Chocolate & Opera

We do not object to chocolate - and that's an understatement. So last Saturday we travelled to Château de Vaux le Vicomte, south east of Paris, temporarely renamed "Le Palais du Chocolat". A lot more about this Château de Vaux le Vicomte on a later occasion, this time it's chocolate-time!

Maître Jean-Charles Rochoux created this acorn on a kind of pedestal, flanked by more mouthwatering stuff, all shown in the foreground; the lot made of chocolate. The stuff in the background is a bit, well ages, older, certainly not made of chocolate and might, or might not, be discussed when the castle itself will be the subject of our blog.

The dome of the castle was copied in chocolate. How, one wonders, did the guy manage to remain this slender??

One of the participants, Des Lis Chocolat, copied the castle partly in chocolate. It is almost a barbarian act to consume a work of art like this, don't you think? One day we might volunteer though.....

On Sunday the 11th day of the 11th month of 2012 our destinantion was Paris itself. Lucky us had obtained two tickets for the opera La Fille du Regiment (1840) by Gaetano Donizetti (1797 - 1848).

There are two opera buildings in Paris, Opéra Garnier (aka Palais Garnier) dating from the third quarter of the 19th century and Opéra Bastille (1989). We would have loved to visit the old one, but the larger capacity (2.703 seats) of the new building is, when seeking for balanced annual returns, a safer bet for l'Opéra national de Paris.

The "grande salle" of the Opéra Bastille is pictured here. Our seats were situated on the 8th row, on the right hand side, pretty close to the copper and percussion section of the orchestra.

A scene from the opera with Sulpice (the regiments sergeant), Tonio and Marie. It's about the French army in Tyrol and the French "vivandière" Marie falling in love with Tonio, a Tyrolean. After several complications the end is happy - as it should be. The story, lyrics and music caused both of us to laugh out loud and get tearful. That's what beautiful music is supposed to do, isn't it?

Cast and choir, receiving their well deserved ovation. It was the last performance of this version of the opera and we felt privileged to be there. The pricey tickets were worth every penny, err.. eurocent. We have been witnessing a top performance in a top opera house and we definitely want more of the stuff......