Michaela Merz

Public Viewing – different setting

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The monitors are everywhere, football is omnipresent. One cannot avoid it. On Saturday evening my older daughter prepared to watch the football match with Germany. She painted her face and was full of anticipation. My youngest one also would have liked to go to the city to watch the game but the broadcast was too late and he had to be in bed by that time. We nevertheless agreed to go to the city in the evening to see the masses of people celebrating in warm June weather. First we discovered a skating clique, who performed their neck-breaking feats once better, once worse. And sometime we ended up on the Sechseläutenplatz. The place was full of blue, foldable chairs, on which was written “Oper für alle” (opera for all). They played Rigoletto. We spontaneously decided to stay and listen. We sat down on the ground and it was not even easy to find free space. About 10’000 people were watching.

Rigoletto is about love, betrayal, treason, pain and murder. In the end Gilda is murdered and dies in her father’s arms. A very exciting and very sad story with wonderful music. I did not expect that my youngest one would hold out until the end. I thought that he would get bored and would want to move on to the lake. But it was not like that. He was fascinated and I was glad. He sat on the ground and looked with big eyes on the huge screen and followed the tragic story with absolute attention. And I could do what I had always wanted. I stretched on the warm stones and while lying enjoyed with closed eyes the warmth, which enwrapped the entire body. The sound of the music and the voices of the singers in combination with this wonderful warm ground felt like an invaluable therapeutic relaxation measure. Just that this one was for free.

Towards the end my youngest one got cold, as we had not taken any sweaters and had not expected to stay that long. I sat up and hugged him so that he was warm enough. Then I saw the bloody shirt of Gilda and in close-up view one saw on the screen the hand of her father turning red.

Then it was over and thundering applause drowned all other noises. It was wonderful, inspiring and very relaxing. Since then my little one just talks about Rigoletto and pesters me with questions which I cannot answer.

Public viewing yes!! But it does not have to be football all the time.

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