Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Handel at Drottningholm

Very excited since we've made plans to visit Drottningholm - Sweden's magical 18th-century court theatre - for Handel's Ariodante. I've bought a CD of the opera (conducted by the wonderful Nicholas McGegan) because my Handel collection is in its infancy and we're going to need a libretto (no surtitles at Drottningholm!) Can't wait to see what a difference it makes, seeing a Handel opera fully staged; we recently attended the Academy of Ancient Music's concert performance of Arianna in Creta, and though it was wonderful musically, the lack of costumes and setting just killed the drama for me. I'll also be hot-footing it to the Drottningholm Theatre Museum if I get half a chance... At least this makes up for missing the Battle of Quiberon Bay!

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9 comments:

Tutta Rolf said...

How lovely! No need to mention my penchant for that place. You're in for a treat i can tell you, it's a truly wonderful experience, despite the excruciatingly uncomfortable benches...and you're not allowed to bring a cushion because of the fire risk...but do bring a fan, you'll desperately need it! As much as i love McGegans "Ariodante" and Lorraine Hunt in the title role i must really urge you to also get the Minkowski recording on Deutsche Grammophon...that, to me, is the definitive version...so intensely dramatic...

And don't miss the chinese pavilion! But do bring a picnic, the café is terrible! The nicest way to get to Drottningholm is by boats that go from the City Hall...so as to avoid the anticlimax of getting back home on the tube...Enjoy your visit!

Best, Tutta

Mrs Woffington said...

Thanks so much Tutta Rolf for all the advice - I was very inspired by your blog posts on the theatre and can't wait to see it! A fan, and my opera glasses, will be packed forthwith. We will almost certainly approach by boat early so we can take a look around - I'll blog on it when we've been with my impressions. It looks beautiful from the pictures I've seen.

W. A. Mozart said...

How I envy you, Madame. I have been told that any opera that is staged at the theater receives only the most faithful dedication. To hear Handel is such a jewel box will no doubt be a charming and memorable experience!

Mrs Woffington said...

I do hope so, Herr Mozart. It has been a long-held ambition to see Handel treated properly in the full 18th-century manner. And I hope to see something of Stockholm's beautiful 18th-century architecture too.

Tutta Rolf said...

I'm only glad to help...actually, if you have the time, there's another place you should visit, Skokloster Castle -i wrote of it a couple of weeks ago, it's a incredibly well-preserved baroque castle about an hours drive from stockholm.
If Drottningholm was beautiful in December, imagine what it's like in June!

You should also visit one of my favorite shops, a la carte antik that specialising in antique table ware and kitchen utensils...there's a link to their website in my list of links on my blog, -further up on that street is Stockholms best bakery, Riddarbageriet, pricey but worth every öre...for the picnic perhaps...Svenskt Tenn, an inevitable stop for any stylish tourist is also nearby, oh god, i sound like some guidebook.

Mrs Woffington said...

This is brilliant! Thanks so much, we've never been to Stockholm before so it's all very helpful, and we have a few days so there's time for plenty of 18th-century-related visits. I can hardly wait :)

Tutta Rolf said...

Lovely! Looking forward to seeing your pictures, it's always fun to see ones own town with foreign eyes...
While i'm at it, I must also urge you to see the Hallwyl museum http://hwy.lsh.se/default.asp?id=1213 and the Dance museum - they have a lovely exhibition of costumes for the russian ballet as well as a permanent exhibition of dance costumes from allover the world...http://www.dansmuseet.se/
And here's a real pearl of the 18th century, nowadays sadly in the shadow of a motorway, but beautiful all the same...http://www.nordiskamuseet.se/Publication.asp?publicationid=10303&topmenu=142
Again, enjoy your visit!
Best, Tutta

Mrs Woffington said...

I shall print out your comments Tutta Rolf and pack them in the suitcase so I've got all the details - we've got two guidebooks so it should be easy to track these places down (Svindersvik looks really interesting as I'm particularly keen on the early/mid-18th century). Thanks again for taking the time to comment - I hope to get lots of photos!

disa said...

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