- Gioachino qua, Gioachino là,
- Gioachino su, Gioachino giù
Okay I'm paraphrasing here, it should be: Ehi Figaro! But in a little under a week's time it will be Gioachino Rossini who will be all over the place and in great demand. Or at least all over the place and in great demand in and around Salzburg.
As we were leaving the final concert at last year's Pfingstfestspeil we were given the prospectus for 2014. And it was with some surprise that we saw it was proclaiming:
And of course La Ceci is the artistic director for the Pfingstfestspeil so it would only stand to reason that in her programming she would, at some point, include the Swan of Pesaro. As a sidebar Bellini was often referred to as the Swan of Catania.... it would seem those early 19th century composers were a veritable wedge of swans! And programme him she did for 2014: there's Rossini in the morning, Rossini in the evening and (for those that could afford it) Rossini at suppertime!
As I mentioned almost a year ago we had no intention of going back to Salzburg for the 2014 festival tomorrow we'll be heading to Frankfurt en-route to that lovely city on the Salzach to wallow in five days of Rossini, Rossini and more Rossini - with the odd bit of Hahn, Vivaldi and Faure thrown in just to keep me on an even keel. And I must admit that the tickets were booked five days after they went on sale in May 2013 - talk about the eternal optimist!!!!
Unlike other years we are giving a few things a miss this year - that Whit Monday last year when we ran from Mozarteum to St Peter's Church to Grosses Festspeilhaus with only a chance to grab a quick energy restoring cup of tea and a piece of Sacher Torte was just too much. And there will be a few other changes this year: an old - as in longtime not age - friend will be coming with us and we'll be meeting a friend of her's for a few days in Salzburg. And hopefully we'll be having a late evening cocktail with one of the inveterate contributors to Parterre Box.
the Tuscan Suite at the Hotel Bristol. Though La Ceci's tenure as artistic director has been an exciting one - witness last year's programme - there has been a downside to it. During the Muti tenure there was one "big" name - Muti; that's not to say that we didn't hear quality - we heard and saw quality in spades. But with the advent of Bartoli there are some "big" names on the bill and the Festival now has a higher profile. And with a higher profile comes higher prices at hotels, restaurants and other venues in town. Prices have almost reached Summer Festival levels and frankly I gave up on the Summer Festival years ago as being beyond my financial resources. And sadly the beloved Bristol has reached that point where my pocketbook couldn't justify paying the tariff being asked. Sad because going there was always like going home - however I'm sure we'll still be able to find a table at the Sketch Bar after a performance and see some of our old friends who are regulars there.
And there have been two changes to the Festival format this year: we get not one but two operas, both staring Cecilia Bartoli. And to accommodate that sort of scheduling the Festival begins one day earlier this year running from Thursday until Whit Monday. And there is very little in the way of purely instrumental works this year - its almost all vocals!
But what vocals! We get La Cenerentola with Cecilia, the amazing Mexican tenor Javier Camarena, who sent New Yorkers for a spin last month, and Nicola Alaimo; the Stabat Mater with Antonio Pappano and his Santa Cecilia forces, Krassimira Stoyanova, Elīna Garanča, Piotr Beczala and Erwin Schrott; the Petit Messe Solonnelle in the piano/harmonium scoring again with Maestro Pappano, his Santa Cecilia Chorus, Eva Mei, Vesselina Kasarova, Lawrence Brownlee and Michele Pertusi; Joyce DiDonato in a recital of songs inspired by Venice; and finally Otello with La Ceci and John Osborn. Not a bad gathering of the Rossini clans?????
|In younger and slimmer days |
- more hair, less weight.
So its time to try on the trachen and see if it still fits - I have a sneaking suspicion there will be a problem there and no time to lose weight to solve it - bundle up the laptop, double check the tickets and hotels and start packing.
May 31 - 1669: Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary.