Now that I have finally wrapped up my graduate applications, I have time to write a bit about the opera that I watched when I was at NYC’s Met Opera half a month ago.
The Met was the third opera house I have been to, and the most grand yet. It looks like it could hold an order of magnitude more people than the SF opera, and the stage can be set into various positions, allowing more dimensionality for the performance, this was not present at SF opera let along Dallas opera. I sat at one of the box on the end, although it did not grant the whole stage view, I was very closes to the stage so I could see the emotions of the performers much better, which was my first experience of such kind. I was also able to see straight down to the orchestra pit. However, During the course of the opera I did not look at the orchestra many times, as reading the subtitles and the vocalists occupied most of my time. But this seating was a unique experience.
The performers really did a good job and made the story look truthful. There were times that I was almost so sad that I could cry. For example, when Aida had to choose between Radames and her own country, and she loves both. And needless to say the ending was also one of the saddest moments in the course of the opera, where Aida and Radames sharing there last moments in a tomb.
One of my favorite scenes was the triumph march, which is probably predictable. The music of the march resonates with me for some reason. I was also amazed that they had real horses for the march, may be rented from central park, but still, very impressive. The only thing that may be a minor flaw of the whole production, is that a white emperor has a black daughter and a black emperor has a white daughter. I am not racist but it is not consistent with the story.
I do want to bring up one part of the story plot, on the topic of eloping. In opera Carmen, Carmen asked Don Jose to elope with her for a free future together. Don Jose although claimed to loved her very much, and in the end even murdered her for he could not have her, did not agree to elope with her. A woman who was sought after by many, loved him at one point and wanted a life with him, and he threw away because he had a good job in the military and did not want to get out of his comfort zone. In Aida, when Aida as Radames to elope with her, also for a future together with him that could be happy and free, after some convincing, Radames agreed to her idea. He is at a much higher position than Don Jose, he the general in the military, and trusted and promoted by the king. However, for his love for Aida, he was willing to look beyond his duty for his country and elope with her. Although they didn’t end up eloping, they were with each other at their lives last moments. It takes true love and courage for one to commit such an act of love for the partner, and by comparing and contrasting the eloping scenes of those two operas, we can see that a man with true gut and love for his woman will agree to her elope request.
The Met Opera was so grand that I do not wish to go to any other opera houses.. at least in the US. So I will be making more trips to NYC.. More operas to see on my lists are Carmen, the Magic Flute, Turandot and Don Giovanni. Hope I get to see them in the near future.