Thursday 31 January 2013

Monday blues on January 21th, 2013

I thought I could relax and sleep to 0800. But suddenly I was late and the trains was late too. I was on the train to Milano Centrale that left 0905 and so it was in Milano 1100 and then the Malpensa Express, it stops at so many stations, 1135 and so I was in Malpensa 1235. But boarding time for my flight to Munich was 1235. I asked the security man and he helped me get faster through the security queue.

So you could think, it went all well then. NO. Snow in Munich Airport meant that my plane came late so 3 hrs later in the air. The waiting. I asked how the connecting flight to Oslo would be. OK, he said, it is 2 hrs delayed so I should come just in time. Except that it left just some seconds short of getting me on. Or minutes, then. So going to the transfer. Help Lufthansa people ready with ipads to help passangers. I was sent to another gate where I got a new boarding card. I was on a waiting list for the plane leaving 1930. Then I got a real boarding card, so now I will have a seat. My plane for home had already left but I should be on time for the night bus home. Except there was a delay. So I had to pay 1800 for a night at the SAS airport hotel and then a plane back home on TUESDAY. Luckily I was free the whole week because I have bought an apartment. On Tuesday I got the key, so I really needed to be there. I was packaging up and away in the old. Friday: Going to my parent's house to prepare for the moving of things from there to here. Saturday: a short talk to my cousin about the priorities until I had to go to Oslo to take the plane home so that I would be ready when the moving people arrived. They arrived Saturday 2330 and worked until 03. I slept from midnight, awake once every hour and even vomited some times. I was in pain. Sunday morning arrived I was in pain but I managed to go my new apartment to make some few late changes. The boys picked up some big furniture and took in from the old to the new apartment. They left 1500 and I went home to the old apartment, it was too cold in the new one.

Monday 28th, I have a dentist appointment but looks too ill so I am allowed to go home without having to pay. So I am not fit for work. Tells work I am sick. Gets a doctors appointment. Thursday 31st: I feel better now, not completely well. BUT am I really going to Munich for Carmen on Saturday February 2nd, I wonder! I feel sure that I will....

For reviews from my travels, see

From Genova to Torino (ANDREA CHENIER 20.1.2013)

After the dark Macbeth in Genova I was happy to see this colorful Andrea Chenier in Torino.  This opera was double expensive for me since I originally had thought to see Macbeth again in Genova with other singers as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. So that ticket was never used. The newsletter from Teatro Regio Torino made me choose Andrea Chenier, a wonderful opera, and MARCELO ALVAREZ was singing the main role. It was the perfect plan.

First I had to take a taxi to Genova Piazza Prinicipe, and then 0808 my train left for Torino Nuova Porta. My hotel in Torino was just beside the train station. Hotel Genova. I could say I traveled from Genova to Hotel Genova. It did not rain at first in Torino but in the end it poured down. After resting in the hotel I went to the opera house on foot. Macbeth in Genova started 1530 but I was in Torino to see Andrea Chenier and that started 1500. I was in time, naturally.

2013-01-20 Andrea Chenier (Giordano), Teatro Regio di Torino

Andrea Chénier - Marcelo Álvarez
Carlo Gérard - Alberto Mastromarino
Maddalena di Coigny - María José Siri
Bersi, her maid - Giovanna Lanza
The Countess of Coigny - Anna Malavasi
Madelon - Chiara Fracasso
Roucher  - Gabriele Sagona
Mathieu, a sans-culotte - Federico Longhi
The Incredible - Gianluca Floris
The novelist Pietro Fléville - Matteo Peirone
Fouquier Tinville, the Public Prosecutor  -
Scott Johnson
The Abbot, poet  - Luca Casalin
Schmidt - Fabrizio Beggi
Dumas - Franco Rizzo
Master of the Household - Gheorghe Valentin Nestor

Renato Palumbo, conductor

Director - Lamberto Puggelli
Director cooperator - Salvo Piro
Sets - Paolo Bregni
Costumes - Luisa Spinatelli
Choreographic movements - Tiziana Tosco
Lighting - Bruno Ciulli
Assistant to costumes - Monia Torchia
Chorus Master - Claudio Fenoglio

Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Regio
Staging by Teatro Regio

With all the buzz about the movie of the musical Les Miserables I think going to see the opera Andrea Chenier is doubly enjoyable. Chenier was a real during who lied and died during the revolution. Of course the romantic story is not as historic as the persons. The real Chenier was not a romantic but he was a revolution man, a poet. But politically he was not on the winning side so Robespierre wanted him dead.

I loved the production, so true and so real it was. The singing was suberb. Marcelo Alvarez was worth the trip to Torino. BRAVO!!!

After the opera the rain really had started pouring down. The opera ended approx 1830. I had used the GPS on my phone to get the theatre. Of course I had to start my phone again after the opera so the blue lines was gone and I could only see the blue  of where I was. And it was now dark. So I did the sensible thing I found a restaurant. Since the clock was still not 19 they could not serve me but I could sit down at a table and no longer be in the rain. Then I got the most wonderful meal. I loved the pizza. It was perfect. I have never gotten any better in Italy or maybe ever. Then when I was full and had paid, the rain was just as before, I asked for a taxi. A luxury, but worth it.

For reviews from my travels, see

Sunday 20 January 2013

Rain and Macbeth in Genova

My 3rd time in Genova, Italy. First was in 2004 for Il corsaro and then in 2007 for Le Villi. I chose to travel with Lufthansa from Oslo via Munich to Milano. From Milano Malpensa airport I took the train Malpensa Express to Milano Centrale, and from Milano Centrale to Genova Piazza Principe. Then I took a taxi to my hotel, Clarion Collection Astoria. So I was at my hotel at 1645. Talked to my dad on phone at 1700.

From 2230 til 1645 travelling from Norway to Italy. I was tired but soon I was walking towards Teatro Carlo Felice. On my way I found a restaurant, Ristorante Europe, where I had Penne pomodoro and Pizza Napolitana. After the meal it was back into the heavy rain and winds towards the opera house.

Maria Guleghina was the reason I had come to Genova to see Verdi's Macbeth. She was wonderful. This was a dark vision of Macbeth and his lady. Not much reason to like this two persons. In the scene of the prophecies Macbeth almost beheads Banco before he returns to reason. Lady Macbeth is one of the witches. This production is the only one that I have seen that is really successfull with the witches. This production is thoroughly thought out. Video projection is used but one never think "ah, video" it is integrated in the theatrical forms. Video is used as partt of the scenography and part of the regie. Rubens Pellizario was wonderful as Macduff. As part of this dark vision Macduff almost crowns himself but then cries of VITTORIA and Malcolm is crowned.

2013-01-19 Macbeth (Verdi), Teatro Carlo Felice, Genova

Macbeth = George Gagnidze
Lady Macbeth = Maria Guleghina
Macduff = Rubens Pelizzari
Banco = Roberto Scandiuzzi
Malcolm = Vincenzo Costanzo

Andrea Battistoni, conductor

Regia - Henning Brockhaus
Scene - Josef Svoboda
Ricostruzione allestimento scenico - Benito Leonori
Costumi - Nanà Cecchi
Allestimento in coproduzione con:
Fondazione Teatro Lirico G. Verdi di Trieste
Fondazione Pergolesi Spontini di Jesi

The opera started 2030 and lasted 3hrs 20min. So after a trip to WC and waiting at the wardrobe it was 0015 before I was out. And 0100 before I was in bed.

In the morning off to Torino and Andrea Chenier.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

And so OperaDuets Travel 2013 has begun with L'Italiana in Algeri

I was in Vienna to see Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri with Agnes Baltsa in Wiener Staatsoper. It seemed unlikely on Friday 11th that I would be able to go to Vienna. I went to work but the pain sent me to the doctor. The blood test showed that the crp was good so maybe... If I felt well enough to take the night bus then I would go. Luckily I was able to take the night bus to Oslo Gardermoen airport. And from then all went well. The only thing is... I am still tired. Not enough sleep. The weather was cold in Norway but it was allright in Vienna, no ice and only a few degrees below zero Celsius. I stayed at Hotel Astoria in Kärtnerstrasse, just a few metres from the opera house. It felt like old Vienna with someone to carry my bag and showing me to my big, wonderful room. The flight from Oslo started already at 0630 and just 4 hours later I was in my hotel room. I was tired and needed to sleep but naturally I did nothing about that until hours later. So typically me. It was internet, going to BurgerKing. Burger King because it was closest. But really those chicken wings was too spicy so it also felt like my veggie burger was spicy too. So I only really enjoyed my cola light. Before the opera I had dinner with my Austrian friend. She was smart and chose tomato soup but I had to wait for my veggie pizza. And of course it was too big and the time was too close to opera time. After the opera I had dinner with my friend from Singapure. We were both smart and chose the soup. Crema Pomodoro for me and another Italian soup for him.

Agnes Baltsa as Isabella. What can one say? The lady is magic but she was born on November 19, 1944 says the books. She seems much younger on stage. I have heard her sing better better because she was younger then but she was the main event. Young Antonino Siragusa could not outshine Agnes Baltsa. He was an admirable Lindoro. I almost did not miss Juan Diego Florez. But it was fun to experience a new Lindoro. Ileana Tonca and Juliette Mars as Elvira and Zulma was OK, but I have heard better before. Ferruccio Furlanetto was Mustafa and he was great. But just like Agnes Baltsa even Ferrucio Furlanetto was older and not so shining as they were in 2004.  Most of all I felt that it was time for a new production. The sets and costumes are beautiful but... Maybe it only needs some updating in regie. Mustafa is in brown-face and it no longer feels comfortable. I think that maybe I no longer like the story in this opera.

I had a lovely time in Vienna and my friend got a photo of him and Agnes Baltsa after the opera. Then it was late dinner. Night at my hotel. And early going to Vienna Airport to travel back home. But instead of taking a plane to home I took the bus to my parents' home to meet my uncle and aunt and work more, getting things in boxes. Preparing to move a lot of stuff to my new place and to in the end sell the house. And that was my Sunday. On Monday I met another uncle and aunt and cousin and we had a lovely. We visited dad together and then we had Chinese dinner. When they left on Tuesday their car was full of stuff. Then I was alone to go more work. It took some time so I had to take the night bus home. Today, Wednesday I was at home at 0530 in the morning. I slept in my bed for a few hours and then to work. After work I slept some more and now it is time to sleep. This time I can sleep the whole night. I do hope I will.

SO what happens more? Well, I am NOT too tired to travel again this weekend. So on Friday 18th another night bus to Oslo Gardermoen Airport. Saturday 19th I will travel to Milano via Munich. From Milano to Genova and then in the evening MACBETH by Giuseppe Verdi in Teatro Carlo Felice. Maria Guleghina will sing Lady Macbeth. For Sunday 20th I had planned to see Macbeth again with another cast but then I got an e-mail from Teatro Regio di Torino about ANDREA CHENIER  with Marcelo Alvarez so I bought a ticket for Andrea Chenier. So the BIG change is that on Sunday I will travel to Torino instead of staying in Genova. On Monday 21 I will travel by train to Milano and then via Munich back to Oslo. Then home, no night bus this time I hope. Then Tuesday 22nd the new appartment I bought will be officially mine.

For reviews from my travels, see

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Happy New Year 2013!!

I hope that 2013 will be a better year than 2012. In 2012 I was in hospital at different locations and at different times and my mother had the breast cancer come back and this time it spread. Then my mother died in October and my health worsened. I am better now but my mother is still dead. Life is strange. 2013 is a whole new year for me. First year without my mother.

What will 2013 bring?
I hope to see Agnes Baltsa as Isabella in Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri in Wiener Staatsoper on January 12th. All is ready for that. Travel tickets, opera tickets, hotel. It is all planned. All I need to do is to be well enough. And I am that, now.

I hope to go to Genova to see Verdi's Macbeth in Teatro Carlo Felice on January 19th and 20th. On the 19th I hope to see Maria Guleghina as Lady Macbeth. I am so looking forward to it. But I need to keep my health in good enough shape. Again all is planned. Hotel, opera, travel.

On February 2nd I hope to see Nancy Fabiola Herrera as Carmen in Munich. I hope I will not be too tired for that.

On February 9th I hope to go to Madrid's Teatro de la Zarzuela to see more zarzuela La Reina Mora & Alma de Dios by José Serrano. I love Zarzuela!! Will I be ready?

This is Giuseppe Verdi's year. 200th birthday and I would love to be able to see all his opera during this year. But I doubt that. Aida, Alzira, Attila, Un Ballo in Maschera, Il Corsaro, Don Carlos, I Due Foscari, Ernani, Falstaff, La Forza del Destino, Un Giorno di Regno, Giovanna d'Arco, I Lombardi alla prima crociata, Luisa Miller, MACBETH, I Masnadieri, Nabucco, Oberto, Otello, Requiem, Rigoletto, Simon Boccanegra, STIFFELIO, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, I Vespri Siciliani.

In April I will celebrate Verdi with Rolando Villazon on April 25th in Frankfurt and with José Cura as Stiffelio in Monte-Carlo on April 26th. Well, that does sound stressfull, and expensive!

In May I plan on my two Argentinean tenors, José Cura as Andrea Chenier in Vienna on May 16th, and Marcelo Alvarez in La Gioconda in Paris on May 17th. Will I get a ticket for La Gioconda in Paris?

It is exciting to be me if only I keep myself on the healthy side. That's all, for now...

For reviews from my travels, see