Thursday, April 12, 2007


All sorts of things are in the works right now. For instance: I'm finally seriously researching how to get to Amsterdam (and when). Peter wrote back and it sounds like the performance I'll be able to make is on the 17th, but he warns that "it is a Luc Bondy production and rather drab." I don't know who Luc Bondy is, and the fact that it is drab doesn't really bother me since the whole point of going while Peter is there is to visit Peter, not necessarily to see super-spiffy-early-music-operas. Also, I think I am in love with They are proving to be both useful and cheap, and you really can't ask for anything more in an airline website.

Other things in the works involve actually getting in touch with some of the people that Mr. Nerenberg gave me contact information for and *hopefully* figuring out a time to go to Cambridge while I am still here. There is currently no actual plan, but there is a lot of fussing about with notebooks and calendars, which I figure is progress. I'll keep ya'll posted.

Yesterday I took a break from all of this touristing/museuming about and did my laundry and read British novels. It was good. I also went grocery shopping again. Somehow I don't think that giving you a play by play will be an interesting post, so instead I'll tell you about the ballet I saw: Mayerling a ballet in three acts.

I decided not to purchase the £5 commemorative program figuring that it is a ballet and ballets necessarily have to have fairly simple plots. This may have been a mistake. From what I gathered it was about Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria-Hungary and his many, many mistresses. I do have the program with all of the dancers' names and what character they played, which is how I *know* that I was missing a lot. The problem was that everyone was at least a princess, so they were all wearing crowns which did nothing for identification help.

I think the ballet opened with Rudolph's wedding to whomever it was that he was not terribly happily married to. There was then much public humiliation and giant leaps that I think represented defiance. (or something) There was also this fun little manly man dance that the prince did with his guard buddies. I don't think it was necessarily supposed to be funny, but it really was. They kept doing this odd little hip-shimmy-hop thing. Eventually someone was accidentally killed by Rudolph who then sunk in to a terrible depression (good body language there, that part I was actually able to follow) and started shooting heroin (or some other injectable drug) and eventually ended up killing himself and one of his mistresses. I think. Though there are also two people in the cast list who are listed as playing two of the main mistress characters but as children. I know I missed that part... So it might have been a figurative death...I don't know. But there was someone who was lowered in to a grave that was cut out of the stage, and that was pretty cool. The mistress who eventually died (I think) was very very good. Lovely to watch.

The music was by Liszt and terribly dramatic, but in a good way. There was a full orchestra in the pit, including a grant piano. I was impressed that everyone fit. Anyhow, I enjoyed it quite a lot, but hope there wont be any sort of quiz on plot elements.

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