I’ve heard it said that you can’t know if you like opera or not until you’ve actually gone to the opera. As much as I love the sound of classical music, I never actually thought I’d like opera. That’s one reason why I never actually went to the opera in all my years in Toronto. That is, until tonight.
I decided that I wanted to try opera before I left Toronto because over here I can get $20 tickets if I’m under 30 years old. I figured this would be the best chance to try opera without burning a hole in my pocket for something I wasn’t sure I would like.
The verdict is out at least for my first opera experience. I absolutely loved it. I hated the sets. I hated the costumes. I hated the director’s modernist re-envisioning which had Act 1 of La Traviata staged in a modern leather and studs S&M bar (yech). But despite that, I was enthralled.
I have never attended a live performance with such strong, beautiful vocal performances (not even my best musical experience can compare to the singing I heard tonight). Verdi’s opera score was sumptuous and lyrical. The libretto was poetic and romantically dramatic. The power of the combination of music, voice and words in the opera was such that the emotion of the scene penetrated my soul in an indescribable way. Now I understand why people can cry at the opera.
I don’t know that I will attend opera ever again. But I will never regret making the decision to attend the opera tonight. Never.
The haunting and beautiful prelude:
La Traviata: Prelude
Here’s the most famous tune from La Traviata which you’ve probably heard before. It also happens to be the most famous ‘drinking song’ from all opera.
The gorgeous duet between Alfredo & Violetta