Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Liceu, 1

We've walked past Barncelona's grand opera, The Liceu, dozens of times on La Rambla, always peeking in, looking at what's playing, even visiting the excellent shoppe, but never doing the tour. It's just another 19th century bourgeois monstrosity, indeed modeled on La Scala. I've seen the great ones, and then some. Vicki often has encouraged me to attend a performance, but, in general, I don't care that much for live performances (other people, actually...coughing, snorting, sneezing, clearing their nasal and other passages, talking, crinkling their candy wrappers, snoring, gathering their things to be in the aisle, on the way to the street, even before the music has ended). For the price of a decent seat, moreover, I could own every video of whatever opera was being performed. No thanks. But then we read that the adjunct rooms of The Liceu were done in Modernista, and that one in particular had stained glass depicting the Rhinemaidens. That got my interest--alas the Rhinemaidens are in a section that really is private and off limits--but, on our last day in Barcelona, exercising our wonderful jubilado privileges, we did the tour. It was great!

Helpful model #13,449; actually, it shows pretty well how The
Liceu can have as many as four operas in the,
construction, rehearsal, production,'s the
enormous 10-story back stage

Grand staircase

Inside, seven tiers of seats; no royal box; largest in Europe, in
terms of # of seats; only one with no royal box (the bourgeois
subscribers didn't like the royalty); indeed, looks pretty much
like La Scala, only bigger


Alas, no fotos of the stage...

Dragon chandelier thing

All works are performed in the original language, so all seats
have little monitors that translate (like La Scala, some years
back); the excellent guide noted that in the 19th century the
house lights were left on during performances (he failed to note
which composer changed this); something about ladies'
modesty, reputations, etc. And in English, too

Now we are in the grand hall outside the main hall; for mingling
during intermissions; also for weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs;
as Wagner said, the opera of his day, until he changed it, was
"merely an excuse for social gathering," "meretricious glitter,"
...yes, I do these lines whenever I'm in such a house

Very grand hall


Up closer

The room adorned with pix of the greatest stars of the 19th
century opera, Wagner's arch-rival, Meyerbeer; I
wonder whether there are a thousand people now who know
anything of Meyerbeer; Sic transit, Gloria

At the top of the staircase, the one Modernista
adornment in the house, proper

Now we are in the side rooms, the Club

Where the Modernistas ran gloriously amuck

All in the details, and all the details coordinated

In an anteroom, the first of a dozen paintings
by Ramon Casas; quite a new and different
pose for the late 19th

To be continued

1 comment:

Tawana said...

Beautiful! Seven levels of box seats! Wow? Wonder if Trump's dear friend Pavarotti is singing there?