Monday, July 04, 2016

Toreador En Garde!

So one of my sisters in law found a Groupon for 40% off tickets to the opera Carmen. The other sisters thought that was a great deal and we should all have a night at the opera, so that was the plan. We decided to meet at a Lebanese restaurant nearby. Some of us were going by car and some were taking BART. That was us. We took the train to Civic Center and started walking.  When we got to Van Ness we saw the SILs just ahead of us so we ran to catch up and we all got to the Lebanese place before 5:00, the time for our reservations.

So we waited for it to open, then we waited some, then we waited some no sound, no lights, no movement of any kind.  A phone call went to their voicemail and we decided they must be closed for the holiday so went to the Japanese restaurant next door. It was good and they were open!

After dinner we all walked a few blocks to the Opera House.  My sister-in-law got Orchestra 3rd row center tickets.  Awesome seats!  We were right in front of the orchestra pit and eye level with the stage. The Opera was really good.  The costumes, lighting and sets were superb.  We didn’t know the story of Carmen beforehand. It was in French and we don’t speak French but they did have supertitles with the translation though suspiciously they would have only one line in English for many lines of French but I’m sure we got the gist.  Anyway the songs, beautifully sung, were very familiar. Carmen’s habanera you’d recognize right away.  It’s all about the fickleness of L’Amour.  This production of Carmen alternates two performers for this role. The one we saw was very good, very sexy as Carmen should be, though she is a bad, bad girl and thinks nothing of breaking hearts.  But after all love is fickle.  The other main characters Don Jose, her initial love interest and Escamillo, the Toreador, that she dumps him for were also played by fine singers.
The staging was interesting. it seemed to be a modern or modernish Spain.  The Gyspy’s drive around in old Mercedes Benz’s.  The soldiers’ uniforms looked 1930’s.  One of the Gyspy girls dressed like a 1960’s go go girl and the other one dressed was wearing a 1950’s style.  We weren’t sure about the naked guy except that this is San Francisco. 
 We stayed in our seats during intermission while they had open curtain Q & A.  They explained they were simulcasting to a crowd at AT&T Park and answering questions tweeted to #opencurtain.  They also explained that the giant black bull sign, that was part of the set, was originally a road side advertisement for an English sherry company. 

It was a lot of fun!  A little darker than we expected.  Carmen does not survive.  This was the second Opera I have seen since I had gone with SIL’s to see the “Barber of Seville”. It was the first for my hubby and son.  It was a short walk back to the train and a short ride back to the car.  We will do it again.

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