Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Operatic Departures . In which we pack up in Paris . . .

Last week, in Metz, we strolled across the bridge to check out the opera house in Metz. Apparently the oldest (still working) opera house in France, and one of the oldest in Europe, it still maintains its own costume ateliers. Sadly, our three-day visit didn't coincide with any of the performances, but we've vowed to plan more carefully in future and eventually to be sitting inside enthralled by the music and costumes and drama that constitute opera.
Meanwhile, it wasn't so bad, strolling around outside in the evening sunshine. We imagined ourselves dressed for a night at the opera, milling about on the plaza with all the other theatre-goers, enjoying the glow of the golden stone in the sunlight.

And consoled ourselves that while the Queen Elizabeth Theatre back home in Vancouver doesn't feature golden stone buildings or cherubs on its rooftops, it will nonetheless be staging a performance of La Traviata just after we get home at the end of the month. The production (a co-production, actually, with Glimmerglass Opera), is directed by Sir Jonathan Miller (if I'd been home yesterday, I would certainly have gone to the free interview with Miller, a fascinating public intellectual with an illustrious and sometimes controversial career/history). An opera featuring a 19th-century Paris courtesan -- you know there will be costumes!! -- check out the VOA's manga for a synopsis of the story.

Truly, if you're anywhere near Vancouver and you've been intrigued by my opera posts, this is one you're almost guaranteed to enjoy -- you'll be sure to recognize some of the music, if only from Bugs Bunny!
And there may even be some flowers outside on the plaza of the Queen E, although they may not be quite as striking as these beds at the opera house in Metz. . .
I'll be opera-blogging again on opening night, so if you get tickets for that performance (Saturday, April 30th), be sure to come by and say hello. 

Meanwhile, we're packing up here in Paris -- catching the Eurostar today for London. In the last few days, we've taken in a brilliant, brilliant chamber music concert, visited a wonderful major exhibition (Van Dongen, Fauvist), bought Pater a new linen jacket (he looks even more understatedly sharp than ever, imo), dined with old and new friends, discovered a few new-to-us architectural delights, finessed a grumpy waiter with kindness, patience, and a few well-chosen French phrases (I was so pleased with myself), had one memorable fight and resolved it quite nicely . . . and we leave Paris fatigued but still in love, with each other, and with this city. I have much left to tell you. But for now,  I have to see how that carry-on plan will work with a few new acquisitions. A bientôt


  1. Mater,

    Your holiday writings have me swooning.....lovely and delicious!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing thoughts about your adventures during your stay in Paris. I have thoroughly enjoyed every single post. It hardly seems possible that 6 weeks have flown by so quickly! Safe travels to London and home.

  3. Your pictures and recountings are fabulous as always. Thank you so much for taking the time to share these wonderful tidbits of your trip with us!

    So nice that you have an opera to look forward to upon your return home! I'm intrigued by the idea of a manga for an opera, am off to check that out next.

  4. Aw. Your writing has really been something, on this trip. I have to say, I can imagine a book of essays on long-standing marriage and travels therein, could be quite compelling. Most travel writing is solo.

  5. Glad you're enjoying, Hostess, and CAVintage
    Pseu: the manga is fun -- an unexpected approach to opera, for sure!
    Lisa: Thank you! funny, Pater's been saying the same thing after a young friend of ours commented that I should be writing about marriage, etc. I pooh-poohed his suggestion (such is married life), but I'm encouraged to hear an more objective (and highly talented) reader say the same thing. Now where can I buy a big bundle of time?!

  6. Your trip continues to be both an inner and outer revelation (discreetly to us, but I am guessing more vividly to you?) Thank you for these gorgeous photos and for your perseverance in packing us in your carryon!


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