And the whale sang in the theater. An adventure at the Sydney Opera House

And the whale sang in the theater.  An adventure at the Sydney Opera House

One of the biggest wishes I had was to see whales, my favorite animal. As a boy I had read in a book that, holding my arms out in a circle in front of my chest, I would draw the circumference of a whale's aorta. Incredible proportions, cheeky dimensions, suspended tons floating in the water, light and dancing. Mammals and not fish, toothless yet monstrous, risen as a symbol of ferocious demonic creatures in bestiaries and nautical charts of the Middle Ages, capable of sinking ships or swallowing poor souls like Jonah, then spat ashore by divine order. But in reality docile and harmless beings. And with a very exciting feature: they sing. They have a voice like we do, even if their singing is the most mysterious imaginable. How do they sing underwater? Do they have vocal cords? Do they have a larynx? If they have to breathe to make their sounds how can they sing while underwater? I don't know, I'm not a cetologist. But I'm fascinated by it. This month I fulfilled that childhood dream and was able to see whales swimming off Sydney Harbor on a winter afternoon that actually looked like a beautiful April day back home. On Sydney Bay, just five minutes from the whales, faces another huge and fascinating creature inside which you sing. It is the Sydney Opera House, the famous theater built like a large ship with sails covered with small white tiles, wide open to set sail on the sea from which it is surrounded. A futuristic architecture, built starting in 1957 according to the project of the then unknown Danish architect Jørn Utzon and inaugurated in 1973, which later became a world heritage site (if there were any young readers, it is the theater that can also be seen at the end of the animated film "Finding Nemo"). This month I worked here to perform a French opera, "The Tales of Hoffmann" by Jacques Offenbach.

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