It was good to be back in Paris for a couple of days. In fact, I hadn't spent a lot of time here since our departure to Canada almost three years ago. My last visit was in March 2010, when I stopped for just one night on one of my European whirlwind trips to see Rheingold, the first installment in the first ever production of Wagner's Ring Cycle at the Opéra Bastille. I didn't manage to come and see either Walküre or Siegfried, but happy to make it for the second performance of Götterdämmerung yesterday evening. Since Götterdämmerung is my favourite part of the Ring Cycle anyway that was just fine and there's really nothing like hearing it live in a big theatre like the Bastille. Recordings never quite convey the impact Wagner's music (or in fact any music) can have. The Immolation Scene really works its cathartic magic when you're envelopped by the sound of a great orchestra and feel the impact of brass and percussion in your stomach.
One of the great things about working for the Paris Opera was that we weren't just an opera company, but also a ballet company. Since the ballet was part of the family (so to speak) and I also had to hire the conductors and singers (if requires) for the ballet productions I got to see at least some performances per season. During my short visit the ballet was performing a production at the Palais Garnier, Rain by the Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaker to music by Steve Reich (which was performed live in the pit). Once in a while Brigitte Lefèvre, the Director of Ballet, programs a production to display the talents of the younger member of the company and this was a perfect showcase for them.
Now I'm at the airport waiting for my flight to Board. I will be back in Toronto this afternoon.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (3) / permalink
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