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The violas have just had a very jolly lunch. All of us trooped off to “arco-wein”, a delightful restaurant run by two viola players! Needless to say the food was great and very cheap. Nick and Marina in our viola section speak fluent German so conversation flowed very naturally with the owners who were astounded to find the whole section present for lunch. Nick also found out that the owner was the son of someone he played in quartets with many years ago. Small world.
Tonight (Monday 15th) is our second concert. The acoustic of the Konzerthaus
is very different from Brussels and London. It was fascinating to see how Simon turned corners in a different way to take advantage of the more resonant space. I can’t wait to hear how the ‘Cologne Cathedral’ music in the ‘Rhenish’ symphony sounds in this wonderful hall tonight.
Another highlight of the trip for me was going to the Vienna State Opera with Cat and Koggie on our first night here. I had seen the French version of “Don Carlo” in London earlier this year so to see the Italian version which is quite different was a real treat. Again the wonderful Ferruccio Furlenetto was Phillip II and a very strong tenor, Johann Botha, sang the part of Don Carlo. In that fabulous acoustic with an open pit the orchestra were fab, especially the double basses. After playing Schumann so much the Verdi came as a real shock. What powerfully dramatic music. Wonderful stuff. A great evening.
Off to Madrid tomorrow…
Martin Kelly, viola
After a successful pair of concerts in Brussels and some mandatory sampling of Belgian beer, we pack up the orchestra truck on Friday night and set our sights on the next stop on our tour: Vienna. It is an early start for the Orchestra with many tired looking players surfacing for a 6am breakfast. We pack off one coach of players to the airport and wait for the second coach to turn up.
Eventually the coach turns up and the remaining players load their suitcases on but in the meantime we realise that the case containing the management laptop (and the General Manager’s passport!) is missing. After some time searching to no avail I hop on the coach and head off to the airport leaving Michael (the General Manager) to work out what has happened. We manage a smooth check in and receive a call from Michael who tells us that the hotel has checked the CCTV footage and they have seen someone stealing the case. After numerous phone calls, police statements, and discussing options with the airline, we find out that there is no border control between Belgium and Austria so Michael is able to travel to Vienna with his photocard driving licence where he can get a new passport. All this excitement before 10 o’clock in the morning!
On the flight from Vienna to Brussels a few of the players catch 40 winks but I am not very good at sleeping on planes so this is a nice opportunity to chat to some of the other players that I don’t know so well. We catch a coach to the hotel which we are very pleased to see is a stone’s throw from the concert hall and after checking everyone in the group scatters in various directions to enjoy a rare afternoon and evening off. I grab some food with the other members of management (as breakfast was a very long time ago!)
and then return to the hotel for a ‘power nap’ before meeting up with the others again to hit the Christmas markets. We spend a little time enjoying the markets and then decide it is time for ‘tea and cake’. I am very proud of myself for being able to find a rather touristy tearoom that I had been to about 3 years ago and we escape from the cold for a bit.
Feeling recharged by my power nap, hot chocolate and cake I decide to wander for a bit longer and bid farewell to the others who head back to the hotel for some rest. I spend the rest of the evening taking in the sights of Vienna on a cold December evening. I eventually make my way back to the hotel for a quick sociable drink and a well earned bath.
Megan, Projects Officer