Salzburg Festival Blog 23 (17 Aug)

I drive Sophie to the station. She has enjoyed the performances but her work in Zurich must go on.

I have stage and orchestra rehearsals of Armida today. We begin at midday and we are in good enough shape to make a run of the substantial first part. The Felsenreitschule stage is extremely wide and Christof (Loy) has made full use of it with makes contact with the singers difficult at certain moments. We solved these problems two years ago and we set about solving them now! The duet at the end of Haydn’s first act is particularly problematic with Annette (Dasch) and Michael (Schade) rolling around on the floor (nice work if you can get it, Michael!) 30 meters away from the conductor. It is not made easier by the fact the somebody has had the bright idea to install digital TVs as the monitor TVs by which the singers can see me without always turning around. These relay a TV picture of the conductor all evening, but the digital versions relay the image about a quarter of a second late and are thus completely useless. As unfit for purpose as Gordon Brown. I point this out and one analogue TV is found but we will only get the second one in time for tomorrow’s General rehearsal. despite this the work is concentrated and we are happy to be in the fine acoustics (certainly for opera) of the Felsenreitschule.

Mozarteum Orchestra on particularly good form. We finish around 20.00 and several of the orchestra, Brenda and I meet for a quick supper in the delightful ‘Resch und Lieblich’ in the Toscanini Hof. This, being situated directly outside the Stage Entrance of the Felsenreitschule, is somewhat of a ‘local’ hostelry for the Mozarteum Orchestra. I have enjoyed many convivial evenings there particularly after our Bruckner Symphony Cycle concerts and recordings.

Early to bed, in view of tomorrow’s GP.