Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June 4th

Today I took a sketchball but cheap train to Milan. After having some lunch at a resturaunt where the birds were not afraid to hop right onto your table, I went to the big gothic cathedral. Theyd just finished doing renovations so unlike the cathedrals in Vienna it was gleaming white and not covered ins caffolding. The Italians never really got the whole gothic thing, so it wasnt very elegant, but it was still beautiful. The inside was lit by really harsh flourescents which gave a sort of cold and clinical feeling to thep lace, but the stained glass windows were lovely and softened the mood.

After that I went to La Scala, which I completely forgot was in Milan. Fortunately nothing was playing that night (although theyre doing Romeo et Juliette!!), because if there had been something I would have bought tickets, ran back to Como to change clothes, ran back to Milan, and then gotten back to Como at like 1 AM and been locked out of the hostel.

I toured their museum, which allowed you to go into one of the beautiful boxes and look into the theater. The otuside of La Scala isnt very impressive, but the inside is breathtaking. Red velvet drapery and gilding and chandeliers. Photography wasnt allowed but I snuck a few pictures anyways. Theyre showing the movie Metropolis tomorrow evening, so they were testing the lights (I got there just in time to see the theater illuminated before it went dark) and the projection equipment. The contrast between the film and the tehater was really striking. I think these dystopic worlds are often a reaction to the over the top luxury embodied by La Scala, but the emptiness of the world in the film was frightening, especially when compared to the individual beauty of the theater. I know luxury comes at a price, but the thought of losing that beauty terrifies me. And my budget interior designs are proof that some luxury doesnt need jillions of dollars.

The museum was fun, they had lots of portraits of famous singers and composers and old costume jewelry and instruments owned by famous composers. In the library they had some costumes on display from recent productions, including some gorgeous tutus and masks and Papagena! The costume was the same as my idea- the pannier were a cage and then a skirt underneith was painted with pretty birds.

As it was too difficult to get a picture of myswelf pretending to sing opera in the theater, I got one of me outside the building. A tour group was very amused, and one person was very nice and took several pictures of me being silly. I attracted quite a crowd and one guy started taking pictures of me. It was all slightly embarassing but mostly funa nd Im realy happy about the pictures.

When I got back to Como I went to this Boldini exhibit at the Villa Olmo. They had art not only by Boldini but by a few of his contemporaries and I loved it. It was all new to me and was just marvelous. I want the exhibition catalog. The Villa was amaying too- every surface was covered in frescos in a classical style and gilding and it was all so colorful. There was even a little theater! I wish the other floors had been open for touring. I want to go to a grand ball there. I emerged to see Lake Como at night. The mountains were dark against the sky and all these little lights were twinkling from the towns. It was so lovely. For some stupid reason, until that moment the thought that Lake Como might be equally gorgeous at night hadnt even entered my mind.

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