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Entries about concert

Last Day in Prague

sunny 75 °F

Our last full day in Prague, our concert at the Estates in the evening.

We agreed to meet up with Dieter and Inge at 1 or so, it gave us time to tour the castle area. We walked up the steep hill, the Kings Way fighting the tourists who were taking way too long.

The castle area consists of government buildings, St Vitus Cathedral, the Royal Palace, a walk down the Golden Lane where the workers lived, a walkway inside the castle wall and finally the tower.

At the top we entered thru the gate into courtyard 1, then 2 then 3. We sat down in the shade to consult the map and found the tour we wanted to take. A family ticket for the basic tour served us perfectly, following the arrows and reading the signs. Several times we just went up some stairs out of curiosity and found a place of interest.

The tower is a place one really wouldn’t want to be sent to. It is grim!, one can only imagine the emotions the prisoners had when being led into this area. The virtual tour is online: https://www.hrad.cz/en/prague-castle/virtual-tour/index.shtml

We met Dieter and Inge, not where we’d arranged but actually in the bathroom at the Lobkowicz Palace, just next to the castle. Since it was time for a late lunch we found a restaurant on a terrace overlooking the city.

After lunch we wanted to pick up some champagne and chocolates to take out to the bridge after the concert. We left Dieter and Inge at a little café we like, overlooking the Charles Bridge and the castle. We picked up our supplies and went to the room to change for the concert.

As we were leaving our room I checked the tickets, just to make sure everything was in order. OMG, I about had a heart attack, the concert was to start at 17:00 or 5pm, and it was nearly 6pm. I quickly got online to the Estates Theater site and it said 5pm. I was sick, 5 very good seats unused.

Dale ran to get Dieter and Inge while Elias and I walked quickly to the Estates, each of us thinking of what we should have done. We got to the theater in record time, no one was around. I noticed signs for the concert starting at 8pm. We went up to the desk set up in the doorway and I showed them the tickets. The guy said “Oh that was our mistake, it starts at 8pm”. http://www.estatestheatre.cz/

We found Dale approaching with Dieter and Inge, I put my hands in front of my face but couldn’t conceal the fact that everything was actually ok.
For this concert there was no assigned seating, only assigned sections; first come, first seated. I got in line, the 2nd person. The lady in front of me had a different section so I rushed in, to the hall with the boxes finding the 1st 2 boxes for the 5 of us. The boxes have gold leaf, plush blue upholstery. We were quite the royalty.

The concert was fun, several arias by Mozart including the Magic Flutie. This time accompanied by wind instruments. A nice comparison to the string instruments at the Mozart Dinner/Concert in Salzburg.IMG_20140711_175953_416.jpgIMG_201407..031_117__1_.jpgIMG_20140710_223302_606.jpg

For our last night in Prague we went out to the Charles Bridge, as we did 3 years ago, drank champagne and ate chocolates. There were lots more people this time, but it was still beautiful.

Posted by Miss Chris 04:01 Archived in Czech Republic Tagged food travel concert czech mozart estates_theater Comments (0)

Preparing for Living Abroad

Starting to put the dream of living abroad into a reality

We have thought for some time that we’d like to live in other places for a time. We’d originally thought we’d live away for a year at a time but now have reconsidered that. We think that our grandkids wouldn’t be able to visit more than once and my mom would not visit at all. Also, after last year’s emergency with our granddaughter we realized that we can’t leave for so long so think that 4 months would be a good fit for now.

We’d originally thought that we’d go to Alaska for our first stint but after dreaming about operas in Europe for the past few months we think it would be good to start in Europe. We were thinking something close to Vienna, Salzburg and Prague would be good.

I sent out an email to our European friends and one, who has traveled extensively, suggested Austria. He has suggested the area of Wachau area and specifically the cities of Spitz, Weissenburg, Duernstein and Krems. We have just started to look at each city to see if it would be a good fit.

We do want to live in a village, walking distance to the square where we can have coffee. Jen demands a brew pub in the town. We also want to be near transportation or a freeway to get around easily.

Another friend reminded us that her husband works in real estate so can help with housing. We would prefer a house but would take a flat if necessary. We must have 2 bedrooms so that friends and family can visit.

Now we will buy a good map and review the cities suggested both on-line and in the travel books. We will select maybe 2 or 3 and put them out for a vote.

Since we plan to leave in April we must start this process as we will leave in about 1 year from now.

Posted by Miss Chris 17:14 Archived in USA Tagged travel austria concert opera europe preparation old_town_square Comments (0)

A Concert in Vienna

A concert at the world class concert house in Vienna

storm

2011-05-15..-04_617.jpg2011-05-15..-04_617.jpg2011-05-15..-20_101.jpgThis morning was the 2nd planned concert of our trip, to hear Bach and Mahler at the Vienna Music House, one of two world class music houses supported by Vienna.

I thought that we had box seats but as it turns out we didn’t, but the seats were great anyway. The seats were along the side of the auditorium and unlike the seats in the center, each row was elevated a little higher than the one in front. We sat about 20’ from the bass instruments.

The 1st 2 pieces were Bach with a smaller ensemble that stood up to play the first one. For the 2nd piece a few more players joined and they sat, For the Mahler the full orchestra played.

We did not know what to expect for a concert in Vienna except that we had heard that the Vienna people love their music. So here we were at a concert taking place at 11a.m. on a Sunday morning to hear the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra play.

We dressed up as best we could; Dale brought a blazer with dark blue pants that we bought from llBean and a really nice long sleeve shirt, his black shoes and socks. I brought a couple of pieces that can be used as a skirt or a dress with ties that can tie around the waist or as short sleeves. I also brought a black tank and a black knit top in the event it was cold. I also brought some comfy heels and bought some fun stockings in Salzburg that I never saw in Bakersfield.

The weather was cold, windy and rainy so I chose the red piece as a skirt with the 2 black tops layered, and my cashmere sweater under my raincoat. We were glad we’d brought the clothes we had as we only saw a couple of other people in jeans, all of the men had either suits or blazers and all of the women had dresses, skirts or nice pants with a coat.

The Music house was packed, we only saw a couple of empty seats and I remembered that I’d purchased the last 2 tickets available online on the day they became available.

The music was wonderful, the conductor was great to watch. The 1st violinist had a wonderful solo which we had never heard before. She seemed to be so young next to all the grey hairs but she was very strong in her playing.

So there were our concerts in Vienna.

Posted by Miss Chris 10:47 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna austria music concert mahler vienna_concert_house bach Comments (0)

Vienna- Mozart's Requiem

A concert at the St. Charles Church

semi-overcast

We had reservations for an early train from Salzburg as we had tickets for the Mozart Requiem in Vienna at, what we thought, was 3pm. This time we walked the 15 minute walk to the station and got right on our train.

Arriving in Vienna we found the U line to get to our hotel, it is easy to use. Just find the map where you want to go then find the corresponding line to the color. Print your tickets and presto magic off you go to your platform and you are on your way. We found our line and came out at St. Stephens plaza. Another amazing cathedral! We reviewed our map, got our bearings and started for the hotel which was only another 5 minute walk.

The Hotel gave us our rooms within minutes along with some sparkling wine; we changed our clothes and started walking. 1st we walked down to the St. Charles cathedral in order to see if our tickets were there; I couldn’t remember if the tickets were on hold or what I’d done. Sure enough the tickets were on hold and the lady helping us said we had some of the best seats, row 2 center. But she then told us that the concert was actually at 8pm not 3pm so here we were all dressed with nowhere to go. We came back to the hotel, changed and started walking into the main old city.

At first I wasn’t impressed at all with Vienna, we’d walked up and down the street and it was nothing but cafés, shops and tons of people. Then Dale and I walked down a side street and found wonderful buildings one after the other. We just walked with our faces to the skies.

We changed then made our way down to the St. Charles again for the concert. This time we joined the line of people waiting to get inside.

The church is not as large as “The Dome” or St. Stephens but large never-the-less. The stage, or front, is in a sense set apart from the rest of the church; 3’ higher, more narrow on the sides and the ceiling higher than the sanctuary area. From where I sat the stage was about 10’ in front of me with the orchestra at the front of the stage and the choir behind them. On the wall behind the choir was a cloud with angels that extended nearly to the ceiling.

The music was played on the antique instruments and being so close we could hear each instrument that normally would get lost in the whole sound. The sound of each instrument was different than the more modern ones used today that we are used to. The sounds plus the setting put us back into Mozart’s time. The setting was so heavenly that we found the music belonged in and was made for a Cathedral.

From the moments of the 1st note the audience was enraptured and completely quiet. When the music would break for a moment the echoes would continue for several seconds. The conductor only used his hands for direction and then in such a tender way.

At the end of the concert no one moved at all as the music echoed and we sat there, almost in a stunned state, unable to move. Finally, the director signaled that the performers could bow and the audience went wild. The singers came back for an encore but we could have had several encores
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Posted by Miss Chris 00:23 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna austria concert mozart_requiem st_charles_church Comments (0)

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