Many hundred years ago, in 1430, the seafarer Pietro Querini and his crew sailed from Venice, a ship filled with goods, men filled with dreams of wealth and fame.
A few months later the ship was wrecked and most of the crew had died. Only a few remaining ones, among them the captain Pietro Querini, stranded on a small island in a cold, dark place, their only opting struggling for life a few days more, and then die.
Hell had never felt so close, but Pietro never lost hope and prayed to God for salvation.
For days and weeks which felt like months, like years, the men struggled. Some lost the fight, but one day salvation came. Not far from the little island where they had stranded, there was a community of fishermen, their wives and children, on the islands of Røst, and a dream of a little boy sent a group of men over the the shipwrech island to look for two lost calves. They did not find any calves and could not believe what they found instead.
The men were saved and spent a hundred days on Røst before returing to Venice. And with them on the return were sacks and sacks of "gold" from the North, sacks of tørrfisk, or stockfish.
The story about Querini and his men has been told in different ways over the years. Two years ago it was made into an opera and performed at Røst, with my brother Torodd as the conductor. We spent our summer in California that year so it was not an option for us to travel to Røst, but when I heard that the opera would be set up again this summer, we set our plans right there and then. We were to go to Røst!
If you do a google search you will realise how far out in the North Atlantic Røst is situated. It is hard to believe that people have lived here for hundreds of years. The livelihood is fishing, the ocean has always been filled with cod. To preserve the fish they dry it. You can read more about it here.
We reached Røst yesterday, and today was the day for the Querini Opera.
We were among the first ones to arrive, the last ones to leave :-)
We were not allowed to photograph during the performance, but afterwards my camera was busy. Torodd, my brother, the conductor, the man with the broadest smile.
A few professionals, a lot of locals,
together it made for a most wonderful opera!
Now The Querini Opera has been performed at Røst twice.
What about next time in Venice?
It is not the season to hang the fish now, so alle the wooden racks are empty. They do make for perfect photos though.
Britt-Arnhild´s House in the Woods has been on the internet since 2005. The blog is my virual diary and a tribute to life and life´s Creator. I love to hear from my readers, in comments and in emails, and from time to time I am lucky to meet some of you, here, there everywhere.
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