Thursday, December 13, 2007

Enchanted Evening, Men in Tights

*Sigh.* What a fabulous time I had yesterday! Where to begin, where to begin... I know anyone who's reading (and at least one person does b/c he or she posted a comment asking how it was) will want to know about the opera itself, but patience, reader(s), patience.

I took the train from Hamilton at 3:11. Denise, Stan and Kevin got on at New Brunswick at about 3:30 and I wandered through the cars looking for them. Not too fond of going in between the cars while the train is moving! But I found them and it was fun to all sit together for the ride. At Penn Station, Kevin and I decided to walk while Denise and Stan were going to take a cab. It was cold but I'm so glad I walked! I experienced sensory overload within 10 minutes. So many people, so many lights, constant noise, it was amazing! It'd been a long time since I'd been to NYC but it doesn't seem to have changed much!

When we got to Lincoln Center we found Denise et al in the Met Lobby. They got there about 10 minutes before we did. We went to the shop and fiddled about until dinner.

Dinner was at the Grand Tier, the restaurant at the Met. Very fu-fu (or is that, fru-fru?) and very yummy. And, of course, very expensive, but well worth it. I had the duck breast with some kind of fancy delicious sauce, parsnip gratin, huckleberrys and mashed butternut squash. Denise and I shared a dessert of a mixed cookie plate - simply divine.

Our seats were in the balcony and I had to do a mad dash up two flights of stairs after using the bathroom on the grand tier level, where the 5 minute warning bell went off while I was still on line! But I made it...

Ok, ok, on to the opera itself!

It. Was. Fabulous.

The music, the costumes, the stage, oh and did I mention the singing?

Anna Netrebko was absolutely stunning. When she first began to sing it brought tears to my eyes and I realized what it must have been like for my grandfather back in Kiev over 100 years ago when he snuck into the opera house there. She was perfect. At times I thought I was listening to a recording, then I had to remind myself that no, she's right there, doing this right now, live. She was the perfect Juliette, one I believe will be used as an example for anyone else who plays the role. Roberto Alagna was Romeo. I thought he'd be too old but he must be a good actor - he convinced me that he was a teenager in love! They were great together.

Nathan Gunn was great, as usual, although sometimes a bit too quiet. In my opinion the audience did not cheer enough after Mercutio's aria, but I think they were saving all their energies for Alagna and Netrebko. The fight scene was awesome! I couldn't decide if I should use the binoculars or watch the whole thing. I went with the binocs and had a great view of all the perfectly choreographed moves. I was hoping for fake blood but I guess that would be too messy.

After the intermission, which I spent on line for the ladies room, the scene opened to the famous floating bed. There was much more of Alagna than I ever wanted to see, and believe me I had already seen enough with those sea-green skin-tight disco pants he wore - they left nothing to the imagination, and I didn't want to imagine in the first place... but here we are in the bedroom, they're crawling all over each other half-dressed on this elevated bed and singing at the same time! It was amazing. It felt vaguely peeping-tomish to use the binoculars!

I still need to talk about the stage, the costumes, the lighting, the rest of the opera, the curtain call... all in due time.

1 comment:

Carlos said...

Hi Susan,

Thanks for sharing your feelings and for your comments on the Roméo et Juliette performance. Iy has been delightful to read all four of them. I am glad you love so much the Anna performance. I will travel from Barcelona (Spain) to NY to attend the New Years Eve performance and I am also very excited to be there. It will be my first time at the MET. I can't wait!