We arrive at Castel Gandolfo and we have to HIKE........UPHILL....... from the parking lot!!
Ok, I am not in such a great frame of mind by the time we get to the top and my sciatic nerve is KILLING me, but it's beginning to look exciting. We approach the entry door complete with Swiss guards - got close up photos!
there is the lady with the list and a man beside her handing out tickets. And she was checking names VERY thoroughly!! So, I figure I'll spend the next hour and a half exploring the piazza's shops. Then....with 3 people ahead of us.....the Holy Spirit reached down from heaven and sent a man in a suit to tell the woman to hurry this along. She folded the list, with a gesture of disgust and the man with the tickets gave us all one and we ALL went in!!!! Another happy ending.!!!
As soon as we enter we see more Swiss guards and a row of white chairs behind a white throne on a red carpet. GUESS WHAT???? The opera was written in honor of Benedict XVI and he was going to attend (complete with a feed to St. Peter's Square!).
This is not the day I was expecting!!! :-)
So, the Holy Father and a bunch of cardinals enter to applause from the crowd. Cameras were flashing and the opera begins. I am attending an opera with the POPE!!! Madonna Mia!!!!
A word about the opera: the full title (for you German speakers out there) is "Oper 'Augustinus' - Ein klingendes mosaik" The music was written by a man named Wilfried Hiller and it was offered in honor of Benedict XVI from the diocese of Wurzburg (there should be two little dots over the 1st "u" in Wurzburg but I don't knw how to do that!)
It is written in German but, thankfully, there was a translation on the facing page......into Italian!! So I still don't know what went on except the main characters were Adeodatus (Augustin's son) Stella (by whom he had the son) and Monica (his mother) There was a large chorus and a smaller male group designated as "voices"
The music was quite modern and very percussion based (I thought of Tyler a lot, whose birthday is today and who is my percussionist!) The orchestra consisted of a flute, an alto flute, a violin, a zither, a harp, a celesta, tympanies of every size, tom toms, triangles, tambourines, orchestral bells, tubular bells, wood blocks and a variety of percussion "toys" AND water glasses (2 sets of different shapes) filled to varying levels to produce different pitches!!! They were absolutely fascinating to watch!!!
I am not sure whether Benedict enjoyed it or not as his applause was quite tepid -lol!! But he made a speech at the end (all in German and then, Italian), greeted the cast and the "higher ups" and departed.