Io Sono Ammalato

Now just imagine that said with a throb in the voice and a clutching of the throat – sounds better than “I’m sick” doesn’t it? I was all set to post about the glorious day in the spring-like weather on Tuesday with pictures of happy patrons at outside cafés etc when this flu hit Wednesday morning.

And of course it couldn’t have come at a worse time – we’ve got a lot going on in the next few days.

    • Tonight is our first subscription ballet night – a rather strange evening built around works designed by the Greek-Italian Surrealist Giorgio de Chirico.
      Set design for Bacchus e Ariane by Giorgio de Chirico (Source: Rome Opera)

      Its a varied programme involving the disparate talents of Igor Stravinsky, Albert Rousell, Vittorio Reiti, Serge Lifar, George Balanchine and Luigi Pirandello. Aside from the Stravinsky-Lifar Appollon I can honestly say I only recall reading about the other ballets as Ballets Russefootnotes. Next week we’ll be getting three ballets designed by Picasso.

    • Tommorrow night is our regular night at the Academia de Santa Ciecila and the promise of the Brahms Symphonies 1 and 2 conducted by Antonio Papano. The season thus far has been plagued with cancellations and not all that memorable.
      However last month’s concert with Maurizio Pollini doing the Brahms Number 1 Piano Concerto was a truly moving experience. He’s such an unassuming man – slightly stooped and almost apologetic as he approaches the piano. Then he sits down, his fingers touch the keys and he becomes a Titan. Jack tried to get a few shots with his Cell camera during the curtain calls but none of them turned out except this one of Pollini with his back to us.
  • As this horrid flu was starting to take affect I turned to some of my favorite bloggers (many of whom seemed to have the same thing – could it be a real computer virus????) for solace and comfort. OC, that divine diva of Opera Bloggers, had just come back from opening night at La Scala of Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac with Placido Domingo. Even before she had her Prada heels off she was writing a quick review that sent me running to the La Scala website. There were a few tickets left for this Tuesday’s performance. Snapped one up real quick like; navigated the shoals of the treacherous TrenItalia website to book a train (its only 4 hours 30 minutes) and used travel points to get a hotel near the opera house. When I read her complete review I knew I had made the right choice.
    Placido Domingo as Cyrano
    (Photo from Royal Opera House Covent Garden – Catherine Ashmore)

    As OC observes Domingo is approaching his 70s and we can’t expect him to go on forever, so this may be the last chance I’ll have to see him on stage. I know it won’t be the voice I heard in 1976 in SFO or Paris in 1986 but I do know that he is still the greatest tenor around and it will a spectacular event. I am getting antsy with anticipation.

So I really have to pull myself together and get right over it. None of this wallowing in self-pity that man-flu would normally demand; though when I’m sick I just like to be left alone. So just let me go and die in my own manner just promise me the body will be given a decent burial.

01 febbraio – San Orso

Extravagance … and Optimism

Teatro dell'Opera logo
In a gesture of extravagance and optimism I purchased a box for the Opera and Ballet for the coming year. Extravagance because a box is five seats and we are only two but this way we can invite friends or visitors to come out for the evening with us. And I’ll never had this chance again – our own box (10D) at the opera! Damn the expense I say! Optimism because I am saying that on December 11, 2008 I’ll be alive, well and able to attend Otello. But to be honest if I don’t book subscriptions we will end up not going. Its happened so often in other places: Oh look the bus-truck production of the hit musical In Cold Blood is coming to town, we must get tickets. Oh damn that was last week.

Okay Roma isn’t La Scala – hell I guess its not even La Fenice or San Carlo – but at least here you have a chance of getting a seat as most transactions still have to be done at the box office. There are a few other opera houses, that will remain nameless, were the only people who seem to have seats are the scalpers. The minute seats go on the Internet they are snatched up – and how exactly at 2 per customer do those totes outside the theatre end up with rolls of 10 to 12?? The big subscription booster this year is the Muti Otello scheduled to open December 6, 2008 – on the strength of that one production alone the subscription series appear to be sold out and all five performance will be standing room only. I guess I’m not alone in my optimism.

So we now have subscriptions to the Opera, the Ballet and the Accademia Ste Cecelia which guarantees that at least three times a month we’ll turn off the fascinating Italian quiz shows, get off our asses and get out on the town. However friends and acquaintances should note, we are still available the rest of the month for dinner parties, cinema and pizza forays.

06 decembre – San Nichola di Bari

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