Royal Society of Chemistry podcasts. This time it's about a compound that is familiar from many a chemistry set - copper sulphate (or copper sulfate as the PC police require us to call it). This brilliant blue substance (at least in its hydrated form - pure copper sulfate is practically white) finds its way into a wide range of places from agriculture and book binding to the arts, where it has the honour of taking part in one of the few Turner Prize shortlisted artworks that the general public can actually enjoy. So come on - succumb to blue. You know you want to: take a listen.
If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex