23 August 2006

Bayreuth 13

I was hoping to get a poster for the Ring Cycle to go with the ones I have from Seattle and San Francisco, but they don't seem to have those here. In fact the merchandising is quite restrained. There is a small stand to one side of the Festspielhaus, separate but close enough so that I assume it's official, that offers the usual postcards, some black T-shirts with quotations from Gotterdammerung in white on the chest, and some books, DVDs, and CDs. The books are scholarly rather than popular. I've ended up buying a number of CDs because there are performances not available in the US that are released here. But the plethora of shirts, mugs, stuffed animals, comic books, and so forth that I've seen elsewhere make no appearance here.
There is the official festival program book, a handsome white-covered trilingual volume with many color pictures and essays on the productions. I am holding off on reading them until after I've seen the productions. The book comes in a blue and white Festspiel tote bag made not of the usual canvas but of some odd material I can't identify. The blue strap is quite long and the only way to carry the bag conveniently is the sling it over one shoulder so that it crosses your chest. You see people all over with these, carrying programs and books and opera glasses and obviously not enough lozenges, looking like some sort of odd messenger service.
Tomorrow is our first day off, so I'm planning to take the train to Nuremburg, which for some reason I keep calling Niebelheim. I'll assume I'm just tired.


Vicki said...

Your vivid descriptions are making me feel like I'm there, so I need smells to complete the fantasy. What are you smelling, especially any natural smells?

Me, I'm thinking about what tuna casserole and delicious apple cake would smell like.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

As usual we are totally in sync -- I left the note for you yesterday about tomatoes (and I almost mentioned your favorite catalogue) before I realized anyone had commented. And just yesterday I was thinking about smells and trying to decide if any stood out. Not really! In some locations tobacco smoke is a very heavy smell, and outside the Festspielhaus some of the women wear gagging amounts of perfume. I had avoided them until yesterday, when the woman to my left exuded full floral horror. As it happens the very nice Wagner Society woman on the other side of me was too short to see over the man in front of her, so I switched seats with her after warning her about the perfume. She also found it too heavy but was willing to make the sacrifice in order to see the stage. She's about a foot shorter than I am and I had some trouble at times seeing over the guy also.
And I've also been thinking about tuna casserole and special apple cake and wondering what's going on with our favorite stalker/stalkee. I know nothing of anything going on anywhere outside of the Festspielhaus.

Vicki said...

Oh, there's much going on in both fake and real life. The fake would amuse you, the real would depress you (the news, not anybody you know). So, enjoy your vacation. You'll be back to everything else soon enough.