I just found out that I have to be out of my rented room in three months.
Three months notice is more than fair, and it was in my contract and all, but… this was so not what I needed right now. I've only been living here for six months. Exactly six months, actually, because I moved in on October 30 last year…
The thing that bothers me the most right now is that my roommate told me this on the way back from the Opera (he had tickets for this week, too), just as I'd attended the fourth and last part of the Ring cycle, and I had just been so amazed because the opera was so incredibly beautiful and moving and this week has been one of the best, most wonderful weeks I've had in a while. I was sobbing during the final scene of "Götterdämmerung" today, it was that big an experience and that moving to me.
But naturally now everything has been clouded by this latest turn of events – the fact that I am going to have to find myself a new place to stay. And that makes me really sad.
Oh, well. It's just… Yeah. It's not what I needed right now.
First of all: Marie did warn you.
Did you believe her? I do not know. But maybe you thought “ah well, how ‘squeee’ can they get anyway?”. Well, the answer has maybe already occured to you. And the answer is: A LOT.
To make you all join us (since my main pleasure is to torture people with what I love) I have made you some links. Don’t go away. Links to small trailers made by the Royal Theatre for our enjoyment. Unfortunately there is one small problem…I can’t link directly to the trailers. So you will have to move down a bit and find the picture under which the word ‘videotrailer’ is mentioned. Ok? Here goes:
‘Quotes from The Ring that have been following me all day’
-“O Schmerz, O Schmerz” (“Oh pain, oh pain!” Alberich when he realises that the slippery girls from the Rhine will not love him)
-“Lichtsohn du!” (“Son of light, you!” The giant Fasolt to the supreme god Wotan when Wotan tries to cheat Fasolt and his brother of payment. This was sung by the giant Stephen Milling (see picture below) and I had the utter pleasure of experiencing tiny Marie sing this to me in one of the intervals while pointing angrily at my face. We developed this theory of Milling singing so deep that we couldn’t hear all the colours of his voice. And that maybe dogs would be able to hear it all. Or that we would hear them in some platonic heaven where shadows had been replaced by the true shape of things. And of voices.)
“Wo ist Brünnhild, wo die Verbrecherin?” (“Where is Brünnhilde, where is the lawbreaker?” You can hear this in the Walküre trailer. Wotan to his eight valkyrie daughters when he is hunting down the ninth valkyrie, Brünnhilde. Stunningly angry that Wotan ;-))
And then of course, as if you would be spared:
After Die Walküre Marie and I spent at least forty minutes discussing the performance standing with our bikes by the harbour in the (kind of) mild spring evening. That was after a five hour long opera.
It was a wonderful performance. I was very touched by Irene Theorin’s Brünnhilde. We were fortunate enough to find seats on 4th row for the 3rd act and from there we could see every tiny little expression on the singers’ faces. The last dialogue between Brünnhilde and her father Wotan was shockingly realistic. They had such a hard time both of them. Him loosing his second child that day and her loosing her beloved father and life as she knew it. She is so persistent in that scene. He is all NO and yet she goes on like a little mule asking him to let her be found by a worthy man and not just any redneck. And no he says, and she continues. There was even a point where I thought “Ok, that was a final no. She wont get it her way” even though I know this opera quite well. Now – that is art!
And we saw the ride of the valkyries from that wonderful 4th row. My oh my. I adore those eight girls with their large black wings. This night they were very much alike, I actually kept confusing one singer with the other.
Eva Johansson sang Sieglinde. I have only experienced her in Elektra, but this was certainly just as good. She is an amazing singer and joined a marvellously well-singing Stig Fogh Andersen in great acting.
Stephen Milling was absolutely frightening and awe inspiring as Hunding. Just see below…
Pie pie pie pie pie. And pie. And the orchestra was even better than the evening before. They seemed more relaxed.
Like Anna I am just soooo excited! Das Rheingold yesterday was every bit as great as I remembered it, and then we’re going to see Die Walküre tonight… SQUEEE! It’s so incredibly awesome. I’m so happy!
Of course we will review the entire Ring here and by then we will have returned to our normal, sensible, critical, snarky selves, but until then you’ll have to forgive us for being a pair of squee’ing fangirls, because we’re just so excited about the whole thing.
This week Marie and I are going to see Wagner’s entire Ring. Tonight we set off with Das Rheingold and I am looking so much forward to reencounter this magnificent 1920s setting with all its violence, humour and beauty.
Unfortunately Poul Elming who was to sing Loge tonight and Siegmund tomorrow has fallen ill. Instead Michael Kristensen will sing Loge and Stig Fogh Andersen will sing Siemund. Which is not bad at all. The only thing I regret a bit is that it means Stig Fogh Andersen will be singing both Siegmund and Siegfried. Of course father and son can be alike, but this ruins some of the magic.
And yet I have been happy all day. This is what we have been waiting for for more than a year.
Bye, bye Puol. (And yes, that is an open cheese sandwich he is flashing).
Belated Happy Easter, Mr. Governator!
That is all.
In the beginning of April I went to London to study drawings by Michelangelo Buonarroti. I have this group where we study Italian drawings and this semester and last we have been studying this great draughtsman. We were very privileged as our professor had made a wonderful and dense program including a visit to The British Museum before opening hours, talks with leading scolars of Michelangelo and Italian art as such. To top it all we ended our stay in Windsor where we entered the marvelous print room of the Royal Collection. I did ask if I could take a group picture in there but they wouldn’t let me so you’ll just have to imagine two large spaces with wooden ornamented ceilings and glass cases lining the walls. Inside the cases were tons of boxes with hand written signs reading “Leonardo da Vinci”, “Raphael”, “Michelangelo”, “Guercino”, “Germany 15th Century” etc. etc. And the names I refer to were not written on one or two boxes, no, no there were at least fifteen of each. Such wealth.
We were there for Michelangelo and we saw some of his most famous drawings and among them the ones he drew for his love Tommaso de’ Cavalieri. One of them “The Archers” is a wonderful red chalk drawing showing a group of young people aiming at a herm. The funny thing about the drawing is that none of the archers have a bow and yet you complete the image in your mind.
After leaving the print room walking out into the sun I convinced the group (not hard at all) to do a staged photo. They were to pose as “The Archers”. Our professor generously played the role of herm and the rest positioned themselves as archers and putto. I have a love for staged photos and this is already a treasured one.
First the original (sorry I could only find a high definition in black and white, you must imagine the red chalk):
(if you are dying to see the red chalk look here )
To complete Marie’s safe place here are two photographs I took in London and Cambridge a couple of weeks ago.
This is the English pub meal par excellence. Ale pie with mashed potatoes, gravy and peas. You may think it looks slightly freakish but I was very happy to see that the peas were green and not grey. And it was quite good and at least much better than the fish and chips you can see in the background. I didn’t taste it but you just have to take a look to my colleague’s face and you know that the pie was the best choice.
So all is well that ends well – right? I am very happy that Prodi won the Italian election. But of course still worried about the number of Italians who voted for Berlusconi. Let us hope that Prodi & co. will show some real action that every one can see the necessity of.
And then – I love your quote from Peter Grimes, Marie (see below). I just bought “The Turn of the Screw” and I must say Britten gets me more and more. The lyrics he choose are always wonderful and the music is marvelous. Thank you for reminding me of that divine female quartet.
Hey I’m thinking…those Italians abroad…shouldn’t quite a few of them be abroad due to the Berlusconi madness? And wouldn’t that mean that Prodi got the Senate too?
I am clinging to hope.