Monday, August 24, 2009

Mondays in Iceland - #15

Luncheon Concert

The Opera House, Reykjavík, 2004

I had flown in on the red-eye from Minneapolis the night before, we had left late so by the time I had gotten checked in at the guest house and had walked back downtown it was nearly noon, just in time for a "Lunch at the Opera" concert. There was a lively queue of white hairs wearing furs and jewelry standing outside in the blustery March air; I helped more than a few octogenarians up over the tricky threshold into the small lobby of what was once a cinema, now home to the opera. I got my ticket and went in; the theater had never been remodeled, with ancient seats and a pleasant aura of shows gone by.

It was really just a recital, three singers with piano accompaniment, in Italian (fortunately for me the lyrics were projected above the stage - in Icelandic, of course!) The singing was first-rate, and although I was severely jet-lagged, it was a wonderful way to start a trip.

Afterward, I went back to the guesthouse and fell asleep for 18 hours.

By Professor Batty


Blogger Chris Albertson said...

Interesting, I had no idea that Gamla Bío became an opera house, or that Iceland had enough opera activity to warrant such a shift. :)

I spent many childhood hours absorbing movies in that building.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

They're building a new Opera house on the Harbour, despite the Kreppa, you can see it on the webcam link under the Iceland category in the sidebar.

I don't think the Gamla Bío has changed one bit inside, it looked very much from the '20s. The other Cinemas are more modern, except for the Tjarnarbío...

Blogger Chris Albertson said...

Does Nya Bío no longer exist? That's where I saw my first technicolor movie, "Robin Hood"—back in '39!

Blogger Professor Batty said...

I'll check it out when I'm in Reykjavík next week...

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