Enter the Maestra
Appropriately enough in this week of the Immacolata, Frankfurt's Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester was led by the Spanish maestra Inma (neé Inmaculada) Shara. Likewise a composer, the 36 year-old conductrix studied in her home-country and, among other sets of players, has led the Czech and Russian National Symphonies and London's Royal Philharmonic.
On a related note, while it's been a year since Marin Alsop became the first woman given the baton of a major Stateside orchestra with her ascent at the Baltimore Symphony, it's been even longer since Benedict's Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone promised the coming of freshly-designed senior Curial posts that could be filled by women.
Then again, Bertone likewise talked up his Boss' social encyclical and the second volume of his Jesus of Nazareth in the July 2007 press conference at Lorenzago di Cadore, where Benedict was vacationing...
...and almost 17 months later, all three still have yet to materialize.
Tonight's performance marked the third orchestral visit of 2008 alone, following back-to-back shows for Benedict by the China Philharmonic in May (left, during its pre-Olympic European goodwill tour) and a Milan orchestra and chorus in late April to mark the pontiff's 81st birthday and third anniversary on Peter's chair.
PHOTOS: Reuters(1,3); AP/Pier Paolo Cito(2)