A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Friday, 2 July 2010

Greek Theatre, Taormina

After climbing the steep cliffs near the sea, one reaches two summits connected by a half-circle. Whatever shape it may have had originally, Art has assisted Nature to build this semicircle which held the amphitheatre audience. Walls and other structures of brick were added to provide the necessary passages and halls. The proscenium was built in a diagonal at the foot of the tiered half-circle, stretching from cliff to cliff to complete a stupendous work of Art and Nature.

If one sits down where the topmost spectators sat, one has to admit that no audience in any other theatre ever beheld such a view. Citadels stand perched on higher cliffs to the right; down below lies the town. Though these buildings are of a much later date, similar ones probably stood in the same places in older days. Straight ahead one sees the long ridge of Etna, to the left the coast line as far as Catania or even Syracuse, and the whole panorama is capped by the huge, fuming, fiery mountain, the look of which, tempered by distance and atmosphere, is, however, more friendly than forbidding. GOETHE Italian Journey

Bob Dylan played the Greek theatre, Taormina, on 28 July 2001. What a setting to have seen him in!

1 comment:

George said...

Goethe's description of the amphitheater is enough to make me board a flight to Taormina instantly. While I'm sure there are no modern equivalents, I am reminded of the open-air Santa Fe Opera Theater, where one can watch nature at her finest -- the sun setting over the mountains -- while waiting for the performance, i.e., the other performance, to begin.