Topic: Europe

Lindau Puppet Opera: Swanlake Pas De Deux. Christian Flemming

Lindau/Germany: Why Opera-goers adore Puppets on Strings

11.07.2024

When these shapely legs are swung high during the rehearsal for the Swan Lake performance, they are not made of flesh and blood. Nor, in fact, are any of the lissome corporal parts belonging to the remarkable cast acting on the miniature stage of the Lindau Marionette Opera (House): they are puppets on strings choreographed and directed with an expertise and finesse that leaves any audience open-mouthed with bafflement. And that doesn’t just account for the ballet troupe bobbing their tutus in tune with Tchaikovsky’s legendary Swan Lake ballet: there are works by Mozart, Verdi, Rossini, Strauss, Bizet and Humperdinck on the programme as well. But, how is it accomplished to elicit credible emotions from actors sculpted from wood? Carving features to augment the illusion of changing mien is the craftsmanship their creators are excelling at!

Read article

Pink for girls: Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland Paris - excellent fairy-tale stuff.

Germany’s Blockbuster: Neuschwanstein Castle

6.06.2024

When the King is a Queen

As is endorsed, Schloss Neuschwanstein, Germany’s prime tourist attraction perched on a steep rugged rock deep in Bavaria, served as a role model for what was to become the epitome of a castle eligible for the classical Disney story. Its silhouette was even chosen for the logo of the Walt Disney Studios. The elaborate palace is a real estate shrouded in ever-lasting mystery and thus an ideal venue for the incarcerated, bewitched or poisoned princess desperately waiting to be rescued.

Read article

Beethoven's Ode to Joy

The Sound of Friendship: Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“

7.05.2024

Whenever there is reason to celebrate on a festive scale, a dramatic sound scape must not be missing. Worldwide, solemn ceremonies are carried by Beethoven’s „Ode to Joy“ (Ode an die Freude), being played by enthusiastic orchestras and sung by effervescent choirs in front of a mesmerised audience. Since its debut in Vienna in 1824, the compassionate tune and emotional lyrics manifested themselves as the epitome of the brotherhood of man.

Read article

A museum for Tintin, the Belgian hero

4.05.2024

Hergé: Master of the Comic Strip

Georges Prosper Remi – born in Etterbeek/Brussels on May 22nd of 1907 – became a renowned cartoonist who chose to sign his drawings with the pseudonym Hergé (RG), standing for his initials read backwards. The adventures of his heroes Tintin and Snowy were first published in 1929 – and nothing could impede their rapid ascent nor weaken their lasting worldwide success. Their exciting feats were translated into numerous languages and devoured by hundreds of millions of readers – notwithstanding their age. The constant flow of Hergé’s inspiration sprang from the reality situations of everyday life, a reliable source likely never to run dry. Before founding his Studios, Hergé, the productive artist, accomplished the challenge of his unique creative mission as a solitary fighter for more than two decades. Georges Remi died in 1983. The artist’s legacy comprises a wealth of works of impressive diversity in its distinctive unequivocal style. It is displayed at the Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve near Brussels in the Belgian region of Walloon Brabant.

Read article

Paris: The stage of a glamorous Montmartre Show.

Paris. Montmartre – a sphere in its own right

12.04.2024

The Making of a Bohemian Microcosm

Montmartre evolved following a massive urban reconstruction and relocation scheme initiated by a great man of the 19th century: Napoleon III. Together with his ambitious town planning prefect Baron Haussmann, he aimed at creating a mundane Paris of dazzling allure and wanted it to become „the most beautiful city of Europe“ – not without granting spacious plots of land in prime locations to Haussmann, his many friends and financial supporters. By rigorously stomping unsightly areas into the ground and by replacing humble housing by posh manorial edifices and narrow crooked alleyways by grandiose and airy boulevards and squares, Paris’s face was substantially lifted and embellished – albeit at the expense of the less privileged population, who became early victims of gentrification.

Read article