01 June 2007


Inside the Frauenkirche.

So, Munich was interesting. Besides the Hotel change, I also went to the Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek, and walked around the Center. That evening, I also went to the opera, to see La Traviata.

The opera was fantastic, not because I could see the staging (I really couldn't), and not because there was some great singer (at least, not anyone I was familiar with). Instead, it was great because it felt like I was participating in a long tradition of Western cultural activity, and I came away from the experience with a better understanding of how the process of going to the opera (as opposed to listening to it or watching it on PBS) should be carried out.

I couldn't read my ticket, but I found the right 3rd tier and (seat) 58 and sat down. Then an older woman sat down next to me, and seemed kind of surprised I was sitting there, but didn't say anything. Then another guy came with his wife, and the idea that I was sitting in his seat was communicated to me. It turns out, I had standing tickets, standing at place 58 in the third tier, which was almost behind the seat 58 -- which is what you get for €11. But this was actually good, because I was participating in the role inherent in the opera experience on an economically challenged, budding connoisseur who was going to the opera out of love. I couldn't see most of the stage, although it was not the Zeffirelli School of staging, but rather late 1910s-early 1920s and the choral parts (which are always my favorite Verdi) were really creatively done, with great uses of props.

At the intermissions, the audience is not allowed to stay in the theatre but rather goes out and promenades around the lobbies and balconies and contemplates artworks in the loggias. Some people, especially women, were dressed ála Bavarian, which was cool. I understood the idea of seeing and being seen at the opera, plus the idea of moving around in the intermission as the opposite of the sedentary aspect of watching. Seeing that really made the architecture and decoration of the Palau de Música Catalana make a lot more sense.

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