Why I Love Dresden

Watch this video and you will see why:

Jan Vogler, the director of the Dresden Musikfestspiele, is having his contract extended. Rightfully so, as he masterminded a beautiful performance this year with L’il Buck, a contemporary dancer from the US, in an interpretation of Swan Lake. Vogler played the cello for Buck in a very poignant integration and interpretation of classical music with modern dance.

Five years ago, when I first went to Dresden in the middle of winter, I went to as many operas and performances in one week that I could afford. The quality was stellar, and all I had to do was shuffle across a plaza past the Frauenkirche in the snow and 5 degree Celsius weather to get there. I learned how to bundle up snugly, and then unbundle at the cloak room in the Semperoper in less than 5 minutes flat. I could also rebundle in the same amount of time. The assistants ran to deliver coats at the end of each performance to expedite delivery of personal belongings, carefully and artfully.

The first year, I learned that I was going to miss the upcoming Music Festival’s program focused on Asian performers in May. One of Korea’s top pop singers was going to perform on stage with a classical musician, Jan Vogler. It was my first awareness of this festival. It sparked my curiosity, and though disappointed that I couldn’t attend, I made a point to look out for the following year’s lineup.

The rest is history, and now I have completed my fourth year in a row at the festival. It’s not just the little city that could, for all its cultural attractions, or for the classical music abundant, but also for a great entrepreneur and director who in a very understated way can bring about alot of change. I am so impressed with Vogler and his mission to bring meaningful performances to the musical world.

This inspiration comes from chatting with my Swiss friend who recently met us in Dresden. In her second year, she is also sold on Dresden. She gets to appreciate German music and its underpinnings. We are now talking about next year’s rendezvous and program. Anyone else interested???

You can also check out the Festival at http://www.musikfestpiele.com.

The following photos are taken from the historic Frauenkirche, where Meilina and I heard the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra.

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