Life in Barcelona is getting back to the way it was in the spring, kind of… The main difference is that we are doing most of the same things we did before but with very few tourists. As we live smack in the center of Barcelona, we see a huge difference. The Ramblas are quiet. A lot of stores are closed. Many hotels are still closed. And there are very few short-term apartment rentals. Now I can walk to the opera without having to zigzag around thousands of tourists. It is sad for so many businesses.

As for the opera, we had a very busy week with rehearsals for Mozart’s Requiem and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. The theme of the concerts centered on “pain and hope”. So apropos for what we are experiencing.

We performed last night in a Monastery in Montserrat with a very special atmosphere. Audiences are supposedly “distanced,” and we played with our masks on and had individual music stands. We also take the stairs instead of the elevator. Tomorrow we start Il Trovatore with Dudamel conducting. Our first opera will be Don Giovanni without a chorus.

A few of the concerts which were cancelled have been rescheduled, which is a good sign. As of two days ago, a 70% capacity has been allowed which will encourage the concert organizers to reconsider scheduling concerts again. Our fingers are crossed… Apparently some areas of Madrid have gone into isolation again. Hopefully it won’t happen here but it may become unavoidable.

In any case, we still dream of the good air and friendly faces on Quadra. Catherine and I can’t wait to be back!

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