One of the things I miss most about living in Paris is being a flâneur, strolling around the city, sometimes aimlessly, other times on the lookout for Space Invaders, and almost always with a camera in my bag.
I took this photo while on vacation in Paris a few years ago.
It was raining and we had taken shelter in Place des Vosges. As we walked around the square, we passed a busker singing in the corridor. I stopped to poke my camera against the grille of a shop that sold, what I imagined must have been rather expensive, bow ties. Soon after, the busker was joined by a soaring high-pitched voice that echoed through the empty walkway.
We stopped. The voice held us in our tracks. It belonged to an elegant, clean-shaven man in a long coat who looked like he was in his early 30s. I was surprised as I thought it was a woman who had joined the busker in song.
For several minutes, the busker and the gentleman sang an operatic duet that I don’t recognise. After all, I don’t listen to opera. The last time I did was when I was 15, practising Aida in the school choir. The voices, set against the gentle pitter patter of raindrops and cool evening breeze, were mesmerising as we stood in the shadows of Place des Vosges.
Weeks later, I was back in Singapore and on the phone with AB. He reminded me of the duet we witnessed at Place des Vosges and said that it is possible the gentleman was none other than Philippe Jaroussky, a famous, and young, French countertenor.
Was it really him? Doesn’t matter. Today, this photo is the wallpaper on my Blackberry, a dreamy reminder of a magical moment in the City of Lights.
This photo was taken at Place des Vosges, Paris, December 2009 with a Lomo LC-A using Kodak TXP400 film.