February 24, 2012

Venice. September, 1984

The fabled La Fenice theater in Venice. Aptly named, “The Phoenix” has burned and been rebuilt many times since it opened its doors in the late 18th century, since it hosted the premieres of Verdi’s Rigoletto (1851) and La Traviata (1853). Here it is the night I went to hear a concert (before the theater burned again in 1996, arson this time), not caring overly much what the music or who the composer (Ciakovski) was, just wanting to enter the stunning jewel box of a hall. I’d bought my ticket earlier in the day, then returned that evening, took my seat (next to a chatty woman who’d come in by train from her home in Verona). The lights went down, the music began. I recognized it. Tchaikovsky! Just as I had been fooled earlier when I discovered that all my favorite Titian paintings seemed to be attributed to someone named Tiziano, I was once again humbled by Italian spelling.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, and doesn't "Gli Angeli di Charlie" sound classier than "Charlie's Angels"? And how about "Su e giù per le scale" (Upstairs, Downstairs)? Let's face it, everything sounds snazzier in Italian.