Aside from musical theater performances like Broadway, I am also a fan of Opera. I do not have any particular favorites but if you ask me any favorite arias, then it would be Mozart’s Der Holle Rache followed by Puccini’s Un Bel Di Vedremo. I also like Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro but the latter seems so sad i feel like stop hearing it after just one session.
Don’t get me wrong, i still love Maria Callas.
anyway, on 3/28/15 i took boo to his first ever opera performance. Previously i have watched two operas but my first ever opera at the Met Opera (or Metropolitan opera) was this one with boo. So it was definitely an exciting moment yet i felt so happy because i finally crossed one of my bucket lists. Lol.
(yes after living for more than 4 years ; well opera show is not cheap)
The opera is Manon by Jules Massenet. For those who are not familiar, you can learn more here
I am not going to spill you the acts and the ending but one thing for sure: Ich liebe Diana! Manon is not your ordinary lovey dovey opera as it has great story and interesting characters. All i could say is: thank God i made the right decision to actually purchased the tickets for the last performance of the season.
And even boo enjoyed it as well!
Prior to the show a week earlier, Diana Damrau herself had a CD signing event at the Met Opera shop and i was aware of that. However, due to an errand i needed to fulfill at my workplace i arrived there so late but she was still there taking picture and talking. I realized i only had like a mere one minute to simply talked to her so i just told her i loved her work and she replied back with a warm smile and thank you. Later on when i headed to the back of the shop, i accidentally bumped her and said sorry but she just casually said “no it’s ok”. I felt so funny afterwards. Nevertheless, she is a very down to earth person. I would love to work with her someday (heck, i even already had a dream she was lecturing me in one of the acts from an opera performance) even if it’s a non related to opera thingy.
Back to Manon, i gave my biggest thumbs up to whoever did the costumes and production design. Boo and i could not stop gazed in awes whenever the acts began. Like literally, the sets were just amazing. Of course there are couple of sequences that did not need any great touch up but my oh my — surely opera production is getting advanced each year! Oh, i do not think i need to criticize the performance. Everybody did splendid, not to mention Damrau as the flirty Manon and Vittorio Grigolo as the charming Des Grieux.
Oh Manon, i feel like i need more than one glass of Chardonnay that night! Je T’aime!
PS: opera production at The Metropolitan Opera varies each season calendar. I saw Manon this past March but that does not mean you could be seeing another production of Manon next summer with the same casts. Your best bet is to actually subscribe to Met Opera’s calendar catalog shows for latest performances.
PPS: our seats during the show were at the Grand Tier section which for us was definitely the best one as we could see the whole stage without any obstruction. It’s not the cheapest however it is still way better than the family circle section on the upper part of the seats. Orchestra level seats are also good but be careful because some seats in the back do not give the best view. If you can afford, the first ten rows of the orchestra seats are definitely awesome.
PPPS: dress your best! Not too formal like Oscar night but not too sloppy either. During intermission, you could walk outside the theater and see a lot of interesting audiences. I saw a handful of ladies dressed in ball gowns but mostly all the women (including me) dressed in cocktail dresses or business casual suits. Even tho the Met does not have any dress code but for an opera show, why wouldn’t you dress up ?! And FYI, the show is very on time meaning arrive early at least maximum 15 minutes before showtime otherwise they won’t let you in until another 3 minutes break or pause.
So what else are you waiting for? Get tickets for your favorite opera show and enjoy the rest of the evening humming the aria while sipping your favorite wine 😉
Yours Truly 🙂