So, Berlin. That city is like a dream. Not a huge Wim Winders fan but it's easier to take angels seriously in a place like that. Not pretty - not even the Museum Island is pretty - but very, very lovable. What made it more like a dream, besides the fine reefer and the early darkness, was the German language, which is like a dream language. When they look at me and natter on, the rhythms are so English that I can't understand why I don't understand. And then sometimes I do understand - the harder I listen the more I understand - and that was dreamlike too. The surreal is ante-ed up by the way that city makes so much goddamn sense and whenever I got confused, everything was sorted out before I got twitchy. It's like I've lived there before, but really it's just phenomenal urban planning.
Regret is futile because there wasn't anything more I could have done about it, but fuck, am I ever sad now Tr@nsparency Intern@tional didn't hire me after shortlisting me last year. Oh well. C'est la vie.
We did lots of fun stuff, of which the most recommendable in a public forum was the Pergamon museum, a staggering cultural rape show well worth the half-hour line and the 9 euros - they brought over the fucking Pergamon altar and Ishtar Gates bit by bit, for god's sake. Also the State Opera, where I saw Carmen - sold out except for the sight-obscured nosebleeders that were going for 8 euros, but great sound.
I'd seen Carmen in Toronto back when they were still using the Hummingbird Centre and frankly comparing the two productions was embarrassing - like comparing the Stratford Festival to a highschool production. Though Paolo Szot in Toronto made a better Escamillo, by which I mean sexier. I think the Berlin production meant to make Escamillo emblematic of death, and I'm sorry, Escamillo isn't emblematic of death, he's emblematic of a fucking sexy bullfighter. But there was just no comparison between Larissa Kostiuk as Carmen and Elisabeth Culman - not putting down Kostiuk but Culman had a lovely rich honey voice that made me think of Maria Callas doing it. A lower and more beautiful register for the part. Heavenly.