Friday, March 21, 2008

How I Saw Nathan Gunn In His Underwear

I realize that there's just too much to write about to put it all in one long post, so as the events of the past week seep from my short term to my long term memory I'll try to get them down.

I decided that there's no reason I have to write about the trip in chronological order, so let's just jump right in. And I'll try to keep it semi-professional and mature, but once I get going I can't make any promises...

So the opera... I had the concierge at the hotel take my picture:

He even gave me fashion advice: Hair down, not pulled back in a barrette.

So down I went, trying not to slip on the marble floor in my heels. Took a cab to the opera house to save my feet as well as my shoes.

There were two signs inside the front door of the opera house, one warning that there will be gunshots during the performance, and this one:

So put on your disco shoes and try not to have a seizure...

Got to my seat and had to take a few more, all time time expecting some official to tell me to stop. The opera house is gorgeous.

The opera was FABULOUS!!! The scenery was amazing - bright colors and clouds, and the costumes matched the scenes. Everyone looked wonderful.

John was great as Almaviva. There were times, of course, when I was sitting there in my 14th row seat wondering what it would have been like to have Juan Diego that close, but that doesn't mean I was disappointed. I just... wondered.

And then Nathan. Oh. My. God. Figaro's Largo aria... they wheel out the "shop" and he's asleep on a cot on a loft. One leg is out the window. The other I think is on the floor. And he's wearing nothing but underwear. Gulp. I had my binocs focused! He pops out singing and gets dressed. Sticks his hand down his pants to arrange the business as he hits the high notes. The audience loved it. I almost fell out of my seat. (and just think, I shook hands with him later that evening.)
His singing and acting were perfect. That voice like melting chocolate just washes over you. It oozes out all sweet and rich and yummy. Ok stopping myself now... He was the perfect Figaro. He ran through those coloraturas and made them look easy. Like a piece of cake. Chocolate cake with a gooey warm chocolate center. Oh wait I said I would stop...

Joyce was great too. She played Rosina as a sort of petulant teenager. And her voice - WOW. It reverberates through your entire body. That's one of the things I love about live opera - how visceral it is, the sound washes through you and you feel it as well as hear it. It's why it can move me to tears sometimes. Although at Barber they were tears of laughter.

John was great as Almaviva - so funny. As the music teacher he sounded just like a sheep or goat, and he did this ridiculous little jump in between some of the lines. It was hilarious. And of course he did Cessa like it was nothing. Made it look easy. Beautiful light tone, rippled through all the trills, coloraturas and whatever they're officially called like he was out for a stroll.

Everyone left the theater with a smile on their face.

Then... in true teenager fashion I felt pretty smug squishing past the people at the stage door because I was "on the list." Very juvenile, I know. Heh heh.

I was hovering in the hallway by the dressing rooms when Nathan came out to leave. He turned to go the other way from where I was in the hallway so I called out to him, told him who I was and that I was Ricardo's friend and he came right over. Ricardo, if you recall, is one of Nathan's students, and he had emailed me earlier that week to tell me that he told Nathan I was coming all the way from NJ to see him. I couldn't let him leave so I said, "I just HAVE to get a picture with you, is that ok?" And he was like, Sure, let's find a spot, and we went into John's dressing room. John took the pictures. Well first he pushed the wrong button on the phone, then one shot was blurry so we had to do another, then of course I wanted one with the real camera and luckily he noticed that the setting was for landscape so he had to change that... and the whole time I'm there with Nathan's arm around me, holding me pretty darn tight. Like pressed into his side. I was like, holy sh!t I'm standing here with Nathan Gunn and his arm is around me and mine is around him and I can't think. He was talking to me about Ricardo and I was just all smiley and, "Uh huh... oh yes, Ricardo, he's great, uh huh...."

Seriously he was so cute that I was a bit star-struck and couldn't do much more than smile and try not to giggle. He just kept smiling right back and making the most wonderfully intense eye contact. I seriously felt like I was 15. If he had asked me to come on tour with him to do his laundry I would have said, "Do you want me to separate the colors? Maybe iron your underwear?" Then his wife sent him a text message to come home so off he went. Oh well. I gave him the CD of those live recordings from all over the place and told him that there were lots of live recordings online. I wrote a little note with it too, a dorky stupid note because, well, that's me, and I mentioned all the live stuff online and that I can tell him how to find it if he wants. Of course I gave him no way to contact me... even though technically he already has my email because we've already exchanged a couple, as well as a message or two on MySpace. He seemed really thrilled when he saw it was a CD of himself.

I gave John the book and a CD of Barbiere from San Fran opera that he did with Nathan. He was funny, he said, "You were much more outgoing last time, you seem so shy today." I was totally making fun of myself - "I'm just a little star-struck... you know... just met Nathan... it'll pass..." Must be tough being one of the stars and having everyone go ga-ga over the other guy.

I met Joyce too, and she was really nice. Her niece and nephew were there, I'm guessing he's about 5 or 6 and she's about 3 or 4. They were upset that she and John kissed at the end and she was explaining to them that they didn't really, it just looked like they did, and the boy kept saying, "But you're married," and she kept saying, "So is John - it's all pretend, it's ok." It was very cute. I gave her a recording of a recent Cenerentola she did. She also seemed thrilled to have it. Plus I gave her the earrings I made for her. I posted pictures of them a few posts back. She said that the timing was perfect because recently all her jewelry was stolen. How awful is that???? I happened to have a pair of "backup" earrings in my bag because I couldn't decide which ones to wear that night, so I gave those to her too, explaining that I have all the beads and can make them again, so she wouldn't feel bad. She was wearing a really nice, chic looking dress - I should've asked her where she got it. Joyce, if you read this, I loved that little dress you had on!

Then John, his friend Larry and I went out for a drink. The nearby pub was closed, and Larry and I happened to be staying at the same hotel, so we walked there. Yes, I ended up walking in those shoes all the way back to the hotel. We had fun just talking and joking - I won't go into details here because I really just want to get this post up.

There will be more posts about this as more details pop into my head. Like how when Nathan was leaving and he put his hand out and I took it and he sort of slid his hand out as he walked away... yeah John there's a reason I couldn't talk after that. I'm surprised I could still stand.

Seriously, how old am I?

Let's repost that picture.


Carlos said...

I am very glad you enjoyed so much the whole thing!!! I know how you felt. And I have been enjoying reading your comments, toughts, review, photos... hehehe
Congratulations! Nice they enjoyed your CDs recording gifts!

Susan said...

They did! Thanks for the idea, Carlos!

Lindsey said...

Oh, I totally relate to feeling like a teenager around Nathan. I seriously felt like I was a 14 year old girl. It was so sad, I was so shy around him. Oy vey, I wonder if that man has even an inkling of the effect he has on women!

Susan said...

I think he knows.
So, share please! Details?

Lindsey said...

I met him as he was going out the stage door and after the others who were there got his autograph or took pictures with him. I caught his eye on the way out and very shyly proffered my program and a pen with a "would you mind?" He laughed at me and said, "don't be shy! Just say, 'hey you!'" He said something else, but I didn't catch it because he mumbled it (damn my ears!). I'm sure I was grinning like an idiot as I said thank you. Then before I knew it he was out the door. I was so mad that I was so shy! I'm normally not at all! But what can I say, baritones with brown eyes and glasses just do me in! :)
But yeah, I bet he knows exactly what he does to the opposite sex and exactly how to achieve it! I hope his wife knows exactly how lucky she is!
*gushing fini*

Susan said...

It must be strange to have women turn into simpering idiots everywhere you go. His wife must be aware, she probably texts him if she hasn't heard from him by a certain time after the end of each performance... ;)

Lindsey said...

LOL, I'm sure she does keep an eye on him! I know I would if he were mine! But in all seriousness, from all the articles I read it seems that he loves his wife and his family very much, which of course only increases my respect for the man. He seems like he's a really, truly great guy.

Oh, by the way, is there any way you could point me in the direction of all those live recordings you mentioned? *bats eyelashes* Pretty please?

Anonymous said...

My daughter and I saw Onegin last week at Lyric. What a great place! My daughter got to meet Hvorostovsky after the opera. She is still floating! And, take it from a middle aged mom--he, too, is one handsome man!