Chimera Song Mosaic
Sunday, March 20, 2005
* Side note: while I was looking for a link to the Vienna Opera House, which I found, I tried to find out the name of the guy who made the curtain (Rudolf Eisenmenger) and what the curtain was called I know roughly when it was removed because I went on one of the last tours featuring the curtain, and our tour guide said it was being removed very soon because Austrians, sensitive to the world’s opinion of them, would rather remove a curtain they admired that be labeled as promoting Nazi aesthesis. Or more specifically, not removing a curtain that is pretty and serves its purpose because it was created by someone who agreed with some Nazi politics.

Of course, these are my words, remembered only vaguely over the years, not the tour guide's. He was so diplomatic (read: apologetic) that his true feelings could not be discerned. I remembered thinking, what a stupid reason to tear down an iron stage curtain. But then again, perhaps if my sister, father, or professor had been abducted, humiliated, tortured, starved, experimented on, or executed by a person who takes orders from a person who the artist agreed with, I would feel differently.

I found more information. Apparently, the curtain previously depicted a scene from Orpheus and Eurydice (that’s probably why I liked it—I can’t stand the thought of someone destroying a Eurydice!), and it also protected the audience from a possible fire on the stage (or vice versa, presumably). It has not been destroyed; it has only been covered up (like blissful time, thus “healing” the wounds, resurfacing history!) by some modern paintings that are changed according to the opera’s season. I think (can’t really tell what I’m looking at) there is a picture of the original iron curtain here.

Then I found this interesting website that offers photos and brief notes, but not in-depth explanations, of Schonbrunn Palace (comparable to Versailles) today houses many people and many apartments. I don’t think it was like that when I visited, but see? The world changes, and sometimes it gets better. Also, I was surprised to see how very much Vienna and Budapest look like St. Petersburg (or, more accurately, St. Petersburg looks like them). I remember that they/it did, but it’s been a while since I’ve been in Vienna and Budapest. These pictures reminded me. Looky looky.

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