson says, ‘deal with our actual realities rather than deciding who the character is and then imposing that on the performer.’ Rather than playing the role of Sophie as a teenage ingenue, for instance, Janinah Burnett will show her as a slightly more mature woman who happens to be African American. And the affair between the Marschallin and Octavian, played by [Miriam] Gordon-Stewart and Patterson, will gain credibility since the two women are married in real life.”— from the article “Opera as midlife crisis: A new company takes a fresh look at a classic” by Ann Midgette in the Washington Post, August 12, 2016. Photo credit: Deborah Jaffe/For the Washington Post.
A year ago today, Norm Lewis became the first African American man to play the role of the Phantom on Broadway. This added to the shows numerous historic moments through the years. He came in with a bang and left the same way. In the short time he was there, Mr. Lewis was able to show the world that it doesn’t matter what color, gender, or religion you are, you can achieve what you want. He made a huge difference. What a voice, what a Phantom, what a man. We miss you Norm!