Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Yodeling Legato

Wow. Just wow. I must admit I went into last week’s production of Elixir a little jaded, thinking, how could this be any better than what I saw with Juan Diego Florez and Diana Damrau? It wasn’t better, because it was a different. It was equally as wonderful. I remember the very first time I heard Anna Netrebko sing I was moved to tears, back when I saw her in Romeo et Juliette. Subsequently, hearing her in various recordings I’ve thought, what’s the big deal. Then I heard her again on Saturday. And BOOM! Tears.

Backing up, as usual, to the pre-opera activities... Realizing that it would cost approximately the same for the 2 of us to take the train as it would to drive, the Husband and I decided to take the car in. Plus then we wouldn’t be at the mercy of the train schedule. Those late night trains are all locals… putt putt putt between every.single.station.

So here I am, with the angry birds stickers apparently flying out of my head?

And you know, it's a good thing we drove, or we wouldn’t have been able to listen to the cowboy yodeling radio station we picked up somewhere near Newark Airport. I can’t make this stuff up. Well I probably could, but I’m not! We yodeled our way up the New Jersey Turnpike.

We went to the box office as soon as we got there. They had the tickets but “we don’t keep gifts here.” I even showed them the email from the rep saying that the gift and tickets would be at the box office. They had no idea. They took my phone into their little room, it was like handing my baby to a stranger. They returned it and suggested that I check at the shop. The shop people were like, that's not our department. Everyone was very nice, but they had no idea what I was talking about. So the mystery gift remained a mystery! I did email my contact and he said he’d mail the gift out.

Anyway the seats were in the orchestra ROW R!! Right smack dab in the middle. Like, $300 tickets. That is enough of a gift!

For dinner we went, where else, to Café Fiorello. I really need to start going somewhere else for dinner. We were seated on the opposite side as when I was there last week, but somehow we got the same waiter. I kept forgetting to take pictures of the food because I was having too much fun. But here's a picture of my drink, a vodka something-or-other, off their cocktail list.  It had red grapes and I think half a lime in it.


Here's what remained of the antipasto plate before I remembered to snap a pic. Still on the plate I see zucchini parmesean, eggplant caponata, shrimp and white beans, grilled sepia (which is like calamari) and potato pie. It was all very yummy.

We also got the fried ravioli, which was ok but I wouldn't get again, and for dessert, the lemon tart, which was fa-bu-lous. No picture but you can imagine. The top was coated with sugar and then burned, to give it a hard crust like creme brulee. Fresh whipped cream on the side. Yum I'm actually drooling while typing this.

And I even had a “star” sighting! Half-way though dinner, Pretty Yende, who had performed in the matinee, walked by with her entourage on their way out, carrying several beautiful bouquets of flowers.

Back to the Met we went, to our seats in row R. Check out this view!

The opera was SO MUCH FUN! Matthew Polenzani was Nemorino. I think he should change his name to Matthew PoLEGATOnzani. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard such beautiful legato, ever. This coming from the person who could listen to the legato pour out of Juan Diego Florez all day… so you know it’s a big deal. Wow. And Anna Netrebko. Her voice had a timbre to it that went right to my insides. Perfect resonance. Together they sounded heavenly.

The other singers were, Mariusz Kwiecien as Belcore, the conceited army sergeant who wanted to marry Adina, and Erwin Schrott, who, by the way, is Anna’s husband! That must be fun… anyway he played Dulcamara, the maker of the magic elixir, which, as we all know, is actually a nice bordeaux. He was so funny!! In last year’s production, the character of Dulcamara was an older, more grandfatherly type guy. This time, he was more like a Barber of Seville guy – he had everything to cure anything, and he always had a woman nearby. Mariusz K was adorable, as usual.

It was weird… I was a little distracted at first. My mind kept wandering to other things… and then suddenly they began singing and that was it. All other things left my mind and I was just there, feeling the music. Maybe it was the seat location, I don’t know. But the singing just resonated through me. It was like a drug. It's why I love live opera. Because when it hits you like that, you want more, more more. But unless I win the $25 ticket drawing again this season, I won't be going again until next season. Technically that could be this calendar year, I suppose. I imagine they'll announce the next season schedule soon.

Meanwhile, I'll announce what at the Special Gift is once I receive it.

1 comment:

Isabela said...

Loved your blog!
You are so lucky to have gotten the tickets for free! I was dying to watch this production, and I was actually going to, already had the tickets and everything but then the snow came down on my flight last weekend and I wasnt able to go to NY :( Awesome blog!