Monday, December 21, 2015

A Night at the Opera

The cast of La Bohème takes a bow in front of the golden curtain.
The other night TD and I went to the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center to see La Bohème. I always love going to the Metropolitan Opera. Everything is dark red velvet - the seats, the carpeting, the walls - it's like being inside a jewel box. Also people really do dress up to go to the opera so it's good people-watching and you don't see the casual, sloppy clothes worn to Broadway theaters. I've always wanted to see La Bohème, which is the Met's most performed opera. There is that great scene in the movie Moonstruck where Cher and Nicholas Cage attend a performance of La Bohème at the Met. And of course it's fun to go at Christmastime as there is a beautiful snowy scene. You can read all about the production here.
Operas are interesting for me too because they are like art history come to life. La Bohème debuted in Italy in 1906, though it is set in Paris in 1830. It was written by Giacomo Puccini, who lived from 1858 to 1924. Here is Mr. Puccini, a dapper fellow -

I like his double-breasted coat and bowler hat.
La Bohème is of course the story of a group of artists, or bohemians, in the Latin Quarter in Paris, and a love affair between two of them. The arias in this opera are some of the best known in the classical world - it's one hit after another!
The Met's production, designed by Franco Zeffirelli in the 80s, is a splendor. It starts out in an intimate garret in Paris and then moves to a joyous parade in the street with a cast of seemingly thousands (photos from the Met web site) –

Act 3 is the snowy scene. It is set outside a small inn where the lovers meet. Snow falls and darkened figures travel along a road in the background. It really is like a painting.

Act 4 finds us back in the Parisian garret. I won't tell you how it ends.

The music is glorious and the visuals divine. It was such a holiday treat here is New York City.
Blog bonus - an excerpt from Act 1 -

I am wishing you dear reader a holiday season of beauty and love –