At the Opera: Don Giovanni

When I was studying abroad in Rome, I had on my bucket list to see an opera in the country of its origin. But, alas, when it came down to how I was going to spend my Euros, weekend trips around the continent sounded much more appealing. 

I believe I saw an opera once when I was in second grade. The fact that I can't remember must say something to an eight year old's attention span, especially when a foreign language is involved. So, when I saw that Tulsa Opera would be putting on Don Giovanni (hey, that sounds familiar!), I convinced my darling boyfriend to go with me. I was able to get tickets for $10- so hey, why not?

When I think of going to the opera, images of opera glasses, ladies with fancy dresses and high society sitting in their box seats are conjured. Yes, I know what century it is, but this is all that Hollywood has provided me! Some of that luxury and glamour are retained- even at a Sunday matinee. I saw many people in their Saturday night best and plenty at the bar ordering a flute of champagne.

For being $10 and in the balcony, our seats were pretty great. We were right behind the railing- the sole thing keeping us from plunging to our deaths. Or so it seemed. After turning down the house lights, the orchestra began to play the national anthem. While the piece was spectacular, D and I spent the time clinging to one another- with our left hands of course- so that we wouldn't tumble over the edge into the laps below us.
Don Giovanni portrays the famous womanizer, Don Juan, and his attempts to bed anything with two X chromosomes. He's been quite successful in the past, as his pal Leporello recounts- taking up an entire aria.  As one can imagine, he upsets a few people along the way. In the end, the three ladies pursuing retribution get their wish when the philanderer is pulled down into the depths of hell. Quite a way to go, no?

I didn't know whether or not I'd like the opera and I ended up enjoying it quite a bit. I have to admit, my favorite part is trying to pick out all of the Italian words that I know- it's very gratifying. I'm also amazed by how the vocalists can project their voices all the way to the balcony. If you don't enjoy the singing itself- you can at least appreciate this fact!

In the middle of the second act of the opera, the English subtitles for the lyrics stopped working. Yet, the performers managed to make the audience laugh- I think that says a lot about the production!

D managed to make it through his first opera awake, though he requests I find another accomplice next time. What a good sport!

Tulsa Opera still has one performance left for their 2010-2011 season- Norma- April 30, May 6, and May 8. They have also just announced their 2011-2012 season with season tickets available.

With great seats at only $10, why not do something different and go see an opera?


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