This is not prime time for writing a post today. Just spent the last 4.5 hours at the Polytheater watching The Berlin Opera’s magnicificently sung and conducted Tannhauser, one of Wagner’s most difficult operas to pull off. In some scenes, nothing “happens” on stage aside from back and forth declamation. No matter. The music was so overpoweringly gorgeous, the crowd, mainly Chinese, sat enraptured to the very end, at which point they were clapping their hands and stamping their feet in rhythm to express their approval. The kind of perfect operatic night I haven’t experienced in America for,oh….10 years now. And seeing the Chinese get into Tannhauser tonight was a treat.

As you can probably tell by the erratic typing, I’m ready to tip over. Wagner operas always end late, and it’s time to call it a night. Let me just say in closing, that it was so heartwarming to see a performance of the Berlin Opera performed with such beauty and perfection at Beijing’s Polytheater. What a beautiful night, what a beautiful way to share culture, and what a beautiful crowd of mainly young Chinese people eager to learn and seeming to adore ever note. Another I-love-China kind of night, though one I enjoyed with bittersweet feelings as I realize fate my be leading me in other directions. More about that later.

Sorry for no posts today but this. Suddeny I have a daunting lists of deadline tasks, from memorizing vocabulary sheets to writing a new business plan to preparing some case studies for a potential client. I’ll be back in a day or two, but let me just throw out the teaser notion that I’m working on a plan to start a new business in Beijing. If it gets off the ground maybe I’ll be staying here longer than I expected. It all depends on whether I can convince a friend of mine in Arizona that Beijing truly is a beautiful, inspiring, if often challenging and frustrating place to live. At a time when opportunities seem to be shuttered everywhere, China seems to offer just about the most promising potential for entrepreneurs. I’ll know in the days ahead whether I have the stomach, the brains and the wherewithal to actually be one. I’ll keep you posted.

Use this as an open thread if you’d like, with emphasis on the swearing in of Obama in just a few weeks, and anything to do with China you’d like.

Was anyone alse at Tannhauser tonight? all 4.5 hours of it?

The Discussion: 3 Comments

I am not a big opera fan. But I am really interested in your new business plan. If you do not want to go into specific, that is ok. I just want to know how you weather the future economic downturn. What do you see on the ground? What do people expect? It is courageous for you to launch a new business in today’s enviornment.

October 8, 2008 @ 12:35 am | Comment

some news the uighirs held in guantanomo have been ordered released by a judge.

i have mixed feelings. they were training with al qaeda. they never should have been brought to guantanamo bay. it is not clear they are a threat to the US. i think it would be wrong to send them to china were obviously they would most likely be executed. releasing them in the us is not a satisfactory answer either.

if we had not neglected afghanistan to pursure bushes folly in iraq then perhaps they could have remained in afghanistan as allies?

October 8, 2008 @ 3:02 am | Comment

I am a Wagner fan, which means I want to know details: conductor, singers, etc!

Few things move me more than a knockout Pilgrim’s Chorus.

Any reflections on how familiar the audience might have been with the mythological and religious content of the opera?

October 8, 2008 @ 7:37 am | Comment

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