Friday night I marked another item off my original and revised bucket list – I attended the Opera. Along with my friend Randell, who took a few hours away from prepping Thanksgiving pies for all of you down at Red Barn Bakery, we went to see Puccini’s La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Center
La Boheme is a four act Italian opera, about young bohemian friends living in the Latin quarter of Paris during the 1840’s. I was going to provide a plot summary, but I have decided against it. I want everyone to experience the story on their own, rather than through my words. Plus, I wouldn’t want to give away any spoliers! However, fans of the broadway play Rent may see some similarities between the play and La Boheme, since playwriter Jonathan Larson loosely based his hit musical on this opera.
Coincidently, La Boheme is the opera that Loretta (Cher) and Ronny (Nicholas Cage) go to see together in the film Moonstruck. They also see it at the Met and the light fixtures rise up before the performance just like you see in the movie. The scene that they feature in the film is from Act III when the characters of Mimi and Rodolfo recall their happiness in the past but now must prepare to part ways.
Some things to know about the opera before you go:
- Don’t worry about not speaking/understanding the language. There are little translation displays in front of each seat
- If you want those little binoculars like Vivian in Pretty Woman, they are available for rental at the South Check Room on the Concourse level
- You do not need to look like Cher to go to the opera. Yes, there were some gowns and tuxedos, however, business casual attire is completely acceptable. (I wore a dressy skirt, sweater, and tall boots and fit in just fine)
- It does help if you know the general premise of the story before you enter however your playbill will have a detailed explanation of each act.
I think Richard Gere’s character Edward Lewis in Pretty Woman, really sums up the opera experience. He says:
People’s reactions to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic; they either love it or they hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don’t, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul.
It was just magical. I loved the opera.
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