Here is the worst part about procrastinating: you lose things in the interim. Just as I may have lost the photographs of one of the BEST mornings of my life. Losing the photographic record may be one of the worst.
The story begins with Judith wanders the streets – a post detailing the street art of Christian Guémy, aka C215. Through persistence and internet sleuthing, I found the location in an industrial section of Milan. So on a quiet Sunday morning – my last day in the city – I braved the subway system to look for the street. By an amazing coincidence, the location was just one block from the station exit in Isola! As I stood there taking pictures, a group of segway tourists drove by – American segway tourists (because who else is dorky enough to ride a segway)! Since I was in the middle of the street anyway, I took a chance and asked one of the group to take my picture in front of the artwork.
And now – a year later – I can’t find it. Would St. Anthony give me a little assistance even now?
HOLY CRAP the answer is yes!! Because here are the photographs for which I was searching!
That guy on the Segway was actually very talented for balancing on a platform, operating an iPhone, and confronting a crazy woman in the middle of the street. Wouldn’t you agree?
But now for something completely different – and more surprises.
The next stop: La Scala. Yes, La Scala – as in the official name Teatro all Scala, the most famous opera house in the world. Let me be honest right here: I know next to nothing about opera, not even sure I enjoy opera although I do acknowledge the immense talent and rich history of the art form. Maybe if I learned Italian (or German) I would LOVE opera, but at this moment I am a Philistine about it. But even a Philistine knows that La Scala has hosted many of the finest singers in the world during the past 200 years. And I can certainly manage going through the Museum of Teatro alla Scala.
And in the very first room of the museum: Judith on the lid of a pianoforte. Although the portrait to the right looks none-to-happy about her neighbor.
In the remaining rooms of the museum are numerous artworks devoted to another Judith – Giuditta Angiola Maria Constanza Pasta, perhaps the greatest of opera singers and certainly one of the most famous attrice cantante (singer actresses) in history. She was discussed briefly in Now for something completely different (LXIV).
Between 1824 and 1837, Pasta sang regularly in London, Paris, Milan and Naples. From 1830-31 in Milan, three roles were written specifically for her voice and became her major successes: Donizetti’s Anna Bolena given at the Teatro Carcano, Amina in Bellini’s La sonnambula and his Norma. Her performance also contributed to the success of La Scala, and she is appropriately immortalized in its halls.