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September 24, 2012

More from Claire Bloom on career highs, new film, and 'Downton Abbey'

This week, the Baltimore Symphony welcomes one of Britain's finest actresses, Claire Bloom, who will perform the speaking role in Bernstein's "Kaddish." You can read about her views on the symphony and the preparation for it in my Sunday story.

I thought you might enjoy some more from my phone interview with Ms Bloom, who was speaking by phone from her London home.

I asked her about her extraordinary career and her future projects. And I also happened to mention, quite innocently, the hit British show "Downton Abbey," thinking that she might like to join forces with that stellar cast -- oops.

Here are excerpts from the interview:


I think I’m most proud of the ...

'Streetcar Named Desire' I did here [in the 1970s]. I think that was the best thing I’ve every done.

And I was lucky to have worked with Chaplin [in "Limelight," 1962]. That’s something you can’t top. When I finish with the Baltimore Symphony on the 30th, I fly to Los Angeles the next day for a 60th anniversary celebration of 'Limelight.' (SEE VIDEO CLIP BELOW)


The day after the 'Limelight' anniversary, I fly to Vienna to make a film about Edith Stein -- I am playing her mother.

Edith Stein was from an orthodox Jewish family of philosophers, but converted and became a nun. She died at Auschwitz and was canonized by John Paul II -- now that was a controversy. Had she died as a Jew or a Roman Catholic? Well, she died.

I have high hopes for the film.


I can’t watch it. It’s so awful. What a picture of England to give the world -- all that class snobbishness. I don’t find it funny or entertaining. I find it appalling.


Posted by Tim Smith at 9:51 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: BSO, Clef Notes, Drama Queens


You know, we were really in the mood for some light musical comedy, You know the other one that was fave was "We're Just Couple of Swells" on Judy Garland side. This one similar, but the gal doesn't have to wear soot on her face, lols. (btw Brits have always excelled on comedy of manners, too bad others can't appreciate the subtle wit.)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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