Thursday, October 9, 2008

A Night at the Opera

Sorry I have been so slow to post this week, but I STILL can't breath and therefore can not get the oxygen I need to my brain in order to put together logical thoughts. But hey, thought I would try anyway...

This week Cyr had to go on his (as of right now) second to last trip of the year. I bought Opera tickets not knowing his schedule and just hoped it would fit in. Well, he was lucky, it didn't. A group of us bought tickets together, I was able to sell mine and off we all went for an evening of opera. I must say, I was really surprised at the cost of the opera. They had tickets starting at 11 euro. We ended up at about 40 euro each and those were great seats. Floor level, back of the pack. The building was much smaller than I pictured. I kept looking at the balcony level thinking I would see good old Abe up there watching his last show. It was quite cozy actually. It even had dark red velvet chairs. I have loved the Opera building here in Lille from the first time I saw it. It's gorgeous. Since my computer crashed I can't get my pics onto this new hard drive, so I can't post pictures. Darn it...

We saw The Marriage of Figaro. I had never seen it before, so being the curious person I was I looked it up online to get the story prior to the show. Which, by the way, I'm glad I did. The opera is sang in Italian and had the subtitles in French. It was like watching a tennis game you don't really know the rules of.
I still had (and have) my nose issue. I did have Afrin though and took a hit right before the show so I wouldn't be the mouth-breather-girl-in-the-back-row. I was so glad I did. But of course the minute the lights go out I have to cough. I went armed though. As the first chords rose up from the orchestra I held cough drops in one hand and tissues in another.

Act I: This consisted of me doing my best not to cough or blow my nose. My throat all of a sudden became very itchy and filled with mucus when I knew I could not clear it. I would wait for people to clap and cough. My timing was impeccable if I do say so. Once I got a Drill (cough drop) down I was much better. There was a scary moment when I felt a little tickle in my nose. A familiar buzzing sort of itch that I immediately recognized as a sneeze. I knew it was coming and I was prepared. I knew I could do the quiet sneeze, but what if a sqeek escaped? You know what I mean, you try to stiffle the sneeze and end up sounding like a nail being pulled out of a tin roof. Again I was lucky, no sqeek, just a jumping of shoulders and quick jerk of the head.

Intermision: One Leffe Blond for only 3 euro! No way! In the US they totaly stiff you on drinks at events. The $9 Miller Light kills me. 3 euro for a 33 cl Leffe was actually better than some of the bars I have been to. Rock on Lille...

Act II: By this time it has been about an hour and a half since the show started. Of course there were people in the auditorium prior to the start. I'm sure they helped to warm up the place. I was actually starting to sweat a bit. About 15 minutes into Act II I feel a bubble in my stomach. Uh-oh. That would be a beer burp. You can't burp at the opera! That's like peeing in the aisles of the ballet for goodness sake! Well maybe not that bad, but still bad. I am the ruler of my bodily functions dear readers. With my hardly noticeable throat reflex and controlled exhale, I think only the nice woman next to me noticed. I did have the slight hiccup like bounce, so I think she knew. That actually happened twice. Then I was so hot I had a hard time focusing on the opera. Yeah, yeah...person hides behind a chair, no one notices, people dress up like others...is anyone else hot? No? Really?

Clapping...I hear clapping...Oh yeah! I can now find oxygen! Must put on jacket so no one notices sweat stains (if they are in fact present). No, you must clap some more. Man, the French really like to clap. My arms actually got tired. We clapped for everyone, and finally when the best friend of the second cousin of the guy who is in charge of the third light to the left took his bow, we filed out.

Now don't get me wrong, I actually do like the opera. Except for Madame Butterfly. I have seen that one 3 times and each time I don't like it. Unless you count the time I saw it at Miller Outdoor Theater in Houston and we drank wine on the grassy hill. I liked that time. I like Figaro too. The music even without the lyrics is amazing. That Mozart was a heck of a composer I say. I just had a hard time focusing when I was not feeling well and was sweating. I never thought I was high maintenance, but maybe in the case of opera I am. I need to have the elements working in my favor. Unlike ballet or really any kind of dance. I could be puking and sweating and I would still enjoy a dance production. Or a musical. I could sit through Les Miserables or Cabaret in 104 heat with the flu. Now that I think about it...maybe I don't like the opera as much as I thought I did. Oh gosh, I am so uncultured, and disappointed in myself really. I probably should not admit that the opera is not my favorite art eh? I should pretend to like it a whole bunch, like most of the people that were there.

5 comments:

Rochelle said...

the marriage of figaro is the only opera I've been to actually...it was a pretty cool experience, I'd like to go again someday.

LOL at your burping opera antics.

Andromeda said...

I saw Romeo and Juliet in the states so the French had English subtitles which was nice, and mostly I laughed because they took literally 30 minutes to die, they just kept singing!

Leesa said...

Hi Susan,

I LOVE opera, though I have not been yet here in France... I have seen most of the big ones in San Diego, though... I love being in Paris b/c we get all the big productions and concerts...
You have inspired me to go to see an opera here in Paris.. I will start checking online to see which one is playing, now... Take care and FEEL better!!!!

Steph said...

haha I love your play-by-play. I've wanted to go the opera but I must admit, I'm slightly intimidated by it, I always kind of thought they'd kick me out for not being well enough dressed or something! :)

Susan in Lille said...

Rochelle - I would actually like to see it again with another company to see if they create the set the same way. It was really well done I thought.

Andromeda - Ha! Gotta love the big finish eh?

Leesa - yes - you should go! Thanks for the well wishes, I am slowly beginning to breathe again.

Steph - This was a total surprise for me. They do not dress up here! There were many people wearing blue jeans. (gasp!) I told my French friend I was going to wear something nice and she said I might feel uncomfortable if I did. It's like they don't want to act like art is not for the everyday person I think. So don't worry, sport some black pants and you will be more than fine.