Saturday was packed with opera! I had a rehearsal for an upcoming Opera Project recital at 3. We got there promptly at 3:00 and I'm proud to say I think I sang pretty well! I did the song twice because my teacher arrived halfway through the first time. Then we all chatted briefly with the director. I told him that we were on our way into NYC to see Le Comte Ory, and who was in it. Well. He told me that the O.P. is planning on doing some sort of benefit next year for some sort of vocal award (can't remember the particulars of any of it) and happens to be an award that both Juan Diego Florez and Joyce DiDonato have won. And there's a slight slight infinitesimal chance that they would actually be at the event. I mean, let's be realistic. It's highly unlikely. Highly. But just the idea that there's even the slightest, less-than-1% chance that they could be there… OH.MY.GOD. Just the idea is leaving me floating in my happy place. And then off Husband and I went to see them in NYC.
We drove in and got there an entire hour before our restaurant reservation. We wandered around a little and then ducked into Bar Boulod for drinks.
Act 2 takes place in the Countess' castle. It begins with a terrible thunderstorm, complete with pyrotechnics on stage - they used some sort of arc-creating device like a welding tool to create the lightning, it was really cool. So all the ladies in the castle are freaked by the storm, then there's a knock on the door - it's a bunch of nuns who claim they have been harassed by the count. Except… it IS the count and his knights. We have an absolutely ridiculous scene where the count, dressed as a nun, thanks the countess for saving them… and gets very, very friendly. The countess is like, what the… why is this nun behaving this way… meanwhile… the count's assistant, dressed as a nun, has broken into the wine cellar and brought the nun-knights plenty of bottles. And I have to say that nothing pleased me more than to see Juan Diego Florez dressed in a nun's habit, spinning happily in the middle of the stage, habit flying out. The nuns-knights proceed to get trashed. Every time a woman from the castle came by they pretended to pray, but it was more and more difficult for them the more they had to drink. They sang, they danced, they formed a kick line. It was hilarious.
Then by far the best scene… Isolier gains entrance to the castle. When he learns that a group of nuns is there, he realizes that the count has stolen his idea and it's actually all men. Oh the horror, oh the scandal!! Isolier pledges to protect the Countess. They figure the count will try to sneak into her bed that night so Isolier stays with her. And of course he does, pretending to be the nun and claiming to be scared and unable to sleep. What ensues is confusing and hilarious. He gets into bed with them and somehow (perhaps because he's drunk??) doesn't realize that Isolier is there. So the three of them are pretty much all over each other. Isolier tells the countess (who at this point knows it's the count and not a nun) that if it makes the count happy, why not let him caress her? Yowza baby! It was quite interesting to watch, and watching through binocs gave it an added touch of voyeurism that opera is known for. They were seriously all over each other. Hands on legs, diving under her dress, snarfling each other and so on. It was this bizarre sensual mixture of, are we watching a woman with two guys (Countess, Page and Count) or a guy with two women (Juan Diego, Joyce and Diana)? At the end the husbands return and the count I guess gives up.
The singing was, of course, spectacular. At some points Juan Diego was a bit hard to hear. Diana Damrau… what a treat to hear her sing. Those high notes…WOW!! She seemed to have a little trouble with a few of them but for the most part she was spot on. And Joyce DiDonato…adorable. ADORABLE!
After intermission the people next to us didn't return to their seats so we got to spread out a little. Did they leave or simply move to other empty seats? Who knows…
Here are some videos the Met posted on their YouTube page, taken at the dress rehearsal... including the Menage a trois from act 2. As usual, if the blogger format cuts the video edge, click through to YouTube to see it.