Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ich bin IN Berlin.

We finished up our Leipzig time and work and had a free weekend before beginning our last week of class in Potsdam (a suburb of Berlin), so I went right ahead on to Berlin. I was pretty much on my own like when I was in Munich, but it was only for two nights and much later in the trip, so it didn't feel to alienated. Berlin is a big ole city with an elaborate transportation to navigate, more diversity than any other place that I've seen in Germany, lots and lots of tourists in its center, and a kinda crazy energy. Yes, it's like they all say, it's like NYC.

During my first weekend of Berlin orientation, I went with the two 'currencies' that work for me: classical music and church. Friday night, I attended performances of Handel's Orlando at the Komische Oper Berlin.

It's one of the smaller houses, and kind of plain on the outside, but check out this interior.

I wasn't sure if more Baroque music would be a mistake after all this Bach, but it was all good. The orchestra was really taut, beautiful, and expressive. The staging of the opera was modern-day--the lovers were camping in a VW Camper Bus and all the roles except Sarastro were played by women and there was lots of gender neutrality, shall we say. Very hip, edgy staging--just because there's a theorbo doesn't mean someone isn't going to splatter blood on the wall after he/she shoots him/herself. The singing was inconsistent--sometimes breathtaking, sometimes just out of tune. Doesn't that sound just like what happens when singers are cast for their looks and terrific acting ability, not just their vocal prowess.

That night I walked home along "Unter dem Linden" (Under the Linden trees)--I love experiencing the center of the city first by night. Seems more romantic that way.
That same Berliner Dom the next day:

I went to an organ concert in that church Saturday night. And it was bad. Schade! The church was and organ are magnificent, there were tons of people there, and it was just...lame. Rats.

No comments:

Post a Comment