If you haven’t already guessed, we’re very much into the arts and we try to support the local art scene whenever we can. With all the hype around the Seattle Opera’s production of La Bohème, Bee and I talked about how we should go but neither of us made any indication of following through with a firm commitment. There always seems to be an obstacle keeping me from attending the opera, whether it’s convincing my husband to come along (especially for a cheesy love story) or convincing myself to spend that much money for a ticket.
The stars must have aligned on Wednesday, when my husband agreed to go to the opera and I decided that the cost of the ticket could easily fit on my credit card. Unbeknownst to me, Bee and her husband were also planning to attend one of the performances. But to further my surprise, they happened to go the same night and sat in the same section. What were the odds of so many coincidences? We figured that we were in for a good performance (or at least good company!).
During the intermissions, the four of us were able to share our thoughts. We were all very impressed with the scenography, particularly in the third act. You’ll be absolutely amazed with how they reproduce a typical Parisian street in the early dawn… a bit hazy with a sleepiness about the stage. The lights of the lamp posts gradually fade as the sun rises, enveloping the stage with a soft and romantic ambiance. We were also struck by the choreography in the second act’s café scene. Although we can’t recall the exact number, there must have been about 40 people on stage, dancing, singing, juggling, just interacting independently from the main cast. It was a lot to take in, but it was a truly lively and festive moment, contrasting with the more melancholy and intimate scenes of the rest of the opera.
As opera novices, we were in awe of the performers’ talent. We were particularly moved by Mimi and Rodolfo’s duet at the end of the first act. As their duet (of new found love) comes to a close, they exit the stage though Rodolfo’s apartment door. Mimi hits a high note and then lets the note fade away so slowly that truly feels as if they are walking away further and further from the audience (onto the streets of Paris) – even though we can not see them. It was incredible.
There are still three performances left: tonight, tomorrow and the Sunday matinee. Don’t think twice! Even my husband, who usually is so reluctant about opera, left wondering what would be performed next (or maybe that was just the lovely company… time will tell). I definitely felt it was worth every penny.