March 3, 2006

My First Opera

Friday, March 3, 2006

I’d love to say that I wrote my first opera but no, I just attended my first opera. I've read Puccini's La Boheme and Turandot and seen TV versions but last night was the first time I went to the MET Lincoln Center to see an opera live. My friend had an extra ticket so we went together to see Samson et Dalila a French opera by Camille Sainte-Saens. The biblical story about betrayal and seduction, which paints of course the woman (Dalila) as the evil temptress and destroyer of faith and man, so not an upper really.

First of all, being in the Metropolitan Opera Theater is amazing, incredibly high ceilings and four rows of balconies over looking the stage. We had orchestra seats right in the center. I was afraid I’d have no idea what the actors were going to be singing about, but in each seat are little screens that provide the lyrics in English. The size of the cast was also amazing; at one point there were 82 people on the stage belting out in operetta, which was very powerful. The set was sparse but had modern art screens in the background that were very evocative. However, yes not being the great Puccini, this opera was a little boring and has three acts and two intermissions. My friend even nodded off for a little bit as did a man in front of us and a woman next to us. I don't blame them because although beautiful the show was long and dragged on a bit, plus the beautiful singing was very relaxing, especially with the glass of champagne we drank.
I thought more people would be dressed up and many were, but not like Cher in Moonstruck and some attendees wore jeans even. I guess it's the same with any theater shows now-a-days.

Overall it was a great experience and I'm glad I had the opportunity to go.

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