Since my itinerary is dictated by my audition and performance schedule, I was delighted to spend my Monday in such a pretty place. Passau is in a very lush corner of Bavaria, and it’s known as the “Three-River City” because it is built at the place where the Ilz and the Inn Rivers flow into the Danube.
I was there to sing some Strauss. But as soon as I finished singing, I strolled over to Passau’s splendid Baroque cathedral. Cathedral-hopping is one of my hobbies, anyway, but I was especially excited to visit St Stephan’s because it boasts the largest cathedral organ in the world. Happy happy joy joy!
I love Baroque ornamentation, in music and in architecture. I realize that some people cringe when they see too much gold. You know the type — people with exquisite taste, who talk about “simple elegance” all the time? Yeah, I feel sorry for them. Personally, I like gold. I like the sparkle of it. I understand that “not all that glitters is gold,” but when it actually is gold, I say, “relax and enjoy the glitter!” Especially if it’s in a big public space like a cathedral, where everyone can revel in it. As an opera singer, I spend a lot of my time in the 18th century, so I have no trouble with gilding. I live by the motto: when in doubt, gild it. I don’t mind a plethora of cherubs and painted ceilings, sculpted marble and mirrored chandeliers. I might not put them in my living room, but I like to see them in church. To me, these are all signs of cheerful abundance, so my visit to Passau put me in the perfect mood for Thanksgiving week.
* ACHAT Comfort Hotel- an affordable hotel that features a fitness room, sauna, jacuzzi and high speed Internet! They are opening a new hotel Budapest and I will definitely consider it for my next trip to Hungary.
* Stadtgalerie – a centrally located shopping mall (pictured here in full Christmas décor!) where one can spend a couple of happy hours in between auditions.
* Cafe Stephan’s Dom – serves an excellent potato-pumpkin strudel on a bed of apple kraut. However, caveat emptor: it can leave you with “cabbage breath,” a rare Teutonic condition cured only by copious amounts of peppermint.