The Metropolitan Opera house does not disappoint. It’s the perfect opportunity to get dressed up and hope to be featured on the @lastnightatthemet Instagram feed. #goals
Going to the opera is always a great opportunity for introducing newbies to the art form. For an especially good time, bring a friend you can talk opera with, get rush tickets, maybe spare your starving artist’s wallet by sneaking in something to spike your intermission drink (not that we would know anything about that) and make sure to take so many pictures outside by the fountain that the security guard just offers to take them for you.
It has been far too long since either of us attended a show at The Met, but no doubt we will be making it a point to attend more! Seeing live opera fuels the fire of my operatic passion that can be stifled by time away from performing and the doldrum of day jobs. This is true even if I don’t find the performance to be particularly mind blowing. To me, it is still the best art form of all time. So there’s that.
Vittorio Grigolo and Isabel Leonard make a truly gorgeous pair of unrequited lovers in the opera based on The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe. The show had us mesmerized, but once intermission comes about, it is almost impossible not to talk shop. This particular production had us discussing the difference between voices that are technically “perfect” and voices that are less perfect but full of fire and soul. Both types are wonderful in their own right…just very different. The technically “perfect” voices are like a beautiful, ornately decorated wedding cake. Cake voices are sweet, smooth, and just plain beautiful. The fiery voices are akin to a medium rare steak with a nice, savory dry rub. It’s kind of pretty if presented with a nice sear, but when you cut into it the juices ooze out making a delicious mess all over your plate. Steak voices are a bit raw, but are filled with a kind of fire that reaches into your soul, grabs it, and moves it without you even knowing what hit you. We love to dialogue about what makes a voice one to love and are thrilled at the prospect of that rare beast who combines technical perfections with soul moving fire. Steak dinner with cake for dessert? Yes, please.
Now let’s talk about a company who, whether they know it or not, is truly breaking down that isolating wall of operatic snobbery. Loft Opera is making quite a mark on the New York City opera scene. Despite its hip, modern warehouse location at LightSpace Studios, the feel of the LoftOpera experience hearkens back to the days of Emanuel Schikaneder when opera theater was unquestionably about the enjoyment of music in a relaxed atmosphere, surrounded by a community who loved opera for the experience and the art, too busy loving the performance to even think of anything else. At LoftOpera, you can eat, drink, be merry, and be serenaded by the promising young artists of today’s New York opera scene. Lots of cake and steak too, if you know what I mean.
Their programming is also fabulous. The rarely performed Otello by Rossini was a delight with a veritable smorgasbord of tenors dominating the cast. Iago, who Verdi fans associate with a booming baritone, was beautifully sung by a fabulous tenor! Due to fach typecasting, this seems an odd choice for a villain, but it was all the more enticing in its departure from the expected. The men of the cast were as unique as they were impressive. Cecilia Lopez, as Desdemona, was a true scene stealer! She made the intimate LoftOpera experience even more endearing with her elegant voice and characterization. So take it from us- Loft Opera is a great party and you should RSVP with a resounding Yes!
Both Opera nights were capped off by a visit to a lovely little watering hole, brilliantly named, Valhalla. It is a few short blocks from Lincoln Center and I have always wanted to visit purely because of my obsession with Wagner’s Ring Cycle. I’m so glad I finally went! It was a wonderful place to discuss the evening, snack on delicious french fries, and make new friends. Ethan and Jack are Valhalla’s star bartenders and our newest buddies. Ethan is a New Orlean’s born actor on a similar journey to our own, and Jack is an international hipster full of great facts and tips on life. We found it to be quite serendipitous that he had lived in the same German city we are planning to live in the fall. He gave us all sorts of insider tips on German living and travel. I love when our adventures come full circle to our goals for the future, It’s like a little nod from the universe saying, “Keep going! You’re on the right track… here’s a cookie!”
So it should go without saying that we strongly urge you to keep adventuring, Darlings. If you keep yourselves open to new experiences and new people, you will surely be surprised by how often the universe will work together to give you a little help here and there.
Don’t forget to strike a pose with Pavarotti the next time you’re at The Met!
Liebe und Küsse!