About Me

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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!


Monday, August 26, 2013

Vienna - trials and tribulations, fun days, history and beauty

Repairing tram rails at night!


Pastries at Demels Yum!

Greichengassl - narrow lane used by sailor s up form Danube River!

The good old Trams of Vienna

before the memories of the 'trip of the decades' vanish completely in the mists of time here are a few notes about the main reason -

seeing as many relatives (a few, a sad few) as possible before they, too, vanish, and meeting the newer generation previously unknown -and there were many!

Vienna was Vienna, tripled.

No signs of a recession, wall to wall buses, people gawking, invading the sights, clustering around famed buildings to the point one had to be on stilts to see anything above the multitudes of heads :-).
Luckily the weather was fine, a day or two even hot...
as I may have mentioned in a much earlier post getting tickets to the Staatsoper was an Odyssey, dealing with  rather rude ticket clerks a PIB and so .. they seemingly do not want my Euros, so will not buy the Euro 275 seats that she claimed only were still available, while the ones I ordered on line and was told via email were held for me did NOT exist! So Goetz Zitat, my dear 'Fraulein' (which I was told is NOW considered NON PC... one must use FRAU regardless of age and status - akin our Ms.). So The Flying Dutchman would  fly without us. But then curiosity took over and we did want to get a glimpse, as it were, of this production so panned by my musical friends in the city. We sat in burning sunshine and waited for the  Dutchman on big screen (what has David Gockley wrought, when HE started showing live opera on the big screen at Wortham many years  ago?). Even then The Dutch,,and stayed unrevealed, because fist we saw only manic hands conducting equally maniacal playing strings... NO sound. Then.. a bit of sound, break, more manic gestures, etc. so we left-being broiled in the unexpectedly HOT sun...it seemed not worth.
Instead, due to the kindness of a former buddy,we saw -in style- a quite good La Fille du Regiment with Canadian Tenor John Tessier who tossed out the seven high Cs effortlessly and for good measure added an eighth! Wow. Alexandra Kurzaky sand a flirty Marie (undoubtedly borrowing from the Marie of Natalie Dessay). Dame Kiri Te Kanawa presented a truly regal Krakendorp,  Aura Twarovska was a Mme de Berkenfeld without the deep sounds and funny acting in style of Ewa Podles.
And as added musical "Zuckerl", the recital at the Brahms saal in which my former buddy Stephen Hopkins and his magic hands,  had his world premier on the clavicord -to huge applause.
Haunts of my youth -having wine down in the lower leves

Central stairways at Opera

Wall to wall buses

Dame Kiri

Kurzaky, Tessier, Alvarez as Sulpice
Opera in the sun-Sound on during commercials, LOL!

Stephen Hopkins, clavicord in his world premiere, taking bow after recital at famous Brahms Saal of Musikvereins

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