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Sunday, October 24, 2010

It Ain't Over til the Fat Lady Sings

Yesterday, I received the news that Sarah will be moving back to Atlanta in a couple weeks.  Great for Sarah because she's got a new job she deserves; sad for me who will miss her terribly.  After delivering the shocking blow, she told me about her bucket list.  She doesn't have much time in the city but wants to make sure she leaves no stone unturned before moving back to Georgia.  Topping her list was a trip to the Opera.  I told her I would be game to join her because I had never been.  A few hours later, she and I were getting all dolled up to head to The Met.

Going to the opera was a special experience.  It was refreshing to see that everyone still gets all dolled up.  The glitz and glam of the outfits were matched only by The Met itself.  The theater is grandiose - from the fountain out front to the opulent chandeliers and red staircase.  It is a Manhattan sight to see.  The Opera may seem out of reach, but we managed to get our tickets for $27.  Granted, they were standing room only in the nosebleed section of the nosebleed section, but it was worth it.  Tip: wear flats or bring a pair in your bag because you'll be on your feet for three hours.

We saw La Boheme - a perfect choice because we had seen Rent together on Broadway.  It was also a good pick because, as a rent-head, I am very familiar with the story.  I knew Rent was based on this opera but I had no idea just how closely it followed the storyline.  Freakily (is that a word?) similar.

True, each person has their own subtitles  on a mini screen in front of them, but that's a lot of work.  It was in Italian and all the songs seemed to run together.  I think I need to see one in French so I don't have to focus quite as hard on the subtitles.  No matter, the performers were so unbelievably talented.  I can't believe they can produce those sounds from their diaphragms.  There were no fat ladies, but there were some serious divas and their arias were divine.  The sets were also over-the-top.  At one point, they walked a real horse across the stage.

The whole thing felt very glamorous and "old New York".  Opera may not be up everyone's alley, but it is definitely something that should be tried.  I will leave you with one of the most memorable opera quotes, from Pretty Woman, of course:

Old Lady at Opera: Did you like the opera, dear?
Vivian: It was so good, I almost peed my pants!
Edward: She said she liked it better than Pirates of Penzance.

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