Wednesday, May 23, 2007
It was so nice to be met at the airport and taken directly to the beach.
Cordelia loves getting dressed up.
This is the concert hall in Barcelona. It looks better than it sounds, though.
Some of the Advantages of Living in Europe
Just came back from a harrowing rehearsal, five and a half hours of Handel's "Julius Caesar in Egypt", not exactly a stellar cast onstage (one of the sopranos has a voice that reminds me forcibly of someone throwing scrambled egg on a wall) and a production that includes a lot of bondage and simulated rape, and was feeling sorry for myself when I remembered that I had gone shopping yesterday and had come back with some of the above.
This you can't get in America, I don't think: Swiss chocolate, 70%; with a lime/green pepper filling. Heaven.
Just wanted to post some of my Spain pictures, these are from Zaragoza.
Everyone takes pictures of lions from the front. I wanted to be different.
This was part of a festival celebrating the conquest of the Infidels in the 14th century.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
It has been difficult to get internet on this trip, sorry!
Last night we played in a gorgeous town (Aviles), but these pictures are from Gijon, where we played a couple of days ago.
This morning I am flying to Barcelona, where my daughter will meet me. Tomorrow night is our final concert... it has been a tour with many late nights and Spanish red wine and acute sleep deficit.
Arriving in Barcelona after a harrowing journey involving a 4:30 a.m. wakeup, a long busride in the rain to the airport, and a long delay in the plane departure, eventually arrived in Barcelona early in the afternoon. We went straight to the beach and flew kites and played frisbee, and had a most excellent lunch at the beach restaurant.
The waiter had a South American accent, and I understand that these "guest workers" are treated very badly by the native Spaniards. In any case he was very nice and friendly. I had the most fantastic Patatas Bravas in my life. Actually the first ones, but they were marvellous.
Afterwards we went to the apartment and Cordelia modelled her new flamenco dress and played me her new video of "High School Musical" which she loves but I find disgustingly superficial, not to mention being badly sung and arranged. But she is fascinated by the depiction of American teenage life (she is going into 5th grade in the fall; will turn 10 in january).
Thursday, May 17, 2007
anyhow, I have about 15 minutes left before we have to get on the bus again (to Valladolid). Maybe I can get something posted now...
Thursday, May 03, 2007
On the World Stage
Lionel was in Rotterdam, Holland, last week, and in Prague, Czech Republic, at the weekend, did a concert there with a gospel singer; he described the event for me when he got back yesterday.
Open air. The concert was preceeded by a water fountain show, which thoroughly drenched the drums. Never mind, the audience went berserk with enthusiasm.
At the end of the show standing ovations and a boy with Downes Syndrome went onstage and got on his knees and bowed with devotion and happiness. Two other older men leapt onstage with flowers and wanted to present them to the singer, but she ignored them, pushing them away to acknowledge the audience, and did an encore. The 2 gentlemen, obviously embarassed, nevertheless stayed gamely on the stage and waited patiently for her to finish.
When she did take the flowers, one of the the men suddenly took her microphone and began to speak to the audience. Making no compromises for the fact that none of the band could understand Czech. He went on and on, and the handicapped boy made loud noises of protest and motioned for him to shut up already and get off the stage so the band could play some more. Lionel reckoned that the man talked for a good 15 minutes before finally leaving.
It was only as they were packing up their instruments that the manager grimly told them that one of the men was the Mayor of Prague and the other (who spoke so boringly and long) was the country's president.