Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A night at the Opera

Despite a long day, working midnight shift then getting off at eight in the morning to be at my internship at nine, I was anticipating going to my first opera with a co-worker of mine who is a lover of the arts. After I received the call that she had gotten the rush tickets (if you don’t know you better ask somebody) I hopped on the bus headed to 62ndstreet. There was a light but consistent rain as I got on that was just heavy enough to make it annoying. That, coupled with the traffic from the lighting of the tree in Rockerfeller Center, would have been enough to aggravate most but I was enjoying the rest I was getting and knew that we had time before the show started.

Because we arrived so early we had about an hour and a half to spend, so we decided to check out the gift shop. I thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to find something for my mother for Christmas. Unfortunately even the smallest trinkets were out of my price range. Still, the place had some beautiful costume displays and other nice memorabilia to look at. As we walked a little further and listened to Pavarotti playing lowly in the background

I was drawn to this painting. The gentleman in it was poised and elegant in a brocaded suit with knickers, cream silk stockings, and pumps with a cape to match. I couldn’t help but feel underdressed in my car coat, cable knit, and cords, but it was my first time at the Opera so I figured my fellow patrons would cut me some slack.

Before going into the lobby area we checked out an exhibit entitled Mary Magadeline that showcased artist's different interpretations of Mary Magadeline. Check the “Good Book” for more info on her. The thing I especially enjoyed about these remarkable artists was that they each had a individual interpretation of who Mary was and what she represented and they conveyed them in an array of mediums -- one in sculpture another in mosaic, some depicting her as a saint, others demurely, and others still in a more seductively and rakish manner. While the mediums, depictions and dispositions were quite different from one another, all of the artists came together to create something beautiful. Life is a lot like art in this way.

As we walked through the museum the pictures and keepsakes from the house spoke to it’s rich history. Speaking of history, this is the perfect place for a little bit about the Metropolitan Opera House, it was founded in 1883 by a group of business men who wanted their own theatre. In the beginning the management and language changed frequently which often meant translating original scores from one language to another. Finally management decided it would be easiest to keep each play in its original language. The Met (as is it is typically referred to) host more than two hundred performances with more than a quarter million people in attendance each year. New York’s socialites and movers and shakers often come out opening night in sartorial splendor to celebrate first curtain. The Met seems to be vested in continuing the arts developing a new program that commission playwrights and composers with whatever they need to develop new works that can be produced at The Met. The Met also offers a rush ticket program that provides discounted seats ($20) in the orchestra section which provided this opportunity.

With all the visual and audio stimulation around me I was amped going into the autotorium and was pleasantly surprised to see that I wasn’t under dressed. We found our way to our seats and I prepared myself for “The House of the Dead”. I was comfortably in my seat as a hush fell over the crowd when a the first act began and the lights went out. And then, so did I. I was awakened by my co-worker telling me she had to use the powder room and if I didn’t see her she enjoyed attending with me I couldn’t believe it, I had fallen asleep. Oh well at least I could say I had been to the Opera and I had a reason to go again.

No comments: