White Shirt Monday: Smoke & Mirrors


[Sophie Koch as Octavian in Strauss’ “Rosenkavalier” as staged by the late Herbert Wernicke (1995/2009), Baden-Baden 2009]

Lesbihonest: Who wouldn’t need a smoke…


…after tumbling out of this bed?

[Renée Fleming as the Marschallin in Strauss’ “Rosenkavalier”, Baden-Baden 2009.]

Actually, who would want to tumble out of this bed at all? (both images: click to enlarge considerably)

Wernicke’s mirror/image production (available on DVD) is both one of the smartest of of the most tender Rosenkavalier readings of the past two decades and while I am still fond of the original 1995 Salzburg screening, the spirit transports well to this much-deserved 2009 revival. If you want some fodder for thought beyond all the girl-on-girl-on-girl (isn’t opera great?) action, this one comes warmly recommended. Fleming gives her perhaps best and most vulnerable Marschallin yet, Koch sings bautifully, and Damrau’s Sophie is a feisty pleasure to watch.

On an administrative note: the blog is somewhat barren at the moment, I know. It’s not due to summer apathy, but due to preparing to move.

Over the past decade and a half, I spent a lot of months and semesters and even entire years in all kinds of different places, but I always had a place to come back to in the end. Right now, I have to dismantle that place, after long years (reasons belog into another “Post-doc Notes” post of the lamenting variety), and move onto other pastures which will eventually, hopefully, prove greener.

So for the next two weeks, as I try to stuff the past sixteeen years into the amount of boxes the car will hold and then unpack them again elsewhere, updates will most likely continue to be sparse.

15 thoughts on “White Shirt Monday: Smoke & Mirrors”

  1. Aiyaiyai! 16 years to pack up! Packing up the other half’s 12 years was a terror and took a 4 tonne truck 2 trips to relocate. By the end of the job, one of the junior removalists just didn’t have the strength to lift the last wardrobe through the last door and the bigger fellow needed to yank it over the threshold.

    Good luck to you! I hope you have a recycling group like Freecycle (http://www.freecycle.org/) near you where your surplus items can be rehomed. We ended up giving away duplicate, triplicate, and even quadruplicate kitchen gadgets…


    1. Since it was a small place and I can’t take much to where I go, I hope the small transporter car will suffice… I guess I’ll know on moving day!

      There is a freecycle group where I am – I had no idea! Thank you for the link. I try to give most things away to places like women’s shelters and free “shops” for people on welfare (I’m avoiding it by a scrape this time myself and try to help as much as possible there). But I will definitely check out Freecycle, too.


    1. Cat! 🙂
      And a new blog shop at sea to boot! I’ll keep my eyes on the horizon.
      (and yes, in times of upheaval: always the classics! 😉 )


  2. That DOES seem a chore! Well I hope it goes as easily as possible and that those pastures turn themselves green right quick. Also second the sentiment above that they be in close proximity to an opera house(s) fairly bursting with luxurious mezzos and sopranos. 🙂


  3. We are moving again
    with our houses on our backs.
    . . . we have to remember
    to sing and make soup.
    Pack the Kapital and the vitamin E,
    the basil plant for the sill,
    Apache tears you
    picked up in the desert . . .

    for nothing living
    resembles a straight line,
    certainly not this journey
    to and fro, zigzagging
    you there and me here
    making our own road onward
    as the snail does.

    Yes, for some time we might contemplate
    not the tiger, not the eagle or grizzly
    but the snail who always remembers
    that wherever you find yourself eating
    is home, the center
    where you must make your love,
    and wherever you wake up
    is here, the right place to be
    where we start again.
    (Marge Piercy)


    May all go very well.


    1. thank you, dear Duchess. I shall print this one out and pin it next to my unpacked boxes to remind me of the home beyond the contents!


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