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1/27/2008

Secret, Sacred, Socrates

Today I went to a lyrical gala, with the amazing interpretation of marvellous sopranos, tenor and baritone, accompanied by a chorus, in various arias from famous Operas, all that presented in the middle of a park, near the streets, in a bridge/stage and the sound of the river constantly flowing. No, that was not one of my favourite dreams, but indeed it did happen this Sunday at noon, here in Santiago. A man sat beside me started to cry when the tenor sang the aria "Che gelida manina" from La Boheme, although I myself felt inside the role of "Rudolph" when he said in Italian, "Who am I? I am a poet. What do I do? I write. And how do I live? I live."

Then when it started the duet of flowers, from the Opera "Lakme" by Delibes, my eyes were filled with tears, as I listened to those two angels singing, which transported me into their garden, like a Taj Mahal made of an holographic vision. They were so in sync, so delicate and perfectly in tune that I travelled beyond time and space. I was, then, one of them, breathing in that beautiful scene, living there, between swans of white wings, over the margins of the flowery rivers, softly sliding among mythic creatures, where the bird sings to collect the blue lotus and make a collar of love for our protection.

t'was "a democratic (culturally, not in politics) event, accessible to all" to quote the ambassador of Spain in Chile who had just arrived from Madrid. And I believe Santiago is perfectly "cosmo-polite" city, pleasant to both tourists and neighbours, for this type of eventful content. But then I noticed that even in a public space in an open (democratic;) area, only a selective amount of people was able to appreciate it, like a sophisticated food that only a palatal experience can improve with a trained taste. Opera like Ballet is an elitist art. But elitist not in terms of a monetary access but of a cultural assessment. Education is a matter that money can buy, but the inclination to appreciate fine arts is only available to those who have a refined soul. And to achieve to that point one must experience life, something that no school may teach, though it might show the way. And the way, like a circumference of possibilities might as well one day, as always, return to itself, or "mighty swell" turn into the centre, the source of all life: "Know thyself" as the maximum visceral and exponential search of the human soul. But for a river you don't need to mention about its freshness in the hot summer.

Even in architecture, for all its textures, rhythms and tones, one should take the journey, the enterprise as a feminine role, for it should engage in unity, in comfort, rather than dissuade, separate, concur or conquer. A city must be composed as a feminine entity for it doesn't judge its habitants, it awaits patiently and with a compassion for each citizen, just praying that whoever walks through her streets may feel it belongs in her arms, like a child, or a lover, lost in its labyrinth but finding her way in each corner. Each obstacle is nothing but a challenge that may facilitate the brave ones and digress or dissipate the weak ones in their profanity attempt. So to reach into the core of a city one must first learn how to obey and abide within her limitations, for there is not a definitive place in this world, but many daily places we may call our own.

With paintings from one of Chopin's most favourite artist, William Adolphe Bouguereau, and the Opera from one of my favourites musicians, Leo Delibes (the same who composed one of my most favourites Ballets, Coppelia) here an homage to the feminine in time and space:

Sous le dôme épais où le blanc jasmin
À la rose s'assemble
Sur la rive en fleurs riant au matin
Doucement glissons de son flot charmant
Suivons le courant fuyant
Dans l'onde frémissante
D'une main nonchalante
Viens, gagnons le bord,
Où la source dort et
L'oiseau, l'oiseau chante.

Sous le dôme épais où le blanc jasmin,
Ah! descendons/ Ensemble!
Sous le dôme épais où le blanc jasmin
À la rose s'assemble
Sur la rive en fleurs riant au matin
Viens, descendons ensemble

Doucement glissons de son flot charmant,
Suivons le courant fuyant
Dans l'onde frémissante
D'une main nonchalante
Viens, gagnons le bord
Où la source dort et
L'oiseau, l'oiseau chante.

Sous le dôme épais où le blanc jasmin,
Ah! descendons/ Ensemble!" Lakme et Mallika

Under a dome of white jasmine
With the roses entwined together
On a river bank covered with flowers laughing in the morning.(Flowers Duet)
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