Jul 12

This was my second STP, and we decided to do it in one day. It is a double century, with a distance of 202.5 miles. Fourteen hours after a start at 5 am, Luc and I crossed the finish line, still going rather strong.

Here are beginning and ending photos….

 

I rode my yellow bird, which held up wonderfully. I got no back pain nor neck pain, and the pain in my butt was more a chafing than pain from sitting on the saddle for 13 hours with only short breaks. The STP was sunny but cooler this year than last. It also seemed to have less hills. I didn’t understand that, except that I might have gotten a bit stronger on the hills. Luc was still awesome, setting the pace the entire distance. He is really a strong cyclist. Russ did well, but 160 miles into our venture, was having some crampy abdominal pain which made it miserable for him. All of this means that we will have to do it again next year, because I want to see Russ cross the finish line in style. He has better cycle strength than me, so it should not be a problem for him.

 

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Jul 12

Fierrabras, an opera by Franz Schubert, and performed at the Zürich Opera House, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. ??

Schubert wrote 10 operas, yet they are all rarely if ever performed. This is the only opera of his that has been actually filmed. The music itself gets 5-stars, as Schubert remains the greatest song writer ever. The story and plot line gets a 3 star rating, mostly because Schubert did not excel in finding good script writers. The music performance gets a 4, and the staging gets a bare 1-star. The staging is an odd 20th century, historical, minimalist mix. The worst part was the constant distraction of “Schubert”, somebody dressed up like Schubert, who had a rare speaking role, but otherwise mostly interacted constantly with the singers. Fortunately, there were no suitcases or trench coats. There was an oversized piano and chair, that seemed to fit into every scene, and multiple doors that the stage people and singers would come and go through. All in all, it was too bizarre, and did not contribute to explaining the opera. Opera, by its nature, is both auditory and visual. It is hard to omit the visual in an opera, without destroying the intent of the composer. Liberties with staging are as much a crime to the music, as attacking the script itself. When the visual elements distract or attempt a completely different re-interpretation of the composer’s intention of the opera, then I consider the performance to have failed. And that is where this performance has failed. It would be better to get a recording of this opera, than to watch what has been presented in this performance.

 

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