Opera at the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo in Florence, Italy

Opera at the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo in Florence, Italy

One of the great pleasures of traveling for me is walking around a city after nightfall, when everything is relatively quiet compared to the hustle and bustle of the day. This applies even more in Europe where for some reason I feel safer amongst the old buildings and cobblestone streets. Florence in particular is a city that is easy to explore on foot and there is so much to see. After dark the city takes on a whole new look and I feel really lucky to be in such a beautiful place, having them it all to myself. Then again, it can be even more interesting if you’re not alone, as was the case when I took this shot. It was approaching 11 pm and I was getting ready to head back to my hotel, when I was startled by the sound of an opera singer.

The startling sound broke the quiet of the night like the unexpected ringing of a giant bell and I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. The singing would start, then stop almost as if it were daring me to find where it was originating from. I had been to the Mercato Nuovo earlier in the day when it was full of merchants peddling their wares and as I approached it this night, it was hard to believe that only hours ago it was teeming with shoppers, merchants, and tourists. As I drew near I could hear the singing clearly, but still could not find who was doing the singing. Feeling much like Ulysses being drawn to the sound of the sirens I ventured on. Moments later I stopped as I saw a woman, dressed in what seemed to be something resembling a monk’s robe talking to two police officers. They questioned her briefly and moved on. She then bent over to pick up some rather large pages on which I imagine music and lyrics were written. After finding the correct page she began to sing and once again her voice broke the silence of the night in a surreal way that is difficult to describe. The night was cold so I could see her breath each time she exhaled. That in conjunction with the medieval robe, the deserted streets and the glow of the streetlights made for a scene I’ll not soon forget.

Come back for part 2 on Friday.

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Comments (6)

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  1. Beth says

    Absolutely stunning…wow, Ken, you’ve really captured awesome beauty here…love the story and can imagine her singing away! I just love the way you bring inanimate objects to life through your lens. xoxo Beth

  2. Jamiella says

    It’s true- every photo has is just a moment in time, and, therefore, has a story behind it. Thanks for sharing!

    I’ve noticed that your photos have this grainy, embossed, yet brilliantly clear quality to them. Some photos in particular are borderline fantasy/magical in appearance. It’s hard to explain, but they are absolutely beautiful!
    Is it your lens or you style of editing that brings this quality out in your photography?

    p.s. Keep up the good work:)

  3. says

    Thank you Beth and Jamiella. This was a very strange scene and the image conveys the mood of the moment quite well. I’m glad I could share this with everyone and I just wish that I could have recorded her singing!
    Jamiella, it really is the post production on the computer that allows me to make the images look this way. I’m glad you enjoy the photos :^)

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