J. and I sat on the banks of the Rhine, and drew a large Lutheran church across the stream.
Met Hun skinflint, and received two seats for Tales of Hoffman, and brought in legitimate manner seats for Thursday’s performance – Jenufa, by one Janacek – and then cantered upstairs to hear Der Frieshutz. It was unintelligible to us as drama, but we enjoyed much of the music. It comprised supernatural elements – His Satanic Majesty – appearing – re-appearing and disappearing with accommodating frequency and promptitude, amid surroundings of Dantesque gruesomeness: in fact, at one stage of the proceedings brimstone and treacle were flying about in all directions. It is a long opera, interspersed with much unaccompanied conversation, during which we Englanders were out of the joke, but several of the hunting scenes and interiors were beautifully staged, and the singing left little to be desired. It contained two very familiar airs.
Returned to barracks, I am enjoying a second musical treat – a mouth organ!
Now used to counting our money in marks. The trouble is that it fluctuates from day to day, like the Rhine with the rains.
[Image: Sketch of Lutheran church across Rhine, Cologne, by Lincoln Lee, 11 January 1919]