For the last few years, seeing an Opera has been on my bucket list. Considering I live in the NY Metro area, this was a very easy and feasable activity to cross off, but it took me a long time because anytime I asked someone if they'd like to go, I kept getting a no. The opera doesn't seem to be the best place to go alone - do they still dress up nice? They have several intermissions, etc. So I kept putting it off.
Last year, I sent my friend my bucket list so she could be inspired. She saw the opera on there and was willing to see one withe me. But (there are always buts), she didn't know if she wanted to spend all that money on something she didn't know if she would like.
As it turns out, the MET broadcasts about 10 opera's per season live on the big screen. Even better, they show an encore performance for each performance. For $23 I was able to purchase a ticket in the director's hall (movie theater with assigned leather seats) to watch an opera...and only 10 minutes away. By having showings of the opera at a movie theater, I could go by myself, I've never had a problem seeing a movie alone. However, my friend Diane did join me.
Upon arrival, the screen shows people filling the auditorium making it seem like you are there - and I looked many people were not in gowns. What is so wonderful about seeing an opera at the movie theater is they zoom in, so you can see the expressions of the singer's faces. They have it subtitled at the bottom, so you can read what they are saying since it is in a different language. And during the three intermissions, they also provided some behind the scenes fun facts or interviews of the singers.
The date that worked best for us was the showing of Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini. It is an Italian opera about a lady, Francesca who is set to be married to a man named Giovanni. Of course Francesca is dreading this and is fearful. Giovanni's brother Paola stops by to finalize marriage arrangements and it was love at first sight. The almost 4 hour opera tells the story of the doomed lovers.
I have to say I enjoyed the opera. It took a little while to adjust to the high pitched sopranos and all the clinging, but you get used to it. I was worried that it being 4 hours would be too long - my butt would hurt, I'd get hungry, I'd have to pee...but since there were three intermissions I managed just fine, and actually didn't need all that free time.
I am planning to attend another one or two during the next season - they showed previews of what is coming and some looked really good.
Here is the link to the Met's Live in HD.