Brilliant Bregenz!

The art of the possible.

P&LW

Dear Andrew,

What a wonderful trip. Travel was fine, cars turned up on time [with the new tunnel from Lindau to Bregenz it is only 75 mins drive [90 mins even with traffic] so you could go for a later departure time from the hotel if you wanted to. 

Hotel Schwarzler is excellent- great staff, lovely room and excellent cooking. There are 4 buses an hour into town which takes about 10 mins and there is a dedicated free town circular bus to the Festspielhaus and back for the opera. 

As to The Magic Flute itself, we have talked about little else. A brilliant conception as you would expect from David Pountney but he and the designer really exploited the possibilities to the hilt- tall fire breathing dragons, a 10 metre hydraulic platform for the Queen of the Night, 20 metre high ariel walkways between the dragons heads, and two gondolas and a floating birds egg containing Papagena and during the ordeal by water the two actors just walked into the lake!!!  And all set against the backdrop of the setting sun and the darkness of the lake. We were gripped the whole way through. The sound was brilliant and I still haven't worked out how they coordinated between the orchestra [who I assume are in the pit of the Festspielhaus] with the conductor, the backstage singers for the three ladies and the three boys who are puppets on the stage, and the on stage singers as the normal television screens didn't show the conductor all the time by any means and in any case for many of the singers the action would have prevented them seeing the screens. So a miracle of coordination as I didn't spot a single missed beat or even a momentary decoupling of singers and players.

So if you haven't been yourself I can recommend it heartily and if anyone else is thinking of going but isn't certain please reassure them they will enjoy it- the combination of technical accomplishment, imaginative production and brilliant singing and playing make it a unique experience.

2013-08-12