Monday, June 20, 2011

Highs and Lows Part 1- A real high!

Last week was an interesting week of highs and lows.  This post is going to be about the high.

I went to my very first opera with none other than Paul Anater of Twitter and blogosphere fame.  You can read Paul’s blog post about the night here.

Month's ago Paul was sharing with me how much he enjoyed the opera during a conversation and I mentioned I had never been.  He immediately offered to share the experience with me the very next season.  Paul is just that generous and honestly it kind of blew my mind.  His love of opera just bursts from his very soul. 

When the St. Petersburg Opera Season rolled around Paul contacted me and said Puccini’s Madama Butterfly would be perfect for a first time opera attendee.  Since the opera would be sung in Italian Paul suggested I read and learn about it ahead of time even sending me links to You Tube.  Seriously, what a generous person!   I love to be swept away with music so I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to listen to the music ahead of time.  I thought perhaps the surprise factor would be best.  I did however, download the libretto to my Kindle and read the story. 

Let me just say Madama Butterfly does not show American servicemen in a very good light and I was quite dismayed.  I had never given what our servicemen and women do in the many different ports that they are stationed, in all corners of the world, and felt very sad and angry. 

Working in the building industry my everyday dress consists of blue jeans, a-fabco polo shirt and jeans which isn’t exactly what I should wear to an opera, even one in St. Petersburg on a Tuesday evening.  I decided to take a half day of vacation and get a little girly having a pedicure and manicure which I haven’t treated myself too in a few years.   It was very nice.

I drove the very long (in my head only apparently) way to downtown St. Petersburg in all of 45 mins.  Sixteen years in Tampa and I have never explored this fabulous city.  Paul is very lucky to live just a few blocks away.  We ate dinner at Bella Brava and caught up on how much Paul’s life has changed in a year.  I asked many questions and he graciously answered them.  Then we walked a bit around downtown.  I would like to go back when I don’t have heels on.
Soon it was time to head to the Palladium and start the show!  First let me say the building is beautiful.  It began as a church and still has many of its original lighting fixtures and moldings. The lights dimmed and the orchestra started and my mind was swept away.  Everything was spectacular!  I had no idea that there was so much acting in an opera and yet there is.  The voices were just incredible and it didn’t matter that I didn’t understand the language, sub-tittles were displayed for convenience.  I thought opera’s were only sad and tragic and don’t get me wrong this one is but it had many funny scenes too.
For me the best judge of whether I liked something or not is if I would do it again – and I would definitely go see an opera again.  Thank you Paul for such a lovely evening and sharing this beautiful music with me

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