The opera “Gold”, which recently opened at the Zurich Opera House, is based on a fictional moral tale written by the brothers Grimm which tells the tale of a young man who, upon discovering an enchanted wish-giving fish, begins to fulfill his wildest material dreams. The directors of the production have chosen to adapt and re-imagine this tale by framing the narrative around a new protagonist – a young boy living with his parents. Over the course of his engagement with the fish, the boy aspires to more and more grandiose wishes until he realises the worth of his emotional and familial wealth.
The production endeavours through until mid-March of 2017, offering hopeful travellers a chance to book a trip to the historic city of Zurich if they desire to see it before its closing performance. As one of the smallest of the world’s largest opera houses, the Zurich Opernhaus itself may be considered an important and intriguing landmark of the city, being previously named as the Opera Company of 2014 and hosting approximately 250 performances each year. Also in Zurich for the culture seekers is the Zurich Tonhalle, which has aimed to entertain patrons for over 100 years with its leading orchestral talent.
Outside of cultural opportunities, Zurich may be considered famous for the traditional food, retail and both natural and man-made sightseeing prospects located in and around the city. There are both sweet and savory traditional culinary experiences which may appeal to travellers in Zurich, such as their potentially world-famous fondue chefs and chocolatiers, both of which are offered en masse in the city and may be experienced in depth through the Gourmet Fondue Cheese Tours or the Chocolate Indulge Tours which frequently run through the city’s streets. Or, if travellers are more interested in material wares particular to Switzerland and Zurich, they may choose to partake in a guided tour of the Beyer Clock and Watch Museum in the city, which recounts the history and development of the product and its legacy.
A further attraction to the city may be the prolific Grossmünster church, which has stood tall over central Zurich since the 12th century and played an instrumental role in the 16th century Swiss-German reformation, or the Bahnhofstrasse shopping boulevard, which stands over what used to be the city moats of 150 years ago. The natural landmarks of Zurich may also be among the most famous of the city, with tourists gaining the opportunity to hike up the Uetliberg Mountain in the summer or sled down its tracks in the winter. On a clear day, one may see a glimpse of the alps and a panoramic view across all of the capital from the peak of the mountain, as well as an aerial view of the city lake. Lake Zurich itself may be leisurely observed from its banks or through one of the various boat cruises on offer.
Whilst Zurich may be a city renowned for its traditional produce and retail opportunities, it may also be considered to have a wealth of historic and natural aesthetic material. It seems as though, perhaps unwittingly, Gold acts as a testament to the various forms of wealth in the city where its performances are currently housed, reminding locals and travellers alike of the natural and existing wealth which may surround them already, be it through the antiquity of cities or the love of family and friends.
How may society understand and adapt literature of the past as relevant to today?