Does it ever happen to you that you come home after a performance and you can't sleep because you're still so caught-up and moved by what you've seen? It happened to me last night after Pelléas et Mélisande at the Met. I just couldn't stop thinking about the two brothers Pelléas and Golaud (Stéphane Degout and Gerald Finley) and the wonders Simon Rattle and the Met Orchestra had been doing in the pit.
Walking into the General Manager's Box I found one of my favourite people in the world, the director Peter Sellars. He just started rehearsals for his production of Nixon in China at the Met. Pelléas is one of his most beloved pieces (he did a famous production with Simon Rattle in Amsterdam years ago) and I was glad to be able to spend the evening with him sharing our enthusiasm for the piece and the performers.
The fragile beauty of Debussy's sounds still haunts my memory while I'm on my way to Newark Airport as quickly as the tons of snow that came down over the region on Monday allow the taxi to go. I should be back in Toronto around noon and look forward to seeing the National Ballet's Nutcracker this afternoon.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (3) / permalink
After all the travel chaos my flight from Paris to Toronto yesterday went very well and was just 45 minutes delayed. During these past few days I had had my doubts about being able to get back for Christmas. I'm so glad I'm here now.
In the meantime, most of our artists for The Magic Flute have arrived and we're in rehearsals for this new production since Monday already. There will be lots to talk about next year as we get it ready for opening on Jan. 29.
Since the summer I owe you a blog entry about two wonderful composers who both celebrated their 200th anniversaries in 2010. I will try to get this done before the end of the year.
Happy Holidays to all readers!
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (2) / permalink
Never ever have I been happier to arrive at Charles-de-Gaulle Airport than this evening.
Remember, I told you yesterday I would go to Brussels today, weather permitting? Well, when I got to St. Pancras train station in London at around 10:00am this morning I learnt that because of the weather conditions all Eurostars were operating on a contingency plan. There was the biggest line-up of people I've ever seen in my life and people were accommodated on a first-come first-serve basis. It was clear to me that I would never make it to Brussels in time for my meetings or even the performance of La Bohème that I was supposed to attend this evening. Also, because of the heavy disruptions of the train traffic I wasn't even sure if I would be able to get a train from Brussels to Charles-de-Gaulle Airport in Paris tomorrow in order to catch my flight home.
I decided to change plans and try to get to Paris as soon as possible. After five hours of waiting in-line I got a ticket for the next Eurostar which I boarded after another two more hours of waiting in the lounge. This might all sound really chaotic to you, but given the masses of people trying to get back to the continent I can only admire the calm and professionalism of the Eurostar team. Thank you for getting so many of us to Paris today.
Now, I'm in a hotel at the airport which my fabulous assistant found for me. Hopefully, all will be fine for my flight home tomorrow.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (1) / permalink
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