Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Simon Boccenegra

Adam and I share a love of opera: together we saw Tales of Hoffmann one very hot night in London, and then Faust in Budapest on my first visit. On that occasion, the opera house was closed, so this evening, when he took me to see Simon Boccenegra, I was there for the first time. Most magnificent the Hungarian State Opera is too, more on the scale of the Staatsoper in Vienna than Covent Garden. In the stalls, the seats are wooden, so rather bum-numbing, but the legroom is fine. Once again, the night was warm.

S.B. is not my favourite opera, but it has its rousing moments. The production didn't excite me, and indeed had puzzling aspects, but the Fiesco (Giacomo Prestia) sang well. Judit's cousin leads the orchestra, and got us our tickets, along with a free programme and drinks in the plush Green Room. (No alcohol on sale there.)

Earlier, Adam had taken me on a grand tour of Buda (the National Gallery), and across the Chain Bridge to Pest - the Greham Hotel (with its Dale Chihuly chandelier) and St Stephen's Basilica. Returning by tram, we walked quickly past the street sellers - mostly more pressing than these I photographed.

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