As part of my ongoing endeavor to remain inspired and rejuvenated, I enjoy frequenting the city’s cultural and art institutions as often as possible. In December, my son and I usually visit The Metropolitan Opera. This past year we saw The Barber of Seville. This English version, created and shortened to introduce this medium to children, was delightful. I was particularly pleased with their marketing techniques, which focused on attracting a new generation. My opera experience may never have happened if it had not been my first design job out of college. I worked in the graphics department and on my second day I got to see opening night dress rehearsal with Pavarotti and Domingo. I was instantly hooked. I still work with The Met and my love for opera continues to grow.
Mostly I spring for center, dress circle tickets. They are within my budget without forcing me to sit in the nosebleed sections. This time, however, upon picking up our tickets, we were pleasantly surprised. We were able to upgrade to front row center for the same price. Something magical happens when the chandeliers dim and the curtain goes up. For just a brief moment in time you are taken far from life’s daily grind. The set designs, the music billowing from the orchestra, and of course the powerful singing — transports you to another time, another place.
Yes, the performance started my creative juices flowing but more importantly, I was able to experience the magic through the eyes of my son. I witnessed him connect to others in the audience and on stage, not digitally (which is the current trend) but in real life.
If you’ve yet to experience opera, I strongly urge you to treat yourself. Don’t download it to your computer or watch from your couch the next time it airs on TV. Go sit in the velvet seats — experience the energy and the power that only a live performance can deliver. I guarantee that you will leave feeling not only that it was worth every penny but that it is not something you soon will forget.