Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Iphigenie en Aulide et Tauride

Enthusiastic applause and bravi followed last night's performance of Christoph Willibald Gluck's opera Iphigenie en Aulide et Tauride at Vienna's Theater an der Wien.

          Congratulations to all involved in the presentation of the dramatic tragedy; and not least for demonstrating on the stage the inner-politics and public 'spin' combination required to conduct a brutal war. First the martyrdom and then the populace can live with the breaking news of mass burials and defeats and images of the lined-up dead awaiting body bags. The people have been persuaded that the blood sacrificed, right or wrong, is a price worth  paying. As it was in ancient Greece so it is today. 

The Wiener Symphoniker conducted by Leo Hussain drenched the auditorium with the atmosphere required. The stark white scenery, the funeral black clothing, the strong lighting, befitted the tragedy. 

Veronique Gens in the title role was outstanding. Stephan Degout and Rainer Trost, brothers struggling to sacrifice themselves for each other had us gripping our nerves. The sinister Andreas Jankowitsch patrolling with his knife on the heels of his next victim is a man cut out for the role . . .

Highly recommended. Further performances: 24th, 27th, and 29th October 2014. 


When it comes to the business of warfare today, simply by sitting in front of our TV sets we can all have good seats at the show. 

Song for the TV War-Embedded
    "Art owes its continuous evolution to the Apollonian - Dionysiac duality . . .  the constant conflicts and periodic acts of reconciliation."   - Friedrich Nietzche

rat catcher tricks
and killer of dragons

wander abroad

with a revelling
by scenes
to the ruins . .

the thin veil 

of the deep 
subtraction  .
        to the eloquent
essence in war's
                       shock and awe
 the witch's cauldron 
the savage urges 
  of a mind  par excellence        


holding up 
the Gorgon's head

blood  drips 

 day labour 
for an afterlife 


  1. Glad you enjoyed it Gwil - a night like that is so inspiring.

    As to war - it was never fun and as the centuries progress it gets less so.

  2. Indeed it was inspiring Pat, and I will remember it for a long time. The essay: "War is a Racket" by Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler is worth reading.

  3. Pat, for info this is post no. 1550. Good luck with your 2000th!

  4. I frequently shout at the tv "don't film it for me". I have trouble then deciding whether I am right or wrong. It is a difficult subject. I am glad you enjoyed your evening at the opera. I like the poster.

  5. It's a kind of advertising. Yesterday I went to an event to mark 100 years since the start of the first industrial war of the world. I came away feeling that the third one will probably be our lahaos created. st. It only needs one idiot to wave the start flag, or one computer to go haywire and it's good night Vienna. When the big one comes there will be nothing on TV because the TV won't work due to the electro-magnetic effects of the world's nuclear armoury destroying itself. As Einstein said: we shall fight the 4th world war with sticks and stones.

  6. lahaos st. means 'our last'. My computer preempts what I'm going to write and comes up with gibberish.


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