A cellphone at Bayreuth

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Published on: 1 August 2006

Beautiful Bayreuth image

Here is a beautiful image from the Bayreuth Music Festival. It seems to me appropriate to temperature here in Italy: 29 Celsius degree on the night and 37 on the day (Fahrenheit 84 on the night, 98.6 on the day)
It comes from a long report by Anthony Tommasini, chief classical music critic for The New York Times, on which he finally tackle the burning question: what to wear? :-)
A tasty part of the article is about gossip and curiosity:

  • there is no air-conditioning in the house, for fear that the whir of motors would affect the glorious acoustics
  • the approaching end of each 60-minute intermission is signaled by an octet of brass players from the orchestra, who appear on the balcony of the King Ludwig annex and play a fanfare or leitmotiv from the coming act. The chosen excerpt is played once at 15 minutes before the start of the new act, twice at 10 minutes and three times at 5
  • Everything is superpunctual at Bayreuth. Critics must pick up tickets 60 minutes before a performance.

But, german spirit notwithstanding, even Bayreuth is not free from the huns: in the last moments of “Die Walküre,” Act II, just as Wotan was about to kill the brutish and avenging husband Hunding, uttering “Geh hin, Knecht!” (“Be off, slave!”), a cellphone rang!!

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