As well as a few random thoughts and events I thought I'd post pictures of the doorways of the Renaissance palazzi that line Via Rodolfo Belerizani in Trento. These marvelous Renaissance buildings have been preserved and adapted to modern usage and the street, in fact the whole historic town centre, is reserved primarily for pedestrians. But then this is normal in most towns in Italy.
- When I complain or whine - yes I know its hard to imagine me doing either - about life here in Italy most people suggest I look at a few of my own pictures. And I must admit they do paint a rather romantic tourist view of la Bella Italia. And there is much to enjoy here - food, music, wine (yes I've broken down one or two times), history, beauty and people. But there is also much here that frustrates both the Ex-pats and, at times even, the Italians. And to prove the point Bruno Bossetto made this little film. It sums it all up perfectly.
- I've mentioned before that when you buy your subscription for the opera season here, except for the first night, you can never be sure what cast you're going to get. So far we've hit it lucky but I just knew our luck would run out eventually. Carmen is coming up later this month and three tenors - no not The Three Tenors Lorraine, this isn't that much like PBS - were announced to sing Don Jose. One of them is Andrea Bocelli. He will be singing on June 20th, our subscription night.
Now first let me say I have nothing against Andrea Bocelli so I don't want all sorts of flames thrown. For what he is - a popular singer - I think he's just fine and I'm glad he has had a successful career. And I can forgive him for singing with Sarah Brightman and Celine Dion. But when he's hired as what he isn't, that bothers me. Sorry but he's not an opera singer - he is someone who sings operatic arias in concert. And performing in a concert setting as a solo performer is very different from a staged production with other soloists, chorus and full orchestra. And Don Jose is a killer role - dramatically and musically. And I honestly question if his voice is big enough to fill an opera house without amplification. Subscription tickets cannot be exchanged - a practice which I find strange and may be particular to Italy - and it was suggested that we just not go. However that would be condemning someone without giving them a chance. So we'll go, hopefully be able to put aside any prejudices or preconceived notions and report back honestly at some point.
- A week ago today two things changed in my life. Last Tuesday I received my Permeso di Soggiorno, which means I am finally legally in Italy. Don't even ask what I was before! Basically it means my presence is recognized by the Italian Government and that I can now work in Italy.
Which brings us to the second change - coincidentally the same day I started getting up at 0615 so I could be to work on time. Yes I said work! I now have a job! I am no longer a man of leisure. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Its a short term contract working at the Embassy for the next two months - Monday to Friday - 0800 to 1700. I like to think of it as a summer job to pay for all those opera jaunts hither and yon - though my friend Jon Penner says it makes me an opera-whore????
What ever effect it may have in my moral standing in the world, sadly it means I have a little less time to work on some of the postings I've been thinking about. But I'm still going to try and keep things up to date - if I don't collapse the minute I get home from the stress of - gasp, groan, shudder - working!
10 giugno - San Maurino