Jan. 3rd, 2007

alobear: (Default)
Last night's trip to the opera may have been the result of some idiocy on my part, but it turned out well in the end.

A while ago, Dave and I were discussing the fact that we liked doing cultural things and that neither of us had ever been to the opera. I checked what was on, and noticed that Carmen was showing at the Royal Opera House on my brother's birthday. Remembering that this was an opera he particularly liked, I booked tickets for all three of us, only to discover over Christmas that the one I was thinking of was actually Carmina Burana.

Anyway, we all trooped off to the Royal Opera House last night and our relatively (and I do mean that in its literal sense of "compared to the others available) cheap seats turned out to have an excellent view, despite being about as far from the stage as you could be and still be inside the building.

Richard Gere's character in Pretty Woman says about opera: "The first time you go, you either love it or hate it. If you hate it, you can learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of your soul."

Now, I certainly didn't hate it, but I wouldn't say it became part of my soul, either. The music was fabulous, the performances were great (especially the chorus, who provided lots of entertainment by acting their little socks off in the background throughout), and it was a classic story of love and obsession with plenty of doom. I really enjoyed it, but I would have been completely lost without the excellently placed subtitles and I didn't get emotionally involved in the story at all.

In two scenes, they actually brought on a real live horse (and there were apparently a donkey and a chicken in the opening scene, both of which I missed completely), which made me wonder where they kept it backstage and where they exercised it round Covent Garden - it seemed rather an extravagant touch just so that Escamillo could make an impressive entrance, especially since he had to be led at a very slow walk, which meant his entrance wasn't really very impressive at all!

Still, I'm more than happy to go to the opera again - as long as there are subtitles, I think I'd actually prefer it to the ballet. I just wish it wasn't so darned expensive!

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