Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pierrefonds and Compiegne

After leaving Senlis we drove towards Pierrefonds - the large castle owned by the Orleans family, destroyed several centuries ago, rebuilt by Napolean III and Violet-le-Duc. V. romantic and beauifully situated on a high hill at the south end of the Compiegne forest.

We then drove thru the forest to Compiegne to The Theatre Imperial for Le Toreador. The opera house was built by Napolean III in an 18th-Century style - v. elegant and quite restrained for the Second Empire. Unfortunately, they ran out of time to decorate the boiseries - a nasty little Prussian war..... so the interior was simply painted. The acoustics are sublime - the interior being all wood - v. resonant and warm. One can look at the drawings in the Imperial Salon to see how it should have been finished. Personally, I rather like it the way it is.

The opera was v. well sung, engaging, more coloratura than Lucia, crisp orchestra playing, and I seemed to be the only one laughing at the funny bits.


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