27 August 2014

Musical holiday in Austria - Salzburg 1 | オーストリア 音楽三昧のたび - ザルツブルク編 ①

I spent a week in Austria last week. It was already autumn there. The highlight of this holiday was the Salzburg Festival. The first program was the opera "Don Giovanni". Before seeing a friend of mine in the afternoon, I had a long walk, exploring the city.

I popped in to the grave yard of St Sebastian's Church near my hotel in the new town, because I saw the name "Mozart" in the description at the entrance.


I wondered if this grave was Mozart's. I checked with my friend and she said that this was his widow Constanze's grave. "Nissen" on the grave stone is the name of the man whom she married after Mozart died. And there is the name of Mozart's father on the right hand side. Hmm...a bizarre combination.

Mozart's birthplace. Is it a supermarket on the ground floor?!
The Catacombs in St Peter's Cemetery which is built inside the cliff.
Looking down the grave yard from the catacombs. The graves are beautifully decorated with colourful flowers.

Then I met up with my friend and we decided to stuff our empty stomachs before the opera.


She took me to this restaurant Zum Eulenspiegel. Their vegetables come from their own organic farm. Very historic looking inside with small rooms.

こちらのレストラン、自前のオーガニック農園を持っていて、出てくる野菜はそこで採れたものだそう。中は歴史を感じさせる落ち着いた内装で、 小さな部屋に区切られていました。

I had an Austrian traditional beef dish. The beef was cooked with herbs and spices for long hours and served with a lot of horseradish. Potatoes and spinach were lovely with garlic and cream. It must be comfort food for Austrians! We were busy to catch up to fill the two-year gap over the dinner table and went off for the opera.

Zum Eulenspiegel
A-5020 Salzburg, Hagenauerplatz 2 Getreidegasse, vis-a-vis Mozarts Geburtshaus
Tel +43 662 843180

When we arrived at the venue, House for Mozart, there were double rainbows! We admired them for a while...


12 August 2014

A visit from an old friend | 有朋自遠方来

One of my best friends from secondary school in Japan came over to England for a week with her two daughters. They stayed in London and went to a language school together during weekday and visited our place on Saturday. We arranged to meet up at our nearest train station, but she fell asleep on the train and missed the station! My husband and I were driving alongside the railway while I was contacting her via LINE. We managed to see each other two stations ahead thanks for LINE (what a useful technological world we live in!).

We wanted them spend "typical" English weekend. So we drove off to a vintage fair called Firle Vintage Summer Fair Sussex. In the garden of the beautiful country house, there were a lot of antique and vintage stalls. There were quite a few French antiques which I love. Live Jazz music, food stalls, a pond with water lilies...I could've spend there all day.


この Firle Vintage Summer Fair Sussex 、 カントリー・ハウスの庭にアンティーク、ヴィンテージのストールがズラリ。フレンチ・アンティークが結構ありましたねー。流行ってるんでしょうか?

After treasure hunting, we had early dinner in our garden. The menu was typical English summer food, a barbie! I cooked some Mediterranean themed dishes.


Clockwise from the top left photo; Burrata and tomatoes, Moroccan marinaded peppers, Salad with pearl barley and flat leaf parsley, Minced beef + lamb kebab, Chicken marinaded with oregano and lemon.  

We opened a bottle of champagne which we bought in France last month...Mmm, heavenly! They went off to Paris on the following day. Hope they have a lot of fun there!


10 August 2014

Richard III|リチャード三世

Writer: William Shakespeare
Stars: Martin Freeman, Forbes Masson, Lauren O'Neil, Jo Stone-Fewings, Simon Coombs
Director: Jamie Lloyd

I went to see the theatre play "Richard III" starring Martin Freeman (John Watson from Sherlock) about a week ago. Because I'd only seen him playing a good Englishman,  when I heard about this play, I thought he was miscast (sorry!). But when I watched the American TV drama "Fargo" in which he played an ordinary man who actually was quite nasty in a very convincing way, so I thought I should see his Richard III and bought a ticket.

About a week before the show, I received an email from the theatre saying
"Patrons seated in rows A, B, C and D of the auditorium seating and row AA of the stage seating please be prepared for the strong possibility of being splashed with stage blood and dress accordingly."
My expectation got higher.

I made a big mistake that even though I didn't know about the play with its complicated characters and relationships very well, I just read a simple synopsis before I went to the theatre. It was difficult for me to understand the lines spoken in Shakespeare's English and couldn't really get the relationship between so many characters and Richard. In the end, I was like
"Well, anyway, everybody is in the way of Richard's ambition..."

Still I enjoyed the show (I really did!). To achieve his desire to be a king, Richard gets rid of competitors one by one. Yes, so many characters are killed in varieties of ways. He always sends his men to kill his victims or traps them himself. But he killed one character himself and that was scary. He chased the victim all over the small stage and got her. Under his heavy breath, he attacked her again and again and again. And his villainous face! It was as if we were witnessing the real murder.

The play was set in the end of the 70's and the set reminded me of the office in "Tinker Tailor Solder Spy" (in fact they took inspiration from the book according to the program). And I guess the direction in which the story proceeds rather quickly reflects their intention in that they want to "engage with as many young people and new theatregoers as possible" (from the program). It felt a bit light to me despite the fact that so many people got murdered on the stage, but it was a fantastic introduction of Richard III for the beginners like myself.

I've heard that Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes from Sherlock) is also going to play Richard III for a TV drama. I'd love to watch it to see the differences. Maybe I should read the play first!

By the way, I think there aren't any other actors who clears his throat as effectively as Martin Freeman.




それでも、 十分楽しめました!(いや、ホントに)

今回の舞台は70年代末の英国に設定されていて、セットは映画『 裏切りのサーカス』に出てくるオフィスを彷彿とさせます(パンフによると実際、参考にしているそう)。