Friday, June 01, 2012

If I may be so bold as to predict, greed will be my downfall.

Last night. One spare night in Rio de Janeiro. And a glorious converging of fortuitous circumstances.

We passed the Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro en route to the Modern Art Museum. To spy that Haydn's Creation (A Criacao) happened to be opening that night. With some sort of balletic addition. So pictures as well as noises. Perfect for my simple attention span.

So we shambled up the marble steps with time to spare, covered in the dust of the roadside and the sweat f a day dragging swiftly and efficiently around the streets trying to pack in the maximum number of attractions, To discover not only the most beautiful theatre I feel I've ever seen (can't find speech marks on this keyboard. Well, that shall limit my linguistic constructions)("Oh", said Brian, (found them) "but it's just a copy of the blah blah blah in Paris. Haven't you seen it" (or a question mark). Be assured that I have not.) but that the attendees at this most beautiful theatre make rather more of an effort with their appearance than they do at the EFT. Evening dresses and suits galore. I was in the sole pair of jeans I've been wearing incessantly since arrival on account of the climes being rather colder than anticipated, a grubby T-shirt and (o the shame!) a pair of trekking shoe things. I tried to suck my stomach in so my whole body would disappear and The Beautiful would not judge me.

The curtain (red velvet, proper) was drawn back. (Singers, soloists and orchestra all crammed into the luckiyl capaciouos pit.) To reveal rows of lighting bars crossing the stage horizontally and the ballet company at the back of the stage stretched out in two lines along a barre in multi-coloured practice clothes (lime green track suit pants! O my!) stretching and warming up. As the music began (remember I know nothing of oratorios), the lighting bars were drawn up into the (god what's it called - question mark - the bit of the stage above the stage - question mark - oh well) Bit Above The Stage. Beautiful. A backcloth was lowered over the dancers. Stage to black. I guess that was the overture. Or the starting bit. For then the danecrs started appearing in their silvery leotardy things as featured in the programme so this was clearly it properly starting.

And it was lovely. Lovely orchestra. Lovely singing. Lovely soloists. Lovely dancing. Beautifully fluid choreography with a strange sudden precision introduced now and again. And yes, sometimes it was a little Chorus Line and sometimes it was a little bit Kylie but by and large, it was very balletic and beautiful.

But back to the greed. I'd stupidly stuffed down a giant bowl of yakisoba befrore curtain up. Eyes, as ever, bigger by far than this stomach. And so approx four 'dances' in, I was sleeping and napping. So it would be inaccurate to say I saw much of the first half.

I managed more of the second half. Maybe most of it, in fact. No idea what was going on as I don't know the piece and I don't understand German and I can't hear song lyrics as they're sung at the best of times. But you know, it was a lovely lovely lucky experience.

Calling on my sole word of Portuguese, Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro - obregada.


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