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An Evening with Mozart

An Evening with Mozart

Friday, May 13, 2016, continued
Prague, Czech Republic

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
Why not join us on a summer tour in Provence or Amsterdam?

We walked off that fabulous lunch, strolling by rainbow-hued homes near the river,05131602 walk by rainbow row then through Vojan Gardens, where the shrieking peacocks were settling down for their afternoon nap. 05131603 hi to peacocksAfter our own quiet time, we dress for the opera, and take our box seats in the jewel-box interior of the Estates Theater, ready for some Mozart! 05131603 ladies in box seatsA glittering chandelier above,05131603 jewel box theater the gilded interior beneath, 05131603 mozart imaginethis marvelous space makes it easy to imagine the master standing below us, conducting the premier of Don Giovanni centuries ago. Tonight’s performance, though, is another of his greats – The Marriage of Figaro. Slightly easier to follow than last year’s quirky Magic Flute, the terrific singers and orchestra keep us enthralled for the evening, and we join the enthusiastic applause at the finale.05131603 mozart stage Mozart, exceptional still, after all these years!

 

 

Dining in Style in Bath

Dining in Style in Bath

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Bath, England

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to Spring – Aix en Provence for the Easter Festival.

What a treat to enjoy clear blue skies today! 11171501 beautiful dayAfter a marvelous noontime concert at the Guild Hall – the Galliard Ensemble playing the first Mozart we’ve heard at the Mozartfest this year –11171501 wind quintet we stop for a pint and a pie at The Raven, an historic pub known for its pies – 11171502 late lunch at ravenand yes, they were delicious!
We have a treat in store tonight – dinner at the elegant home of David and Brenda. 11171503 beetons georgian townhomeDavid, a chef extraordinaire, served a dinner that was as delicious to the eyes as to the palate, beginning with hors d’oeuvres topped with gold leaf and garnished with a lily.11171503 delicious to eye and mouthInto the dining room,11171503 guest is wife of drwhere beautifully plated courses continued to appear before us, until the grand finale-11171503 pavlova with sparklesa sparkly-silver-topped pavlova – wow!
A funny coincidence – we’d stopped by a local doctor in the morning, and who should turn up for dessert, after lecturing in a nearby town about medicinal uses of the thermal baths, but that very doctor!11171504 dr later wrote book He’s also written a book about the waters of Bath – ” Diseased, Douched and Doctored”. After his long day, he’s certainly ready for a glass of wine with his pavlova!

From Paris to Mozart in Prague

From Paris to Mozart in Prague

Friday, May 15, 2015
Prague, Czech Republic

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to summer – join us on the fabulous Amalfi Coast in July?

Remember that Cubist lampost? Well, Prague also boasts a cafe in that distinctive architectural style, Grand Café Orient, 05151501 all angles cubist cafe only remaining ancient is madonnain the 1911 Cubist building known as the House of the Black Madonna –05151501 black madonna she’s the sole remainder of the baroque houses that formerly occupied this block.
Faceted inside and out, 05151501 facets inside toothe style permeates the structure from façade to lighting, and the building is also home to a Museum and Shop of Cubism…our first shopping stop of the day!05151501 museum shop music and MARKETSCathy found some unique purses  – artisan leatherwork – on a visit to the village of Cesky Krumlov before we arrived, and is on the hunt for more of these artworks – a masterpiece to carry on your arm! So we’re on our way to a shop across the river, and stroll down Havelska, 05151501 open air interesting teawhere a stall or two at the daily market catches our eye. 05151501 tempting fruitThese playful paddleboats are so cute – have not seen them anywhere else. 05151502 cross river iso pursesAnd here’s the beautiful Prague cityscape from another angle.05151502 d charles bridge from another angleWe’ve had fun through the years with clients who want to find a particular something to remember their travels by – an antique key or two, some lovely leather gloves from Florence, fragrant lavender products in Provence, delicate glass from Venice – it’s all part of the “markets” in Music and Markets Tours! So we find the shop that turns out to be rather the “mother-lode” of these unique leathergoods. Cathy is in heaven – how to decide between the gorgeous totes, clutches, handbags??05151502 purse work of art carryEven Judy finds something she can’t resist on a now-half-dressed mannequin – 05151502 r mannequin gave up her jacketa beautiful leather and mesh jacket (look for it on an evening later this week!).
And now for the “Paris” in the title – a true taste of France right here in Prague. For years Cafe de Paris has been THE place to go for the best steak-frites in town. 05151502 short walk to lunch on knights squareYes, we know the main dish will be MORE than enough, but when our waiter describes the fresh spring asparagus special first course (served in a hollandaise tinged with pink grapefruit!!), we just can’t resist! 05151502 special of the dayAnd then come the piping hot frites (as good as any we’ve had in France!) and rare steak, sliced and ready to devour in a rich Bearnaise sauce – with 37 secret ingredients! Well we know what one of the ingredients is – earlier we saw the chef coming back from his storeroom with an armful of butter!05151502 steak frites renownedA chocolate dessert also proves irresistible – but we DID share it! Chocolate rosemary mousse, chocolate ganache with orange and spices, and a brownie-like chocolate cake – decadently delicious!05151503 all full but can we resist choc trio no wayAn afternoon stroll through this sweet side of town, Mala Strana, takes us by embassies housed in grand palaces, charming little courtyards,05151503 beautiful neighborhood intimate little spots simply lovely homes, 05151503 beautiful neighborhood many embassiesand right across from the French Embassy, the John Lennon wall,05151503 john lennon wallever- evolving since the 1980s.05151503 lennon wall everchangingFlowers drape the Nepomuk statue on Charles Bridge – Prague is getting ready for his birthday celebration today.05151503 nepomunk saints day celebratingAnd as we enter Old Town we hear another celebration, this one going on daily – the Hare Krishnas, chanting their way through the streets. 05151503 parade heard from afarThe Estates theater is our evening destination – we love listening to Mozart right where, centuries ago, he premiered his own operas. 05151503 theater estatesTonight’s production of The Magic Flute is quirky and entertaining from beginning to end…that’s Mozart, leaning against the backdrop05151504 quirky staging of quirky tale

as we enter our box seats – 05151504 box seatsit’s like being in a gilded jewel box 05151504 box seats jewel boxas we follow the convoluted tale. So much going on – animals, children licking ice cream cones or playing a flute tip-toeing across the stage, angels with trumpets descending,05151505 fabulous costumes home through streets mozart walked the costumes and backdrops as intriguing and beautiful as the music.05151505 backdropsEven though we talked through the tale beforehand, I left more confused than when we arrived. But it was certainly entertaining and well done! Mozart, what WERE you thinking?!

Czeching out the Tastes of Prague

Czeching out the Tastes of Prague

Sunday, May 20, 2012
Prague, Czech Republic

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
Join us on a summer tour on the Amalfi Coast, in Provence, or
our featured (and expanded!) 2012 Amsterdam/Belgium tour!

We begin our Sunday back on Old Town Square, much quieter today now that the ice hockey fans have gone home.

There’s so much to see, such as the Old Town Hall’s Astronomical Clock,  in this magical city,
whose historic center was not destroyed in the World Wars as so many other European cities were.

We stop by the Rudolfinum and pay our respects to Dvorak,

then lunch at the Cubist Café

before an opera matinée at the nearby Estates Theater, where Mozart himself premiered Don Giovanni in the 1700’s.

Inside and out, it’s a glorious example of the architecture and design of the late 18th century, and listening to Mozart right where he stood always brings a thrill.

The updated production of Cosi fan Tutte is fun and well done and sure enough, despite the upsets of life and love, everything ends happily.



How about some typical Czech food for dinner tonight? That means meat and potatoes –  potato DUMPLINGS, that is. Nostalgie, its walls lined with photos of Czech movie stars of yore, is a good place to sample typical dishes.

Kirk and Gary take the plunge and share an Old Bohemian Plate, piled high with pork ribs, sausages, duck, both red and white cabbage, three kinds of dumplings, and a too -big- to- tackle pork knee. They’re both groaning at meal’s end, and there’s still lots of meat on the board! 

We ladies try smaller portions – such as this typical dish of beef topped with whipped cream and cranberries accompanied by bread dumplings. Hearty and good – but that’s enough Czech for us, we all decide. We’ll continue our foodie explorations of the week with more international fare.