Another whirlwind tour in November 2007, this time comprising two complete operas within 10 days. It started off with a bang – R. and I had a concert with our own group on Wednesday night in Nijmegen and arrived at my house at 12.30 AM. After a very short night (catnap, really), our taxi arrived at 5.15 to take us to the airport to fly to Bergamo. We arrived at 9 AM but my suitcase didn’t. They had no idea where it was or how I would ever get it back and wanted to send it on to Madrid to meet us there. I didn’t like that idea so much; I know how enormous Madrid airport is and thought I’d never see it again. So we reluctantly left the airport and drove to Lonigo, ready to meet the orchestra who had already been rehearsing for two days. What a feeling, walking into a rehearsal with your glasses on, unshowered, two hours of sleep behind you and no suitcase.
We rehearsed there that day and I discovered that the suitcase had gone to Pisa (not Bergamo), then to Rome, then to Bergamo where a colleague picked it up that night and met us the next day at Milan airport. So glad I was to see it… and then to check in again and relinquish all control once again. We traveled for exactly 12 hours that day; bus, plane, bus and hotel in Valladolid at 11 PM. What a lovely hotel, and such a relief to have a shower and crawl into bed.
Valladolid is a charming town and it was perfect weather, although a bit cold.
R. and I had a nice walk around town. The most stunning sight was the entryway to an old palace where the Museum of Sculpture is now housed. I’d never seen such a beautiful gateway with patterns behind the statues, a sort of 13th century wallpaper.
The concert was in a brand-new huge concert hall; so new that there were no mirrors in the dressing rooms and no cafe. It was also humongous and the audience wasn’t very large so it felt a bit empty, but they were very enthusiastic. After the concert, we raced back to the hotel and hid in the bar with our instruments, waiting for the conductor. When he walked in, we burst out in song — “Tanti Auguri a Te” better known as “Happy Birthday.” We presented him with a pink sweater and a cake and much merriment was had.