Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I've been to Opera at the Met!

"What opera isn't violent? Two things happen, violence and love. And other than that, name something else. You can't. " (Cab Calloway)
What a treat! The Metropolitan Opera has been broadcasting a range of live operas as movies - which are now also shown in CT (at V&A Nouveau). It is truly a worthwhile experience, even if, like me, you are not opera-crazy. I have quite a few favourite arias and duets from a range of operas but have only two favourite operas - La Boheme & Madame Butterfly - and to sit through a whole opera, well, it has to be extremely engrossing or the sets and costumes have to be pretty damn exceptional or it has to be one of my two favourites. But sitting in the movies listening to opera is such a weird & wonderful experience that one must try it at least once: you can munch your way (though quietly, very quietly ....) through a box of popcorn. You can go to the opera in the morning (how cool is that!) And you can wear jeans and takkies. As you sit 'with' the real audience & through their intervals as well, better prepare yourself for a longish movie - about 3 and a half to 4 hours, depending of course on the actual length of the opera. I loved the sneak peeks behind the scenes, seeing wonderful close-ups (not achievable with opera glasses or binoculars) and hearing the world's most fantastic singers. Last week we saw La Boheme, with the wonderful Angela Gheorghiu and Ramon Vargas. Oh dear, all that emotion and tragedy - I sobbed and sobbed!

This week it was The Barber of Seville, not one of my favourites, so I opted for some wandering around (see next post) while Le Husband indulged. Next week I will definitely join him to see Anna Netrebko in Romeo et Juliette and I can't wait to see the madcap Natalie Dessay in La Fille du Regimento the week after! And just for the record, apart from some minor Ster-Kinekor-related problems, the sound is pretty good ....
PS For the fashion-conscious among you, I see that Isaac Mizrahi has designed the costumes for the Met's chorus for their Summer Concert and will be doing some other designs for them as well.


kendalee said...

Oh this sounds lovely Anairam and I am somewhat envious! What a great way to experience opera. I am not a big opera fan but I do like La Boheme - perhaps because it is the ONLY opera I have ever seen performed. It was amazing! The cinematic opera-with-popcorn experience sounds even better though! :o)

Anairam said...

kendalee: Am glad you share my liking for La Boheme. I've seen quite a few (live) operas over the years, and the worst ever must have been some Wagnerian Never-Ending-Story (the trauma of that experience seemed to have banished the title of it forever from my memory). We started at 6 and staggered out just before midnight. Horrible! horrible! - it put me off the opera for years and years.