But in the end, in spite of months of attempts, we'd achieved only one hard and fast booking for an opera in which Plácido was to star -- a fax from the concierge of the Ritz Hotel in Barcelona, saying that if we were to arrive on such-&-such a date in November, tickets could be obtained for a performance of «Adriana Lecouvreur», with Domingo and Freni.
About three weeks after our return to Sydney, I saw out of the corner of my eye a small par. in the local morning newspaper. It said «Plácido Domingo to visit Australia».
Reading that was a bit of a stupefier: it subsequently led to a train of circumstances culminating in our dining à sept with the man himself, some months later.
We could never have imagined anything so utterly ... WONDERFUL, when first we started planning ... But then, our trip changed a lot of things for us.
So: were we pleased with that ? -- were we, what ! We immediately revised our draft itinerary to put Barcelona in early November, which meant that Madrid would be the first European landfall, followed by Valencia and Barça.
Then the rest of the trip was drafted -- and the final (and most vital !) session in my Fear of Flying course was postponed beyond reach, at roughly the same time.
We booked a hotel in the first-to-be-visited city of each country on our itinerary, and set in place a succession of 'planes, trains and automobiles.
We checked our planning, our packing, our tickets -- and flew off ...
Oh; one little thing to note, here ...