|So much green in the middle of Wien!|
|Tree-lined paths at Augarten|
But the result of all this is that I sustained a "high" note on Saturday -- I wouldn't have been able to do it even a few weeks ago! It was so exciting; I went in with my plan, and then I executed it. I got out of my own way, and BAM. High note. Singing is so fun :)
I'm a day or two late in writing this blog entry, but in my defense, I spent well over half of yesterday at the Staatsoper, or State Opera House. Renée Fleming was singing the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier (a comic opera by Richard Strauss), which is one of my favorite operas. Now, in Vienna, true opera lovers don't waste hundreds of euros on prime seats; they go for standing room, which only costs 3-4 euros. There are three sections: Parterrestehplatz (standing room on the floor; literally the best "seats" in the house), Balkonstehplatz (skip it; you can't see anything), and Galleriestehplatz (the sound is best way up here). This year, I've been going for the Gallerie because you don't have to line up so early, but Eliza and I decided to spring for Parterre yesterday.
|The entrance to Augarten Park|
|Through the trees at Augarten|
Der Rosenkavalier runs just shy of four-and-a-half hours. It's an investment. In 2012, I saw this production with Nina Stemme and Elina Garanca, who were so unbelievably brilliant. (I've never seen a performer like Garanca before; she's unparalleled.) While the singers/actors were incredible in that production, I think I preferred last night's performance overall. I found myself laughing out loud, literally, at many points, whereas the 2012 version seemed, somehow, more tender than comic. I think one of the reasons I love this opera so much is that it strikes a balance between comedy and more solemn issues (aging, letting go, etc.). Renée Fleming, of course, was lovely. She's one of the most elegant people I've ever seen on stage. I'd love to see Garanca and Fleming in the same production, but if that ever happens, I'll have to stake out the standing room line 24 hours before the show starts!
And on that note (pun semi-intended), it's time to begin the week.