Monday 17 September 2007


The German's love for classical antiquity and for music is evident in Berlin, with its Pergamon and Alte Museums, three major opera houses and seven symphony orchestras. Angels grace every part of the city, outnumbered only by bears escaped from its coat of arms and parading in the streets. I was thrilled to see Karl Friedrich Schinkel's proud buildings, charmed to find the Kaisersaal and Cafe Josty still operating (though very much transformed), and impressed to find Berliners as serious and industrious as they ever have been.

Alas I was unable to obtain tickets for Phaedra or Medea playing at the Berliner Oper, but heard two chamber music concerts, a mediocre one at the Orangerie of Schloss Charlottenburg with musicians in historic costume (well, a half-hearted attempt at such), the other one excellent at the Kammermusiksaal.

Imagine my delight to find hanging in the Gemäldegalerie a painting I know so well, by Antoine Watteau, painted around the year in which I was born and featuring so many who would become my very dearest friends in the Comédie Italienne, including Dominique Biancolelli (far right), dear Marie-Thérèse's father. They were all masters of improvisation, and caused me to think with fondness of our merry troupe now rehearsing in Phobos, who share the same love of nonsense and playfulness, and whom I hope to see again before long.

The last photo is of the Kaisersaal, now absorbed into the Sony Centre. Don't you think Torley Linden would like it?


Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading of your travels. Our performance on Saturday was hampered by very odd weather on the grid which caused severe time dilation. After the sim crashed (not our fault!) we waited on a steel bridge overlooking the place where it had been and kept on performing wildly and exhuberantly. I wish you had been there to enjoy the hilarity!

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite movies of all time is "Wings of Desire" (in German "Der Hummel uber Berlin"; literally The Sky [or Heaven] Over Berlin), which featured these angels. I watch it periodically to for its beauty and compassion.