I was the first to arrive, just after 6pm. There were already fancy people lined up outside – I’m sure they were excited to see the show, but it’s also very cold outside. Truth be told, I was far warmer in my fancy dress and heels than I was all day at work in my grubby tech clothes – it’s most likely excitement, but perhaps I should also invest in a space heater.
There’s a group of women here manning a booth called the Vancouver Opera Guild – I believe they were involved in the opera from way back ago. I overheard them discussing things amongst themselves – it was pretty much the cutest thing ever to hear a crisp English accent announcing “THOSE are BLOGGERS!”. It’s true – we are bloggers. It says so on the sign posted above.
The five of us just returned from a tour of the stage. I took many pictures (the quality of which remains to be seen; my SD card did NOT appreciate being yanked from the warm confines of my Mac and coughed up some memory errors) that I’ll try to post tonight. It was really neat back there – seeing the stage up close and personal, the wig and makeup room, the opera urchins making faces at each other, and the shotgun battle rehearsal before the curtain rises. We’re just over thirty minutes away from the start of the show, and so far this has been a great night. We’re set up at a table in the lobby, and the bloggers are quite the spectacle – I’d forgotten how much I enjoy being peered at curiously. This is fun!
There’s a fairly wide range of age groups here. It’s also good to see a wide variety of outfits – the opera doesn’t *have* to be about tiaras and cleavage if that isn’t your style; the people in jeans are not so out of place. Comfort is king, after all – you’re here to take in the performance, not worry about keeping the crease in your evening trousers placed just so. At least, that’s not what *I’M* worried about. As I write this, we’re experiencing Opera Technical Difficulties – the wireless internet went down, and we’re bloggers without a connection to the outside world. It’ s a scary thing, but luckily we are prepared – iPhones come out, laptops are pushed aside. Ling is attempting to get the connection back up for us, but I’m doing quite well personally. After all, live blogging is new to me – remember the analog days when you scribbled thoughts on random paper and tried to write something coherent 12 hours later from the random keywords misspelled on a napkin? Or was that just me? At any rate, it looks like our internet connection is back with just enough time for me to post this before we take our seats, We’ll be back during the intermission to post first thoughts – sit tight, there’s more to come!
20:30: The first act is over, and we’re in intermission. It’s been incredible so far – the performers are astounding! I’ve never really given opera a good listen before – I’d say there isn’t enough angst in opera for me, but dude opera is all angst all the time – but this is really something else. I can’t decide if I get nerd cred or am just a total embarrassment that I definitely recognized one of Carmen’s arias from Family Guy – but on the other hand, Miss604 mentioned Looney Tunes on our way out so I think I’m good.
Ling just brought us food! She’s totally disobeying the “don’t feed the bloggers” sign, but I am so grateful. My pitiful e-pleas seem to have worked, and she snagged us some tasty things. I had a mushroom pouch that was delicious and also for some reason reminded me of the Legend of Zelda.
As far as operas go, I think I’m really lucky to be experiencing Carmen as my very first opera. The costumes are gorgeous – I’m giving some serious thought to wearing corsets in my everyday life – and the subtitles above the stage make it very easy for those of us not fluent in sung French to follow along. That being said, I think I’m going to try to follow Act 2 without the sub (sur) titles. The emotion comes through in the singing so thoroughly that I don’t necessarily think I need to know *exactly* what the words mean – I know I’ve only been here for one act, but I am totally going to do this right.
Can’t wait for Act 2!
21:30: I really hope no one saw me drip an entire pineapple’s worth of juice down my dress.
Act 2 is complete, and there is treachery afoot! This break is a short one, and there are two more acts to go with a brief pause between them. Everyone looks to be having a really good time and just coming out to the lobby to liquor up (or stretch, whatever floats your boat) before we head back in for the last two acts. I don’t think we’ll have time to come out in between the two as the intermission is actually labeled as a pause, but that’s okay – I am taking notes. I don’t guarantee that I’ll be able to read my scribbles at the end of the night, but I am making an effort to remember things to share later. Don’t say I never do anything for you.
23:37: The evening is over and I’m at home. I really want to say more, but I’m exhausted – the drive home was harrowing and probably a little weave-y. I had an incredible time, and I will post a recap tomorrow along with links to the others!