Tuesday, January 29, 2013
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.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Other tasty looking picks, for me, include La Traviata with Diana Damrau, and possibly the holiday performance, which next season will be a shortened, English version of Barber of Seville. What are the chances that I can drag Alex to that? He’ll be 8 ½ then. He’s familiar with the opera. He likes it. Hm. It’s a definite possibility.
Monday, April 4, 2011
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.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Every time I walk into Lincoln Center and see the arches of the Metropolitan Opera House I want to jump around and giggle. Like this. Just the sight of the fountain and those arches fills my stomach with happy butterfly flips.
So even though I wasn’t attending an opera Monday evening, I still got those tummy flips as I entered Lincoln Center to attend a performance of Nathan Gunn and Kelli O’Hara with the NY Philharmonic. The theme: Classic Broadway.
But of course let’s back up a moment. For when does a blog entry of mine ever start with a review of the performance? No no no. We must discuss the entire adventure.
The adventure began the day before the performance. I trekked into NYC to meet Ann for our annual Gunn performance outing. We hopped in a cab downtown to a FABULOUS Greek restaurant called Snack. It was TINY. We got the last available table (there are 5 total) and feasted on grape leaves, skordalia, white anchovies and other goodies:
The next day we wandered around NYC, did some shopping, I found a FABULOUS bargain on a FABULOUS raincoat that actually fits because it’s petite length!
We eventually made our way to Lincoln Center where I got those happy tummy flips as described above. I exchanged my extra Comte Ory tickets for a performance of Rigoletto in May. Had to upgrade to the orchestra. Confirmed frantically via text and telephone that the babysitter was available while I stood there at the box office window. I figure Husband will like Rigoletto - I’m toting it as “Verdi’s Greatest Hits.”
We trotted across the street to Cafe Fiorello where we feasted on the King’s Antipasto:
And finally we made our way to our seats in Row R of Avery Fisher Hall for the performance.
View from my seat:
And then... I got scolded by the usher for taking a photo. Oops. Phone off and into purse.
Confession: I always get a little nervous before a Gunn performance. I’m not sure why, but I’m guessing it’s because there’s been so much drama associated with past performances, both happy and ... not so pleasant... Or perhaps it's simply because I'm excited to be there? Either way, that anxiety quickly passed, and I’m happy to report that none of his entourage crossed my path. The usher scolding was as dramatic as it got. Whew.
Another confession: I’m not really that “into” Broadway tunes. I am, however, “into” hearing beautifully performed music. The concert itself was delightful! The NY Phil is an amazing amazing orchestra. What a treat to hear them play! And the singing... WOW!!! I believe this is the BEST I’ve ever heard Nathan sing, and I’ve seen him perform several times. I don’t know if it’s because he was wearing a microphone, or because it was not opera, or just that he was in top form, or what. His voice was AMAZING. Wait, what’s the word of the blog post? FABULOUS. He was fabulous. Kelli O’Hara has an absolutely beautiful voice too. Clear as a bell. And I took advantage of our proximity to the stage to pay particular attention to her technique - how she pronounced certain consonants and how wide open her mouth was. All thing my voice teacher has been telling me - to not over-pronounce, to open open open wide, to stand still. I realized that I understood the words even though she did not over-pronounce, and in fact, sometimes barely touched or even skipped the consonants completely. In between songs the conductor explained the history and context of the pieces, which was really really nice. He was very personable. It felt like a private conversation rather than a presentation to an audience. We left the theater smiling and feeling good. And not that anyone else’s opinion matters to me, I do want to point out that the NY Times reviewer felt the same way. Plus that's the article to read if you want all the musical details. My favorite line from the review (of course):
Mr. Gunn injected a note of lubricious sleaze into “Wouldn’t You Like to Be on Broadway” from “Street Scene.”
Afterwards, we changed out of our finery and walked around Times Square where we ran into Spiderman! Look! He complimented my hat... then he tried to steal my purse!! Hahaha!!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Friday, March 5, 2010
And then I'm seeing him yet again in early April, with Banawoman, at the Met. Grand Tier Rear, that's us. I mean, that's where we'll be sitting. We are busy planning that event as well. One thing that's not in the plan is me getting sick. Not that I planned it last time, but you know what I mean. Not that I don't like a little backstage action, mind you, just... not at that price. And not really that type of backstage action. Wait a sec, that sounds wrong. Ha! What I mean by action is, I don't want to develop acupuncture track-marks, thankyouverymuch, plus I'd probably be banned from the Met forever or something if it happened twice in a season.
Did I mention next season yet? Did I mention Nathan in Cosi in the fall and Magic Flute in English at the holidays? And then there's Le Comte Ory in April 2011, with Juan Diego, Diana D and Joyce D???? How fast will those tickets sell out? I guess I know where I'll be at noon on August 15.