Day 988: Santa Fe Opera 2

On the second night of Laetitia’s Santa Fe Opera tour, the production was Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, which premiered in Moscow in 1909.  Outside Russia, it is generally known as Le Coq d’Or.  It’s a satirical tale about an arrogant and incompetent czar whose amorous pursuit of a neighboring queen leads to the loss of his kingdom.  He has a number of characteristics in common with certain modern politicians.

Opera Golden Cock (Coq d’Or)
Is a tale of a fool bumbling Czar
Who with lustful ardor
Gives away the whole store.
Politics today hasn’t come far.

Day 987: Santa Fe Opera 1

Laetitia led a tour to the Santa Fe Opera.  It is a lovely outdoor venue covered by a roof but with both sides open.  As guests arrive for an evening performance the back of the stage is often open showcasing one of Santa Fe’s magnificent sunsets.  This night’s opera was the (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.  Jobs’ genius was his ability to envision what product the market wanted and provide it even before the market itself knew.  This new opera by Mason Bates and librettist, Mark Campbell, captures the positive influences of his father and his Buddhist mentor on his life, his creativity, and his coldness and lack of generosity in interpersonal relationships.

The new opera about Steve Jobs’ life
With great music and singing is rife.
Told with a fine libret-
To and magical set
It’s a tale of both genius and strife.

Day 986: Torgau 2

Another story that emerged from table conversation during Laetitia’s sojourn at the Torgau bar, sounded like an urban legend, but though it seemed too farfetched to be true, she used it in a limerick.  According to the story, a tour guide from Czech Republic who stood on the moat wall to address his group, fell off and was devoured by one of the bears.  The castle staff rushed to the scene too late to save him, but quickly determined which of the bears was the culprit by weighing them.

Hartenfels bears, boar or two female
Ate a Czech tour guide in this strange tale
And when it was over
Castle staff did discover
And proclaim that “the Czech’s in the male.”

Day 985: Torgau 1

Torgau, a town in Upper Saxony on the River Elbe, is perhaps best known as the place where the Allied and Russian armies met at the end of World War II.  It is also known for Hartenfels Castle and its dry moat that is home to bears, currently a boar and two sows.  After Laetitia was finished leading her tour of the castle, she stopped in a bar and joined a table of other tour leaders.  One of the stories that emerged during the table conversation was of a tour leader with poor English language skills who created a stir when he referred to the female bears as “bear ladies.”

At Hartenfels Castle, sow bears
In the moat were the subjects of stares
When a tour leader’s gaffe
Caused many a laugh
“Bear ladies,” he said, unawares.