Popoloso deserto or not, this is where we're headed tomorrow and where we'll remain for about two months and seven – count 'em, seven – performances of Die Walküre. Yes, I am a little excited. It's not my first time, but it will be my first time with proper music: the first time I was there, I was more into Julie Andrews than opera and the second time I managed to land smack bang in the middle of everybody's off season. Well done, me.
Now Paris is making it up to me. I have a couple of tickets booked, for two potentially not dissimilar concerts: Vivica Genaux at the Salle Gaveau, singing Handel, Hasse and Vivaldi, and Joyce DiDonato a week later, bringing her Drama Queens tour to the Théâtre des Champs Elysées: Handel again, Hasse again, plus Monteverdi, Giacomelli, Gluck and Haydn. With the possibility of Alice Coote in La favorite sandwiched in between, it's going to be a mezzotastic seven days.
And there's so much more on my shopping list. Marie-Nicole Lemieux singing the Sea Pictures and as Quickly in Falstaff, Joe Calleja doing his irresistible Lanza tribute thing, concerts at Versailles by Véronique Gens and Patricia Petibon, and performances of La damnation de Faust, Khovanschina, Radamisto, Der Zwerg, L'enfant et les sortilèges and King Arthur, none of which I've ever seen live.
That's not even all of it, and I'd be willing to bet there's stuff I haven't even found out about yet. So, let the crowdsourcing begin. Your advice on what to see and where to sit will be gladly received, as, for that matter, will any clever tips about Parisian tourism in general. I've been sightseeing there before, but hey, it's Paris: there's always more to discover.