Thursday, June 5, 2008

The whole fat lady thing... really a disservice. Most opera singers are actually quite height-weight proportionate.

I tell you this because I am so very excited about what I just did: bought tickets to see Aida in August.

Perhaps this is a bit weird for a gen X/Y kid, but I love the opera. I love everything about going to the opera - the audience, obviously happy to be wearing their best fancy clothes, the excitement of hearing those first few notes as the orchestra begins to tune its instruments, the costumes, the tragic storylines, milling about in the intermission, the plush red carpet, and the audience yelling bravo at the end with emotion and candor - everything is so full of drama and glamour.

Oh, and of course, the music will send shivers down your spine.
Unfortunately, I have been prevented from going to the opera for many years now, either through pennilessness or lack of a local opera. The last time I went was in Budapest in 1998. The ticket was two dollars, and I sat so far back that I had a much better view of the chandelier than the stage. I loved it.

I was raised on opera. My mother sang in the chorus of the Seattle Opera, and I still remember those early pangs of separation anxiety as I waited for her to come home from her evening singing practices. My father got season tickets each year and us girls would take our turns being his date. At intermission we were allowed to go backstage to see mom and meet the leading lady, her face caked in scary pink rouge so that even the people in the cheap seats (that is, us) could see her. I loved the big towering wigs and trains and bustles of the costumes, and wished I could dress like an 18th century lady myself. These are cherished childhood memories, and I can't wait for that old thrill again. August is so far away!