Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The Merry Widow
A night on the town in Chisinau brought me to the National Opera House. The performance that night was "Vaduva Vesela" or Merry Widow. Of course you know The Merry Widow is an operetta by the Austro–Hungarian composer Franz Lehár. However, the performance tonight was in the Russian language. The curtain is about to go up, the orchestra pit will be filled with about 15 musicians. The cast of actors counts over 50 in some of the larger scenes. Looks like we've found our seats in the nick of time. After such wonderful music and singing, what could be better than a visit to the Flying Pig? That's the name of a very nice restaurant in Chisinau. It has its own micro-brewery and live music too. The food had a German theme to it. I enjoyed some delicious beef stroganoff and some fine dancing with my Peace Corps campanions. Of course, we were in Chisinau on official business. As you may know, PC headquarters is on Strada Grigore Ureche. In fact here is a picture of it on the corner. It's our very own White House away from home. Let's end today's blog with a lesson in money. Not all $50 bills are the same. Here you see three 50's lined up for comparison. 50 Moldovan lei is worth $4 dollars American, while the Romanian 50 lei is worth $13.50 American. $50 American is worth $625 Moldovan lei. A bowl of ciorba (soup) will cost you about 25 lei, and a beer about 18 lei. It costs 3 or 4 lei to ride the bus. But the tickets to the Opera were free from a local whose brother was a member of the opera company. Many thanks for a wonderful experience.