Wednesday, July 25, 2012


So much to note, so little time. The days and nights are full to overflowing.

Fo the time being, I need to get things down and a list is the best I can manage.

The Munich stay was two weeks with a three day trip to Lake Como, and a one day trip to Salzburg.

In Munich there was

1. The Ring Cycle. I've yet to get my thoughts on the whole cycle down, but can say the Gotterdammerung was especially memorable for Nina Stemme's magnificent Brunnhilde. Zachary Wolfe's (NYT) assessment is here. I don't agree so much with him, but he is a thoughtful and progressive commentator. More later with pics.

2. Two good concerts with the Munich Phil at Gasteid, the 1980s functional concert hall (built on the site of the beer hall where the Hitler putsch took place) the locals love to dislaike, but which works, has a clear bright acoustic, and a good orchestra. Giergev was restained, for Giergev, but very effective in the Shostakovich 11 and 15, two of my favs. The other was the lovely Julia Fischer in Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto coupled with Rach 3 symphony conducted really well by tall dark and handsome.
More later with pics.

3. Tales of Hoffman with Villazon whose voice was scarey shot to pieces, sad really, but he received good support from the crowd. Diana Damrau now with advanced pregnancy was replaced by three sopranos, and the Nicklausse of Angela Brown was the best performance of the night, she is just a gorgeous performer with lovely lovely voice very well produced. More later with pics.

3. The Greek sculpture and pottery museums are gob-smacking. The Barberini Faun. More later with pics.

4. Villa Stuck on a Sunday morning. More later with pics.

Now in Nuremberg.

This is a compelling and beautiful and proud medieval city, walls not breached till the Americans came in '45, restored and looking wonderful, a rich and royal city.

1. The Hitler rally fields and the presentations with them are staggering, and moving beyond the beyond. The German capacity to look at the past is unequalled as far as I can see. More later with pics.

2. There is a stunning Dürer, Franconia's favorite son, retrospective, booked out with long queues. We were whisked through with guide. More later with pics.

2. A Gluck Opera summer festival is underway. Last night's Ezio was in the car park basement of the opera house, an edgy mix of main stream actors doing the spoken word, with a good vocal team singing, with the likes of the fabulous Heidi Meier. Mad Max comes to baroque in a thrilling exciting brilliant performance also well sold out. More later.

3. Elektra tonight.

Transferring to Bayreuth today.

We've had our security clearance (our seats were not purchased in our name hence a special request - full details of who is sitting in those seats - carry passports) to the operas, because we are sitting pretty close to someone called Angela. Much more later


marcellous said...

Do you think they'll be checking whether you have any embarrassing youthful tattoos? Or is that only for the performers?

wanderer said...

I should be so lucky. It is, as you can imagine, all the talk of the town(s). And some interesting links within this if you haven't yet seen it.

Scandal is its middle name.

The Dutchman, as the opener, is an especially social political night and tickets are scarce (one of our group got one yesterday). We head back (an easy hour's drive) to Nurenberg for Elektra tonight then start with T&I tomorrow.

marcellous said...

Pity you don't get to see FH/FD as the replacement, Samuel Youn, is known to you as Loge/Gunther from the Cologne/Shanghai ring.

I agree with the Munich man that the singer has been sacrificed in proxy propitiation. Reminds me of the unjust dismissal of David Russell at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney which had similar "holier-than-we-were" overtones.