Donnerstag, 2nd Jan (1919)

(The word for Wednesday I like – Mittwoch).

Becoming a night-hawk.  Have been to the Opera Tiefland by Eugen d’Albert, and enjoyed it.  Again was handicapped by having not the slightest sketch of the plot, but on the whole the music and acting were explanatory enough.  The curtain rose after a very brief overture on a magnificent Alpine scene in early dawn.  There was no entre-act after the first scene, the orchestra carrying straight on, and the lights remaining off until the next – an interior.  The end of the first act, and the beginning of the last act are strongly reminiscent of Butterfly – the dawn rising on the same scene.

Went to some public baths – splendid affairs with hot showers and a huge tepid swimming pool.  Wallowed in it.  We got no change of clothes, but a party of Canadians did.  Took off my tunic and borrowed a Canadian’s cap (far too small) and drew a charge from their dump.  The man in charge saw through the disguise, but enjoyed the joke enough to let it pass.

New Year’s Day, 2 p.m. (1919)

Just helped to dispose of a royal spread (the best since Xmas day 1917) – turkey, beef, vegetables, plum duff, whisky, beer, desert, nuts, cigarettes, followed by speeches, toasts and the usual.

9.30 p.m.  Got seat for Friday’s performance – a musical setting of the Taming of the Shrew.  I was accosted by a mean-looking little old lady who turns an honest (?) penny selling tickets at a profit.  After some bargaining we made a deal behind a pillar, and I secured one for 7 marks.  Up I went into a swagger circle where a front seat awaited me.  The building seems to be very fine indeed.  Again I was unable to follow the drift or story of the Opera, Richard Straus’ Rosenkavalier, but the music, staging, singing and acting were all splendid.  The music did not strike me as bizarre.  I am no musical critic, but must say that I thought it magnificent.  Walk back, guided by a friendly youth glad to air his school English; rewarded him with sundry cigarettes.

(Item) Fraternising is strictly forbidden.