This gold inflames my senses

A translated line from Rossini's The Barber of Seville.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Minnesota Opera performance of The Barber of Seville last night. The singing, the music, the staging, the set were all well done, and a pleasure to take in. Having never been to an opera before, there were some things that surprised me.

Dan knew that it was likely that the opera would be subtitled, and as we were venturing into St Paul, I started to worry that they would be distracting or tacky but they were done really well. The subtitle board was built into the set, were in a tasteful and readable font, and timed perfectly with the staging to maximize the humor.

And speaking of humor...what a stitch! (The only other opera I've listened to in its entirety is Tristan und Isolde, which is quite the tragedy). The music and the libretto were funny enough on their own, but the staging was brilliant. Figaro (the barber) owns the stage from his first entrance, and the props (including a skeleton, a green guitar, and a handkerchief to name a few) were used most brilliantly.

I majored in Music in college, so I think I should have picked up on this at one point -- but Rossini's The Barber of Seville is actually a prequel to Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, which was composed much earlier. The two operas are based on the plays of Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais.

At the last minute, I realized that I didn't have the perfect pair of shoes to wear with the dress. I called my girl Amanda to talk through the implications of wearing brown kitten heels with a red, white and black dress and, after hanging up, felt both better and immensely foolish for fretting over such a thing.

Turns out, most women in the audience should have consulted their best friend before going out last night. First, I have never seen so many four-inch heels in one setting, and second, the percentage of women who did not know how to walk in them was astounding. Yes, one is mostly sitting, and yes, it's dark. But remember, one still has to walk to the venue, and to the refreshments. Just sayin'.

All in all, a wonderful way to spend a Wednesday night.

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