My friend Marc Acito has a blog where he tries something new everyday and writes about it. I thought about Marc Saturday night because I was trying something new ( going to the opera) and because Marc used to sing opera.
As my first time, I thought I’d share some observations. We went to see La Traviata put on by the Portland Opera. The first thing I noticed was that I was one of the youngest people there. For some reason white-hairs like the Opera. And people who love to dress up love Opera. I can understand that, where else in Portland do you have the opportunity to wear sparkly shirts, old prom dresses and designer suits. The crowd was sharp!
La Traviata started out kind of festive and a little bit raunchy. For opera standards, anyway. Lots of fun. And the singing was to die for. Seriously. People die at the opera, right? Usually the soprano. The story moved quickly, though from festive to overly angst-ridden to tragic. I don’t want to ruin it for you, but the heroine dies in the end. It’s all very Romeo & Juliet. Which I guess is ok for an opera written in 1853.
I learned a new trick at the opera. It wasn’t from the show either.
It was closing night and the opera was sold out. One person in our party couldn’t come because he was sick, so there was an empty seat in our row. A young woman, with a bike helmet and backpack came up to us at the first intermission (There were two intermissions at this show, I’m not sure if that’s opera standard or not.) and asked if the seat was taken. This cunning lass, waited until the first break, when the ushers no longer check ticket stubs and just walked in the front door. Sure, she missed the first (my favorite) act, but she got to see the rest of it for free. Ingenious.
So the next time I’m itching to see opera and I don’t have $80 burning a hole in my pocket, I’m going to try this strategy. Maybe I should suggest it to Marc, as one of his new things to try.
Here's "The Drinking Song" from La Traviata