Railway Traviata / Traviata Ferroviaire

Traviata Concert in Zürich HB – Autumn 2008

Yesterday, there was a curious event in the main railway station in Zürich, a representation of “La Traviata” done in the main hall. I went there to have a look, as the office is not far from the railway station. Access was free, which was difficult to avoid as the orchestra was in the main hall and the singers and the stage at one end of the hall that is at the end of the surface tracks.

While I found the concept inter­esting, trying to listen to the singing was disappointing. There were people, but not that many – the station can get really crowded, it is one the busiest in Europe – still I could not see much of the orchestra and basically nothing of the singers. I could hear the orchestra, and at some times the singers, which in a sense is admirable, as the place is quite noisy, and the acoustics not designed for concerts. The stages where to low to give any visibility. I stayed some time, watching the people, and was wondering how difficult it would be to play an opera in such conditions: a split stage, a noisy place and quite a low temperature. I finally went home, it was an interesting experiment, but I really hope it looked better on TV. The place is probably better suited for Techno concerts (there is usually one during the Street Parade), the Christmas market or Ikea exposing its sofas (that was a fun one).

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