Friday, February 17, 2006

Bravo *cough* Brava *cough* Bravi

Hey all. Just got back tonight from a Thursday night at the opera. I was at the Met here in NYC to see Verdi's La Traviata and it was a total blast. La Traviata, the tragic story of a famed courtesan and the man who loves and loses her, might be recognizable to fans of the film Pretty Woman (or so it was pointed out by my date for the night). I myself know it as part of the basis for the Moulin Rouge storyline. The stage sets by the Italian director Franco Zeffirelli were absolutely astonishing. I didn't even know the man, responsible for some infamous (in my high school lit class) minor nudity in his filming of Romeo and Juliet, was still alive. The leads were also excellent. Super-hotty Angela Gheorghiu is a gorgeous and talented soprano. She is a captivating actress and singer, vividly portraying the life and eventual death of Violetta , the courtesan. [It's opera, someone always dies.] While Gheorghiu certainly has star power to spare, I was equally impressed by Jonas Kaufmann, a tenor called by some the finest tenor Germany has produced in the past half-century, as Violetta's suitor.

My one complaint of the night: the lack of opera etiquette. I had been to rock shows here in the city that were quieter (which is its own kind of problem). The coughing, sneezing, rustling in bags, cell phones and so on! It drove me nuts. And people who didn't care to dress decently! I don't mean to sound like a snob but a night at the opera is still a fairly classy occasion. There's a reason they have water and cough drops outside the doors and intermissions for snacking. Sit still, shut your damn phone off and respect/enjoy the treat of some talented people doing there thing.

Well there you have it: A4D's first and probably ONLY opera review.

P.S. By-the-way, if you'd like attend the opera and haven't before, La Traviata as well as Puccini’s La Bohème and Tosca are good for first-timers for their relatively short length (about two hours).

P.P.S Conductore Marco Armiliato was a wonderfully foppish and exuberant muppet of a man- as ALL composers should be.


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