We had arranged to meet Victor for a very early dinner at Rossini, a restaurant at Circular Quay and then make our way to the venue for La Boheme. While it was a good location and the service was ok, R's and Victor's meals, chicken schnitzels, were pretty well inedible. I could see how old and stale they looked when they arrived at the table. I had mussels and it was a nice enough dish.
While I had looked at options to get to the venue. Victor said we could walk through the Botanic Gardens as long as we did so before 6:30 when the garden gates close. I saw this myself on the La Bom website. But by the time we reached the gate at 6, the gates were closing. It would be a long walk right around the gardens to get there.
But I had investigated water taxis. Victor did not know about such touristy things as being transported on Sydney Harbour by a water taxi. He lives in a nice Sydney eastern suburb that was once served very well by public transport. It is not so good now, he not even being able to get a bus directly to Circular Quay, so he needs a car. Rather odd really when his local Federal member is so pro public transport and is our Prime Minister. The water taxi service we used was set up to service people like us who were attending La Bom. It left from the Man o' War Steps on the far side of the Opera House. The Harbour was choppy and the boat was a rocking, so it was moved to face another direction where it settled down enough for us to board. It cost us each $10 for perhaps a ten minute trip to the Boy Charlton Pool, close to the venue. Oh, swimmers in the pool, somebody mentioned. As we crossed over the pool on metal walkway, sure enough, a swimmer with a stunning body passed underneath. I was a little ahead and it was pointless in drawing Victor's and R's attention to the swimmer. We walked up a hill using a short flight of steps and there we were. Easy and painless. We collected our tickets and entered and we had about an hour to kill before the performance. We quaffed a drink bought at a cart and mooched around until it was time to take our seats.
Is this tower on its third name? Whatever, it a very visible Sydney building.
The photos aren't very good but give you an idea.
We would certainly stay at the The Travelodge again.
The view from our room. Mark Foys was once a department store and I assume the Griffiths Tea building was the company head office and perhaps factory. Wonderfully repurposed buildings. The hotel we were in was once the site of Dunlop Rubber.
I don't think this pub was always called Hotel Harry.
Boy Charlton Pool, named after a famous Australian swimmer who I know little about.
The stage, representing Montmartre, Paris.
In the background....
While the performance wasn't sold out, some estimations by us thought it could seat a little short of 2000 people. So say with some empty seats, there were at least 1500 in the audience, which is not a bad crowd for a Tuesday night. Weather wise, it could not have been better.
It was a great spectacle and the story was simple to follow, especially with surtitles on four different screens. Man meets woman, fall in love and have a stormy relationship, she dies of consumption and everyone is grief stricken. It went for two hours plus a long 40 minute intermission and towards the end I was kind of wishing she would die a bit more quickly and also that I had a remote control to turn the baritone down a bit. But really,we did enjoy it.
Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Luna Park in the background.
It had been transposed to Paris in the 1960s. After intermission these two wrecked cars with one aflame. As Victor promised, at 8.25 there were fireworks. He knew they would happen as he can hear them from his abode.
One very amusing part was when a man in a basket suspended by balloons (and a crane) floated around around from the back of the stage and across the front, to pause where a boy on the street grabbed hold of a dangling rope below the basket and floated off over Sydney Harbour.
The performers took their bows as we viewed from the path out.
We caught the first water taxi back to Quay rather than the Man 'o War Steps and said our farewells to Victor and back to the hotel by train. We were soon dreaming of Paris but perhaps loving Paris in the springtime rather than winter. Oh yes we, had been performance snowed upon a little during the night when a brief minor wind swirl came along. It really was quite a spectacle.