Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sydney as cliche

Sometimes Sydney is so beautiful that it becomes all the tourist literature cliches.

This afternoon - a sunny, warm Spring afternoon - I went to an opera at the Sydney Opera House. I caught the train, and the short walk from the station to the Opera House gradually revealed the Sydney icons.

The bridge viewed through the wharves and ferries of Circular Quay

Circular Quay

and the Opera House itself

Opera House 1
Opera House 2

This short walk always causes a surge of delight when, going about my 'everyday' life, I can experience something so beautiful that other people travel to experience that same beauty. This delight never seems to wear off. I feel very privileged.

And the opera was wonderful - a performance of Leos Janacek's 1926 opera, The Makropulos Secret . It was a revival of a production directed by Neil Armfield, one of the best (the best?) theatre directors in Australia. It opens in 1924 Prague in a lawyer's office that immediately calls to mind both Kafka and Dickens' Bleak House, but by the end the story anticipates something more like the magical realism of One Hundred Years of Solitude. Cheryl Barker in the central role of Emilia Marty / Elina Makropulos is compelling, suitably glamorous, strong, and ultimately tragic (though the opera has moments of comedy and might even be described as ironic).


jp said...

That's the thing I miss about moving jobs. I used to work right on the quay getting off the train each day at Circular Quay. We used to walk over to the Opera House at least once a week. It never gets ordinary, but if you don't look up you can forget it's there.

M-H said...

We were there last night, at the Philip Glass performance, and were saying exactly the same things. I'll post some of our photos later.

Anna said...

I agree with JP and your post. I love thinking about how amazing it is. I'll always take the Cahill Expressway over the tunnel so I can see the view (traffic permitting).