Friday, October 1, 2010

# 21

Forgive me if my recollections are a bit hazy here, because I really should have written this awhile ago. Number 21 on my list was to go to an opera, and I'm happy to say I've now done this! "Now" being a subjective term, since the actual date of the show was Aug. 30th, but still, that's another thing off my list.

Going to an opera is something I've wanted to do for awhile. My previous experiences with this genre of music had been limited to pieces that have been "mainstreamed", like Bach's Air on a G String (used in several airline commercials), and, of course, the forays made by the inimitable Bugs Bunny. I couldn't find the whole skit in English, but here's a taste of what I mean: 


Luckily for me, every year Vancouver puts on a festival called Bard on the Beach . Bard on the Beach is a Shakespearean festival usually featuring three or four of his best loved plays and a special performance called Operas and Arias. This year the UBC Opera Ensemble and the Vancouver Opera Orchestra chose to perform La Bohème - a tragic love story composed by Giacomo Puccini.

Now, I've got to say here that I went with several friends, none of whom had ever been to an opera before, so we really weren't sure what to expect. While we don't spend our weekends drinking beer and listening to Kenny Chesney, we aren't exactly what you'd call "cultured". Actually, being honest, I do spend my weekends drinking beer. I like beer. But I draw the line at singing along with "She thinks my tractor's sexy". My point is, before La Bohème actually started we were looking at each other and saying things like, "Three hours? Really? This thing goes for three hours?" Once it started though, it was magic. The...actors?.. were amazing. Lots of expression, beautiful costumes, and of course, truly marvelous voices. Three hours went far too quickly. We laughed, we cried; well no, the crying bit was just me really. In the closing scene when Mimi died I was sobbing like a little girl. Tears collecting on my chin and everything. Sexy, no? 

I can't wait to see what Bard on the Beach will have for us next year.

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