13 August 2007

Dept. of Sieglinde's Back in America

It's so cheap and easy to take digital pictures-- but when it comes time to sort through them, to perhaps fashion some sort of public album of your better shots, then it sucks that it's so cheap and easy. So I took 1,823 pictures: quite an excess of old buildings and ancient streets shot from below, most of which won't survive the edit; many pictures of "slow food" food on plates; sweet and patient J. decoding guidebooks and city maps in various poses; and gawky images of Raphaels, da Vincis, Titians, Veroneses, Caravaggios ... and certainly the St. Sebastians in various S&M poses. In Vienna, there is La Divina Bar, referring to none other than La Divina herself. The Austrian Airlines shuttle plane we took from Copenhagen had the name "Maria Callas" painted on the fuselage by the entrance door. I didn't know she was that big with Austrians in particular ... YES, it was indeed strange for Sieglinde to be at the great centers of opera when opera houses were all "chiuso per ferie". (No, I didn't make it to Salzburg.) I thought I'd be alright with it, but with each little reminder the regret deepened. Walking around Trieste, we came across a plaque on some random building where Verdi had once lived. So we took some espresso from an antique cafe across the street where I imagined he also sat, a century and a half ago, poring over his Stiffelio score.