Belle-Île-en-mer and Bretagne

August 24, 2018

I have arrived in Malta for some R&R after a wonderful five weeks on the island of Belle-Île in France's northern region of Bretagne, where I was participating in Lyrique-en-mer's festival which was celebrating its 20th anniversary. While I was there performing the Sacristan in their production of Tosca, I had the great opportunity to perform in several concerts to try out new and exciting repertoire as well as offer masterclasses to their group of young artists. I was able to tackle Enrico's aria Cruda funesta smania for Lucia di Lammermoor on the welcome concert as well as performing Brahms Zwei Gesänge which although being written for mezzo, viola and piano suit the baritone voice quite well. I also performed two Handel arias (Si, tra i ceppi from Bernice and The trumpet shall sound from The Messiah) on a Handel/Haydn concert with orchestra.

 

The island is very diverse in landscape and architecture with the brisk Atlantic Ocean in the Bay of Biscay that provided an exhilarating experience as I went for my daily swim. The sea also provided some of the best oysters, clams, crabs, mussels, sea bass, and other delights I have come across. In the main town  of Le Palais, the Citadelle Vauban is a star-shaped fortress that is still open to wander. The fort at Pointe des Poulains, the island's northern tip, houses a museum dedicated to 19th-century actress Sarah Bernhardt. There is also the windswept offshore rock formations noted for their jagged outlines that were once painted by Monet called "the needles" at Port-Coton. The island is also home to thirty or so sandy beaches mixed in with the rugged west coast.

 Charcuterie from the Market!

Sunrise from my bedroom facing (east side) mainland France.   

Afterglow on the (west side) of the island towards North America!

Seafood from the market!

"The needles" at sunset at Port-Coton. 

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