A-to-Z Challenge Day Fifteen: Opera
A few years ago I spent a week in Chicago with Anastasia. It was an amazing city, and I loved every minute of walking its various streets and running up my credit card debt in all of the amazing stores and restaurants. I stayed with her in Hyde Park at the University of Chicago, near the Museum of Science and Industry (which was AMAZING). Ana was attaining her bachelor degree at U of C (where fun goes to die) and I was still getting my bachelor degree at the University of Michigan. I thought it would be a fun idea for spring break to visit her and see a major city for the first time in my life. So we visited the Field Museum and saw Sue, the Tyrannosaurus Rex. We stopped by Mindy’s Hot Chocolate for some delicious food and dessert.
But one of the highlights was seeing the first live opera in my life. Oh, sure, I’ve seen operas on DVDs and a smattering of clips on Youtube, but that doesn’t really make up for not seeing something live. I remember when I saw my first live music concert when I went to a blues festival and it was a million times better than listening to a record. So I was excited at the opportunity to see an opera.
A day or two before we saw the opera, we took a tour of the Lyric Opera House. The history of the building and the operas that had been performed there was fascinating, as were the props we could get our hands on. They had a knife that had the tube for fake blood to simulate a cut. Perhaps the funniest bit about the entire affair was when Ana and I got yelled at, like little kids, for playing on the awesome and complex sets, which were apparently off-limits (we must have blanked out when that particular rule was read…).
Later on, they had a few trunks of costumes out for us to play with.
I didn’t really try on any costumes; it’s not my thing. Anyway, the opera we saw was Handel’s Hercules. Luckily it was an English opera so I didn’t have to struggle to keep up with the translations that Lyric provides above the stage. The opera itself was repetitive and dragged on a bit (Ana says this is because it was written to be enjoyed as a social outing, while people talked and such). It wasn’t the best opera I have ever seen, but the experience of seeing it live was memorable. I’d like to go back to the Lyric or to the MET to see an opera like Aida or La traviata with Jonas Kaufmann or Anna Netrebko.
Even so, it was a pleasure to see the opera, and it was a pretty fancy event. I actually dressed up in a suit and Ana was stunning in her dress.
Anyway, I’ll post a few of my favorite opera bits to end this post. Thanks for stopping by and reading!
1. Sempre Libera, La traviata
2. Brindisi, La traviata
3. Habanera, Carmen
4. La Dolcissima Effigie, Adriana Lecouvreur
5. Ma se m’e forza perderti, Un ballo in maschera