A dull and wet day in Venice on Exotica and so a good time to embark on the blog for 2018. If you read this do please make a comment at the end as we like to know that we are not broadcasting to empty ether.
Our 2018 season began on April 17th, flying Air NZ to Vancouver via New Zealand. The trip made somewhat longer when we sat for two hours on the tarmac in Auckland waiting for the hold to warm up for the transportation of fifty thousand New Zealand bees to Canada. Crew and passengers became increasingly restless at the delay and we arrived in Vancouver very late and a number of people missed their connections. We will never know if the bees made it to their destination alive.
Our son, Edward, and fiancé, Charmaine, had just moved into their duplex in the tiny ski resort Sun Peaks. Complete with babbling brook at the bottom of the garden which was thick with snow slowly melting in the cold but sunny days of our wonderful eight day stay, some of the time spent, in overalls, painting their basement.
A week in UK, staying in Princes Risborough with Terry’s sister. Lunches with friends and an entertaining evening at the Duke of York Theatre for The Moderate Soprano, a delightful play telling the story of Glyndebourne’s beginning.
You never know what the traffic will be like on the M25, so we allowed four and a half hours before our flight from Heathrow to Frankfurt, normally a forty-minute drive from Princes Risborough. All was going splendidly until the M40 meets the M25. An accident happened only minutes ahead of us and there we sat in our hire car, stationary, for two hours discussing the logistics of getting another flight and thence to Karlsruhe, without our tour group. By the skin of our teeth we did make the flight, extremely frazzled.
The first of our three Ring Cycles this summer was with Travel for the Arts in the quiet town of Karlsruhe, near Baden Baden. It is dubbed the Diversity Ring. Four different directors for the four operas. We are told they had a meeting in Iceland to discuss the production, but this was patently a waste of time. These young men had little respect for Wagner, the audience or the cast. Their aim was to get a reaction, no matter what. In that they succeeded, at the end of the first act of Gotterdammerung one of our group was heard to boom “RUBBISH”, with good cause.
Musically the standard was exceptional and we were delighted to have dinner with Katharine Tier, the Australian mezzo soprano, who sang Fricka, Erda, Waltraute, First Norn and a Rhinemaiden in Gotterdammerung. The star of the show we thought.
We flew to Pula on May 14th finding Exotica had been very well cared for over the winter. A couple of days to commission the boat and then we did the 70 nautical mile passage to Venice on the 18th in very good time, albeit motoring across a very calm Adriatic. Spotted one dolphin and two turtles.
And so now a month in Marina Sant Elena. Very good engineers at this marina who diagnosed and fixed a fresh water leak in the bilge. Some sun, some rain but we are in Venice…