Diana's Temple

>> Friday, September 9, 2005

It looks like a setting from out of a romance novel, this large, ornate, Baroque pavilion in the middle of a vast clearing in the wooded gardens of Palais Laxenburg. Built in the early 18th century, it served as the summer get-away palace for Maria Theresa and her court, and in Mozart's day for Emperor Joseph II and his court. Michael Kelly describes in his memoirs the summer of 1786 that the Emperor and his entire court, including the court opera company, of whom Nancy Storace was prima buffa, spent there. A performance of Le Nozze di Figaro was given there as well as various other operas and individual concerts and entertainments.

The pavilion called the "Lusthaus", (House of Love), or more commonly known as "Diana's Temple" is the setting for the scene in Steph's book, Night Music, where Mozart confesses to Nancy that despite the fact that everything within him cries out that it is wrong, he can no longer deny that he is in love with her. It is one of the most tender and moving scenes in the book and this setting provides the perfect backdrop. My heart leapt as I was driven to the edge of the grounds which had been freshly mown for us that morning in preparation for the shoots.

As I stepped out of the car and made my way towards it, I could barely breathe. I kept repeating under my breath, "This is it!" Steph was driven up in a separate car and the moment she stepped out, she called to me, "Can you believe it? It's just as we described it!" Neither of us had ever been there before and had only very recently (just a couple of weeks before the shoot) seen pictures of it on the web and yet, in Steph's book we had given an eerily accurate description of it with it's intricate lattice work, Corinthian columns, and domed, frescoed ceiling.

The camera crew scurried around to film us in our initial reactions. They too, seemed to be awestruck not only by it's beauty, but it's significance to us and our reactions to it. This was just one of the many moving, emotional, and memorable moments during our on location shoots.

Perhaps I had a wicked childhood,
Perhaps I had a miserable youth;
But somewhere in my wicked, miserable past,
There must have been a moment of truth.

For here you are, standing there, loving me,
Whether or not you should;
So somewhere in my youth or childhood,
I must have done something good.

Nothing comes from nothing,
Nothing ever could;
So somewhere in my youth or childhood,
I must have done something good.

(Something Good from "The Sound of Music" by Rogers and Hammerstein)




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