Thursday, September 08, 2011

Oregon Arts Orchestra - Vienna, July 13

We rode the bus to Schonbrunn Palace. The place is huge, modeled after Versailles but, of course, much smaller. Yet still overwhelmingly large. It was a no-picture kind of place, so instead I bought some postcards with pictures of the most famous princess of the Habsburg family, Elizabeth or Sisi. She was lovely and I knew Anna would enjoy pictures of a real-life princess.
The grounds behind the palace are amazing.
After Schonbrunn, we got back on the bus and headed back into the center of Vienna to the musical instrument museum. Also nice, but there was a lack of piccolo representation. And not enough percussion instruments in Kip's opinion.
We opted to skip the afternoon tour of a Beethoven museum and instead went on a hunt for souvenirs, dragging Mihail along again although you'd think he'd have learned by then. We walked all over the city and found nothing like what I had seen in Salzburg and ended up back at the opera house to meet the others. We were a little early and had been unsuccessful in our efforts, so I darted into the opera house gift shop and found a shirt I knew Anna would absolutely love, pink with a sparkly silver ballerina silhouetted on it. Could have saved a lot of walking if I'd just bought it there first...
From there we headed to the Minoritenkirsche, an old cathedral tucked in among a bunch of government buildings in Vienna. Part of the church was walled off with an exhibit of Da Vinci artwork and as we had a rehearsal, I enjoyed an only slightly-obstructed view of a life-size copy of "The Last Supper" commissioned by Napoleon in 1809. It was really amazing. To think it just happened to be there and we just got to sit and stare at it through our rehearsal! The concert that night went very well. But at the end, we had to be shooed off the stage because the bus driver had a time commitment we couldn't break, so off we went with only one encore and the crowd still clapping happily, although later we realized that that's just kind of how they are in Europe. They clap as you come on, they clap until you leave. They don't just get up and go like Americans.

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