Tuesday, February 2, 2016

O Romeo, Romeo...

Back in high school I was all about drama and my love for theater continues 20 years later.  Plays, musicals, even dinner theater.  One experience I never had until recently was opera.

Opera Carolina recently ran Romeo & Juliet and I had the opportunity to experience it.  The costuming was fantastic, the music was superb, and even the lighting was interesting with the stage being bathed in different colors dependent on which house was on the stage.  The opera was composed by Charles Gounod (1818-1893) and was based upon a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carre.   This performance was a French translation of Shakespeare. The conductor of the evening was James Meena.  

The first time this opera was ever performed was in Paris in 1867.  It is rather interesting to think that I had the same experience Parisians had over 100 years ago.

The Juliet for Charlotte was actually sick the evening I went and Sarah Joy Miller, a Juliet from another city, played the role.  If they didn't say that she was filling in, I would have had no idea.  She merged beautifully with the other performers.  It was an over all enjoyable evening.

If you are a first time Opera goer like me, I figured I would leave you with a few tips for your first experience!

  • The Opera is in a foreign language.  Due to this, there are subtitles to read.  Not sure how other performances are, but for Romeo & Juliet it was above the stage.  For foreign films I am used to reading under the screen. It took a bit of getting used to.  If you need glasses to read BRING THEM.  I have perfect vision and even towards the end my eyes got a bit tired.  The lettering is large enough to easily read, but it was about 3 hours of reading which brings me to my next point.
  • The Opera can be a long experience.  It was about an hour and a half before the intermission, about 3 hours total.  Make sure to wear something that you are comfortable to sit in for that length of time.  Also, towards the end it got a bit toasty in the theater.  Wear layers.  You will be much happier.
  • Speaking of what to wear, PLEASE think of those around you especially if you are a teenage boy who recently discovered body spray.  A little goes a long way.  I wish someone told the kid next to me that!
  • Blumenthal Performing Arts DOES sell drinks beforehand and during intermission. Beverages aren't allowed inside the theater, so again, plan accordingly.  

I hope my little tips help you to have an enjoyable experience in the future!

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