Der Fliegende Hollander
There is always a kind of anticipation when I have to go to the Opera. This time it was for Der Fliegende Hollander. Bert came as usual from Den Haag to Brussels. We bought two abonnements for the season, last summer, and it is always a pleasure to go to the Opera to together. Always elegant and funny, he is the perfect gentleman from books and movies. Before the Opera we eat at the Café de l’Opera, Place de la Monnaie, right in front of the Opera. This café restaurant is very romantic inside. It is all in red velvet and dark ceilings with little lights on the walls. The waiters are very well aware of the nature of the business. Everybody has to be out in time to go to the Opera.
We eat every time the same: filet American, fries, beer and espresso. This time we had time after the early dinner to go for a walk to the Grand Place to see all the displays of the Plaisirs d'Hiver . Every winter Brussels puts on a fantastic show to celebrate winter. The Grand Place is full of big balls with lighted Christmas trees inside and silver balls reflecting the lights on the City Hall. Magic.
Finally we arrived at la Monnaie and with great expectation we were ready. Wagner always gives you an introduction a bit too long for my taste. Half of the people started to doze off. Finally it started. A dark scene with dark music. The entire chorus on the floor half asleep. We dozed a bit more. It took a good hour for the orchestra and the singers to get our attention. We were all reading the text on the top of the scene to understand what was going on. I had never seen this Opera so everything was new to me.
In the second half everybody woke up with the singers the chorus and the orchestra all going and the spectators enjoying every bit of it. It all ended the way Wagner ends his pieces with the Opera house shaking on the orchestra going full blast and all of us on the edge of our seats. There was no interval so we had two and a half hour of non interrupted music. I seriously think that is the only way to do it. On our way back home all the way to Lasne we were still under the influence of the music. You feel this physical change in yourself. It is scary.
I cannot remember any melodies or arias but the music was in inside my all body not only in my head.