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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

A chilling experience

and so it was... really.
Pouring rain,  or high water in the parking lot of the hotel, nothing kept us from getting to the opera!
Having been forwarned, we dressed and hauled with us layers on layers (lol). Umbrella and rain hat, coats.
But the opera Maometto II by  Rossini , was totally unexpected, a chilling drama. Enhanced by superb singing, IMO Luca  Pisaroni, who looked real piratical , but sang with the most elegant and most affecting bass-baritone was the highlight. Although, Leah Crocetto as Anna was deeply moving, Patricia Bardon who sang Calbo, a trouser role, stunned with her incredible expressive voice that plumped the lowest level a mezzo can reach. Bruce Sledge, tenor, inhabited with verve the role of Anna's father, Paolo Erisso, Head of the Venetians in Negroponte. Negroponte is being besieged and conquered by the troops of Maometto II. Fights and slaughter ensues, Maometto falls in love with Anna and 'saves' her, but she abuses his trust, sets father and husband (Calbo) free only to kill herself as Maometto embraces her as his beloved. A rather un-Rossini Opera. Not a soupcon of comedy, satirical or slap stick in sight.
Even musically only here an there can we discern  typical Rossini sounds. Maestro Chaslin conducts beautifully and the orchestra, harp included sounded sumptuous.
David Alden surprised me with relative un-Alden type direction  (by which I mean it is "normal" lol). The lighting was extra bright white and clear, which was a boon to tired eyes.
And Mother Nature supplied thunder and lightening as well while the same took place ON stage. At first one could believe a thunderbolt struck because the stage went dark, but then one realised it was PLANNED and Mother Nature just happen to exercise her rights ;-)!
Finally the rain stopped, the wind died down some, and the temperature evened out at approx. 50F which had felt much colder whilst the wind was whistling through the open sides of the theater and blowing about the gowns of the cast members.
Despite the deluge which caused dangerous flash flooding in the N and NE parts of New Mexico,
Maometto II was , IMO, the better of the two operas seen this trip.

Next morning, still dodging puddles to reach the car, we were off to  Chimayo, an almost annual pilgrimage to this charming chapel on the little river, Abiquiu, and Chama. The touring Abiquiu with a tour guide showing O'Keefe's paintings in the settings from which she drew her inspiration was truly interesting. The sun was not really very visible, she poked out here and there (due to the expected eclipse, I am sure) but the rain held off (kind of Mother Nature, wasn't it?) until the tour ended. Then we raced to the car to avoid getting drenched (skipping the museum and the skeletons of prior inhabitants of Abiquiu) and drove, very carefully to be sure, in pouring rain and very strong winds, accompanied by thunder and lightning, to Chama, being spared the large hail others encountered further west. Thankfully.

Chama was chilly, almost  cold. But in the morning sun the gentler mountains and fir trees seemed all'spruced' up from the rain. And in the parking lot of the motel we found Model As (the cars of course) from.... all the way, Austin Texas.... getting ready for their drive back to Santa Fe. Passing the Cumbres and Toltec railyard we spied the little engine getting up steam for its scenic ride. Which we'll leave for another visit, perhaps.
And on we drove, up and down hills, past Browneyed Susans lining the roadsides, through valleys of firs, and other trees, past Tierra Amarilla, and strange geologic formations, that seemed, to me, like hillocks left behind in the broad valleys of old glaciers, (maybe because they were made of harder material.. but what do I know, am no Geologist) onto Pagosa Springs.
After we passed Chimney Rock, I actually saw 2 chimneys, carved by wind  and water, we arrived in Durango on its Animas River. There kayakers, rafters, inner tubers, and what looked to me like surfers, frolicked in the cool sunshine. Am sure the water was cold, well too cold for me, at least. And there were several 'surfers' and kayakers dumped into the knee deep waters. But hey, they had fun. Right now it is thundering again, but no rain as yet.

Tomorrow its onto Silverton via a narrow gauge railroad to Silverton. And back by bus to drive onto Mesa Verde's ruins.

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