Also on the Lido is the Grand Hotel des Bains, the famous luxury hotel where Aschenbach spends his final days. The hotel was built in 1900 and attracted a star clientèle, but 110 years later its days of playing host to film stars and tourists have come to an end. The hotel has been closed, and the building is now being converted into luxury apartments for sale and rent.
Aschenbach and the Polish Family also visit the city of Venice, including what might be its most famous attraction, the Basilica di San Marco. But the opera can hardly be described as an inducement to tourists to visit the famous city - everywhere Aschenbach detects the scent of disease, even at the famous Basilica. "Incense and sickness mingle in the air," he sings, while observing the Polish family at their prayers. Even so, Aschenbach is overtaken by its beauty. When preparing to leave the city, he sings:
"Shall I never see these columns rise again?
Never see the marble brows
upon each curving bridge?
Why did I yield so quickly to my fears?"
Photo via flickr user asw909.
Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / comments (5) / permalink
Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001