Well my dears,
The trip to Avignon was something of a bust. Bill and I have been suffering off and on for 6 weeks of so with a kind of intestinal disorder. Every time we are ready to go to a doc about it, it goes away. Then it comes back. It came back just in time for our Avignon adventure. So even though the weather was perfect, we didn't really enjoy our time there. We did manage to visit, very thoroughly, 3 museums, all of which were in former baronial private mansions from the 18th and 19th centurIes. All of them were very beautiful, and had good collections.
One of my favorite painters, Hubert Robert, was very well represented. One of the homes was owned by a collector before it was bequeathed to the State on his death. He had a huge collection of Robert's sketches which formed the basis for the huge canvases which I love. The most famous, and heart stopping one is of the Roman temple in Nimes. He made several of them. The first one I saw was in the Louvre, and the second one was in one of the Romanov palaces In St. Petersburg, Russia. Three of his grandiose paintings (but not of Nimes) hung in the main art museum of Avignon, the Calvet.
There were plenty of other works to admire, and lots of furnishings and objets of art too. One in particular was 19th century "Chinese" bedroom on the same house at the Hubert Robert works. It was all done in my favorite color, red, with dim lights and a fabulous Chinese "wedding" bed. There were also collections of ivory figurines and many other objets which made me homesick, yet again, for Taiwan.
Our other cultural outing was at the Avignon opera house. We have been trying to see an opera there for years, but each time we find one we want to see, it is sold out. (They must have some avid fans who buy season tickets every year.) So the deciding factor in our choice of Avignon for our getaway was the fact that they were putting on a performance for which they had seats available...never mind that it wasn't an opera, it was certainly a classic..."Le Petit Prince". The description talked about music and dance, so we though it was the musical. Big surprise! It was a one woman show - a recitation of the book- but with some modern music played mostly on several kinds of marimbas, bells, various types of drums and other unusual percussion instrumends and a saxophone. There was also a chorus that sometimes paraded around on the stage and sometimes went below to sing with the orchestra. They were mostly incomprehensible except for two passages..."Nous sommes des roses" repeated many times for the little prince's encounter with the rose garden, and "Baobab! baobab! baobab!" Those were amusing interludes, but in general the choral part of the show was boring. The orchestra, on the other hand was fun to listen to. The dancers were excellent and a joy to watch. They were the dancers from the Avignon opera theatre, and were joined by the woman who was doing the recitation. It was wonderful to listen to her magnificent voice and her wonderful stage diction. However, although separately most of the parts of the performance were enjoyable, they didn't really seem to go together, and I have to agree with one of the many children who came to see it. He remarked to his mother "I'm disappointed, I thought I was going to see the Little Prince." Plenty of other kids slept through most of the show.
Since returning to Nimes, the nice weather has continued, but today is the very first day I have felt up to enjoying it. Knock on wood that this time I'm feeling better for good. Bill still hasn't got to this stage yet, but by tomorrow he may be cured too.
Hope so, for this Saturday is one of our favorite operas at "Gordon's OperaDou", and we want to be in good form. It's supposed to be a very controversial production.
That's it for now. More anon.
Love, Lynn and Bill