Monday, 16 June 2014

30 for Thirty: No#23 Watch an Opera

I love a good trip to the theatre; I'm a massive fan of musicals and love a well scripted play. I'd never experienced opera, though. It had been a 'I'd love to do that, one day' and so I decided to add it to the list of things I wanted to do before turning thirty.  Discounted tickets to see Puccini's La Bohème at Manchester's Lowry theatre? Hey-hey, a great opportunity to cross this experience off my bucket list- tickets for me and M in the shopping basket.
We started the night with a bit of dinner and fizz at Pizza Express, which gave us a chance to talk about what we expected from the performance. It turned out we were both feeling pretty nervous about watching an opera. We both deliberately avoiding reading about the story. Would we enjoy it? Would we understand what was happening on stage? Would voices be too shrill? Would we want to leave at the intermission?

Thankfully, it was yes, yes, no, and no! The production of La Bohème from Opera North was excellent (-of course, I've got no comparison but I loved it!). Its story was romantic, energetic and and full of 'carry on' style humour. At the same time, it was raw and heartbreaking. The music was beautiful. I used the cheat sheet text screens which sided the stage to better understand the specifics of what was being said but I think that what went on on stage would've given me all I really needed. I'd heard that La Bohème was a good 'introductory' opera and, having now seen it, I'd agree. I would definitely like to try another opera, perhaps Madame Butterfly. Here's some 'evidence' from my #30forThirty opera trip.

Are you a lover of opera? I'd love to hear your recommendations about what I should book for my next opera trip!
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