switzerland 2013 recap


I still have plan to come back and write up about the last performance… perhaps by this weekend. But here is again the annual HD slideshow of the adventure to Anja Harteros’ Leonora aria. A large part on this trip, I spent either on the run or waiting on train/street, and this was the music that truly sticks. First the slideshow, then to finish out the aria, the last few pictures are repeats of the most lasting images. Lots of warm emotions, annual visiting to dear friends, meeting with new ones in Zürich with fantastic insider’s guide to river swimming + picnic _and_ promises of hosting on my next VK excursion 🙂 🙂 :-). Many discussions on VK, classical music, life, languages, sausages. I always love the establishment of human contact on the personal level because traveling can be such an isolation experience. As a complement I was spotted as an “obvious” Kasarova fan the moment i took my seat in the royal box; i told you, those video coordinators, they don’t always film what see ;-). A small regret couldn’t meet up with Cat and S, but many wishes all is moving foward well. life is long, we will resume. The Alps are sooooo beautiful, one can spend days and months just sitting / trekking / admiring. flowers: a batch for a certain singer but it didn’t quite survive the trek mountains to city. Somehow missing is a few photos of the trams, love love love it when the most prominent features on the streets are rail, trams, and pedestrians, and relatedly EVERYONE was in the lake swimming! For a visitor who loves small city, public transit, good bread, warm humid weather, no AC, warm human interactions, oh, and VK, it was a very memorable trip.

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ps- cow picture: we don’t have cows in the city to test our mutual reactions… so excuse the ignorant question, do cows hit people? so on last day on mountains, I pushed forward hiking up on flimsy shoes, a very rewarding experience… except somehow i was the _only_ one on that side of the mountains with cliff to the left as the sun was setting… then niice bell sounds, cows grazing in distance heading perpendicularly to cut off the trail… Then i saw the horns and got worried coz if they decided to make a run surely i’d be off the cliff.. First i thought of waiting out but then if they just sat on trail (coz can’t go further to left) then i’d be miserably lost on mountains after dark… so it was a race to who got passed first.. with lots of slipping and sliding.. After i “ran” passed them, looked up, they were just amusingly watching my moves.. and more images of them _charging_ downhills, so off to the cable car to race all the way down :-).

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About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

8 Responses to switzerland 2013 recap

  1. Eyesometric says:

    Oh, Dr T, this is so evocative of your journey, your adventures and your feelings! The mountains and flowers are spectacular – brilliant photography.
    I believe that different breeds of cows have differing tolerance levels, being generally placid but confrontational in certain circumstances eg. with calves nearby. You probably did the right thing 🙂

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    • thả diều says:

      :-). thanks Eyes. the mountains… still can’t believe i didn’t bring my hiking boots!! with them boots i could easily circle round the back of cows and enjoy their musical bells more :-).
      So, i was delaying the slides a bit coz trying to put music together.. i reaaaaalllly love Berlioz’ damnation de faust; it and trovatore were playing round the clock on train/street/bus… and i wanted to complete music with the tumultuous duet/trio from Weimar… but in the end 9min of Harteros really fits, esp the bit with her voice ascending slowly with orchestra, being in that opera house, i already get goosebumps feeling how incredible it would feel on 5th balcony 🙂 But i did upload duet/trio as well… think it’s usually skipped between Marguerite’s 2 arias but the mood changes quite drastically with so much chaos and truly enhances almost a sense of desperation and bitterness in “D’amour l’ardente flamme” immediately followed.
      Also, since we had quite a few discussion of VK’s Carmen on this trip, in hindsight wish i had heard it (discussion) earlier… coz it was that kind of passionate description of her singing Händel that got me to Wien despite not knowing Alcina… Also in discussion is this particular timing of VK changing her repertoire… and i somehow always catching on a bit “late” because it takes a while to develop a feeling for her next role/music/opera/composer… Oh, and sitting in opera house in Zürich, i couldn’t help but imagine how much an absolute riot “La Belle Helene” would have been 🙂 (i’ve resigned from imagining Agrippina…)

      ps- we should start a petition for trovatore with VK and Harteros in Zürich! i’d stay the entire duration of run!!

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  2. Cat says:

    Fantastic write ups An and great photos… thanks. If that VK AH Trovatore comes off we can complete our three great houses of the VK era meet-ups (Munich, Vienna, Zurich) at last 🙂

    Zurich is just so great for an opera weekend isn’t it? Walkable, pretty, great food. If only the exchange rate was not so horrendous it would be perfect !

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    • thả diều says:

      that’d be so much fun, in Zürich for VK+AH trovatore party ;-). many fingers crossed, she did say twice in the Leipzig interview, _and_ i had a dream last night asking her about it as well! spring would be good time as i just receive tentative words (still veeeeery tentative, sequestration be damned) that i might be going to the (Arctic) sea following next few years, yippee.
      ps- oh, exchange rate: i’ve suffered years of horrendous rate with the euros so actually the swiss francs were relatively nice! (except that bowl of noodle soup was 25 CHF, still much cheaper than a smaller version i got in Copenhagen…, can’t beat boston price of $8 🙂 ).
      ps2- will bring my chess set next time!

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  3. thả diều says:

    ps3- let me take up some room here to send greetings and thanks again to the new friends i made in Zürich for the fantastic discussions and river day (my email that way seemed to have fallen off the abyss, so here’s to keeping in touch 🙂 ).

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