Day 90, Saturday, November 23, 2019
I go to one last drawing session this afternoon. It is in a huge gorgeous apartment, with four large rooms used for an art school and three more rooms marked private. I can only wonder how much an apartment like this would cost! We had a great model, and snacks and drinks were provided, all for 7 euros. I am going to miss Vienna’s life drawing sessions. There is an opportunity to draw every day of the week.
After a few shorter ‘warm up’ poses there is one pose for the rest of the session. I struggled a bit today, but the model liked the drawing, which is always nice.
Bob comes to meet me after my drawing and we head downtown to the Opera House. I thought the building where we saw the performers from Tibet was the Opera House, but I was wrong. We are hoping to get last minute standing room tickets for a ballet tonight. We had tickets booked for an opera tomorrow but got an email that it was cancelled so we are going to try this instead. It is impossible to get regular tickets at this late date but we are hoping we might get these.Success, we got our tickets! Here is the inside of the Opera House. A view of the stage, orchestra pit and some of the seating. This is where we will be standing, at the very back right up under the ceiling!
The ballet is Peter Gynt. This is a short four minute video of the ballet we saw. Here is a brief synopsis of the ballet, from the Vienna Opera House site. It was certainly a very convoluted story!
“After being banished from his village for stealing a bride on her wedding day, Gynt encounters the Mountain King, a troll. He offers Gynt the chance to become a troll himself – an opportunity to live by his own rules – but he can’t face up to the responsibilities doing so would entail (including fathering the Mountain King’s daughter’s child).
Gynt leads a dissolute existence before returning to find Solveig, the woman who has awaited his return since the moment he was exiled. Bewildered by her reaction to his reappearance – happy and thankful rather than angry and resentful – Gynt is left in purgatory, still unable to resolve what he should have done with his life.”
I did a bit of drawing in the dark during the second act of the opera. Not easy as the dancers were almost constantly moving. I would try to fix a pose in my mind and then transfer it to the page, without being able to see what I was drawing. There was just enough light to figure out where I had placed a figure but not enough to see what I was drawing. Lots of fun! If you watch the video maybe these scribbles will make some sense.
It was a long time to stand but there was a railing to lean on and the ballet was interesting so the time went by fairly quickly. When I draw I tend to lose track of the time anyway. At the first intermission a lot of people standing in the two rows in front of us left. We were able to move to the front of the standing section and had a clear view of the stage, instead of looking between the shoulders of the people in front of us. Bob’s assessment at the end of the evening was “Well, it only took 2 1/2 hours for them (the two lead characters) to die!” When we went to an opera in Barcelona he commented “It took 3 hours for her (the heroine) to die!
Of course no photos during the performance, but I did take this one during the curtain call. By the time we get down to the main lobby there is just time for a quick photo of the grand entrance staircase… and one of us, reflected in a mirror. Everyone is chased out of the building fairly quickly after the performance. There are lots of lights on the street outside the Opera House where we catch the metro home.