Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Comte Ory, Take 2

I had no idea when I purchased opera tickets on a hot day in August that the performance date I chose would turn out to be one of the coldest days of the year. Last week’s cold weather (highs in the 20 degrees F) made wardrobe planning a little tricky. How much time would I actually be spending outside? How overheated will I get on a crowded subway, if I’m dressed for the outside weather? Of course I tackled this problem with my usual over-thinking, and ended up in leggings under a long skirt, also a many-layered shirt ensemble that ended up being pretty nice. And, as usual, I wore my hiking shoes, and stashed my heels in my pink purse. Here I am on the train, sneakily putting my feet up on the opposing seat.

I met my friend at Penn Station and we headed uptown on the subway. We had a little time to kill so we puttered around the Met Opera shop, which was amazingly empty. I’ve only ever been there just before an opera, when it’s wall-to-wall people. Then we went to Avery Fisher Hall to use the Secret Public Bathroom. Anyone who is stuck uptown in that area of Manhattan, there is a nice bathroom in AFH open to the public. There’s even a bench and a full-length mirror. So we got ourselves together and switched out of our traveling shoes into our heels for the short walk to the restaurant.

As usual, we went to CafĂ© Fiorello. Don’t know why I always go there. Habit? It seems about as good as any other place in the area, and I do love the seafood. This time we shared a “Seafood Supreme Pizza”

and for dessert, a tiramisu cake:

I’m not that into tiramisu, to be honest, but the cake was nice and light and fluffy. And of course we enjoyed a cocktail – this is a “metropolitan daquari” and was quite yummy.

Next, on to the Met. And guess what? It had snowed during dinner. The sidewalk was a slushy slippery mess! We clung to each other like old ladies as we minced our way across the street.

Our seats were in the last row of the Grand Tier. There are only 7 or 8 rows so it’s not such a big deal…however that didn’t stop us from upgrading ourselves to empty seats directly in front of us in the first row. Here’s the upgraded view:

The soprano – Pretty Yende – was A M A Z I N G. This was her Met debut, filling in for someone who dropped out before rehearsals began, due to illness. As usual, the legato poured out of Juan Diego Florez like honey. And Nathan Gunn was pretty good too, except that he was kind of hard to hear over the orchestra. I’ve read reviews of other things he’s done where people commented on that, but I’d never actually experienced it until then. Anyway, I must admit, it was pretty funny seeing him and JDF dressed as nuns.  You can see some of that here, a few minutes in.

Usually during intermission I like to go out on the Grand Tier balcony but the door was locked... Yeah, that's snow. You can see the fountain all blurry in the background.

At the end of intermission we decided to put our snow-worthy boots on because we knew we'd want to make the mad dash for the subway the moment the curtain calls ended. So we were very stylish, sitting in our fancy clothes and clunky boots. 

People went NUTS at the curtain calls, hooting and hollering for the singers. It was kind of awesome. Everyone left the building with a smile. My friend and I joined the press of people entering the subway. There were so many people, someone had opened the emergency gate and we were herded through with the crowd. Finally made it home at 1am! Long day but totally worth it. Plus, I broke 3 rules!!! 1. Feet on train seat. 2. Upgraded opera seat. 3. Unpaid subway ride. I'm seriously living the rebellious life.

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