Dreams Come True (at the Opera)


I started to call this post “my life is better than yours” but that felt too harsh. But life is really good…and living in New York just gets better every day. This is why I settled on the above title:

Madame Butterfly is my absolute favorite opera (I give full credit to Malcolm McLaren. Sampling music should be lauded. What better way to introduce youngin’s to the classics?). The opera had played earlier this year at the MET and was immediately sold out. Without a modicum of shame, I begged and pleaded with every one of my friends and their parents to see who could get me a ticket, to no avail.

When we went to see The Magic Flute I was told by several people “you have not seen Madame Butterfly until you’ve had seen this one.” The show came and went (I was sad) and then it came back this October!!! I was ecstatic. My dream came true. This rendition is directed and designed by Anthony Minghella of “Talented Mr Ripley” and “The English Patient”. And, yes, it was spectacular. Minimalist yet so evocative. Wow. It was like living in a dream state for 3 1/2 (yet felt like 1) hours. (a dream came true.)

Before the performance, I met my brother from another mother for sushi at Dan Sushi @ 2018 Bway and I highly DON’T recommend it. The fish was tired. The rice of our chirashi was over vinegar-ed and acidic tasting. But we were still so happy. The weather was incredible. And our schedules worked perfectly so we could take the day off and see the opera together. At 2pm, we joined other people on line for the Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Rush tickets. What a treat. $20 orchestra seat tickets. As it was last time, when we waited for tickets for The Magic Flute, there was a multicultural mix of people on line. Lots of Japanese. I believe some Austrians? Swedes?

Tickets were not available until 6pm. So we managed our 4 hours by eating our sushi. Later, my friend bought some desserts: ice cream (chocolate and vanilla Hagaan Dazs), brownie and red velvet cake. After purchasing our tickets, we headed over to Cafe Fiorello for a real meal. Wow again. What an incredible delightful New York moment (although the decor made me feel like I was in a Brassai photo).

We sat at the bar and split a delectable bottle of red wine. Next we sampled from their generous offering of antipasto. We enjoyed the calamari, stuffed tomatoes, grilled asparagus, eggplant parmigiana, carmelized fennel (my favorite) and beet salad. We discussed a book idea, a film project and how happy we were for another friend who just signed a two book deal with St Martin Press (yay Terry!).

At 8pm, we returned to the Met and found our seats. What a gorgeous Opera House. I remember coming here in 1987 to see Carmen with my mother. And then, as I was now, being dazzled by the decor: the gold, the chandeliers, the grandeur. I don’t think I can find the words to describe how incredible and awesome (in the true sense of the word) the production was. It exceeded my expectations and desires. I cried during “Un Bel di Vedremo”. I’ve never felt such an appreciation for an artistic collaborative effort: Puccini mixed with Minghella, but also the puppeteers, the actors, the singers, the orchestra, the conductor.

After an extended standing ovation and many “bravas” and “bravos”, I dropped my friend off at the subway and continued the walk home. I passed Saks Fifth Avenue and stopped to admire their night work. I absolutely love to watch cranes/big machinery. There were two parked in front of the department store, about three stories up, working on the building. As i examined closer, I saw that they were installing the large snowflakes/winter decorations onto the building facade.

I was amused by the decorations. It was an increasingly normal 70 degrees on an October evening. I was wearing an open toe sandal and short sleeves. Its one thing to dream and another to be delusional. That Saks Fifth Avenue electric snowflake will probably be the closest we get to a snowy winter or white Christmas this year.

And I was still happy.


~ by Cybel Martin on October 24, 2007.

2 Responses to “Dreams Come True (at the Opera)”

  1. Hey Aunt Carrie! What a beautiful story of an evening at the Opera. I have been trying to think of where to take my sister when she comes to visit. She can’t stand musicals, but maybe the opera will fit her fancy….it’s a tad more refined if you will. I can’t believe its 70 degrees in New York. Global warming at it’s finest! xoxo

  2. I’m delighted that you enjoyed it – apart from the fish! I’m actually rather jealous of you now. Take care.

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