Thursday, February 4, 2010

A First Timers Night at the Opera

Can you remember your first time at the opera?

My first was in 1988. I was still in High School and came to see FAUST with Ferruccio Furlanetto and Richard Leech here at San Diego Opera. This is the night, waaaaaay up there in the balcony seats for Student Night at the Opera, that I fell in love with the art form. I decided then, gazing down at the stage, that I would always want to be involved in the arts in some way or another. After the realization that I was tone deaf and horrible at following directions, ever getting on the stage was out of the question. Yet here I am - as close to the action as I ever want to be, and pleased I've able to tell this story directly to both Richard Leech and Ferruccio Furlanetto while they were sitting in my office over a decade later.

Since then I've seen a lot of opera. I'll see 13 or so of the 16 performances (as well as all the technical rehearsals) we offer this season, in addition to performances in whatever cities I end up in throughout the year. I see so much opera that I often feel as though I lose perspective of what it is like to experience opera. I'm so actively involved in the making and marketing of opera that I see it differently than say, my wife, who very rarely attends.

So it was refreshing this morning to read Meredith Hattam's report of her first time to the opera, because these are the experiences that are important - a first impression is one you carry with you all your life, and some of these impressions can be powerful enough to change you forever.

You can read her report on the ever wonderful Culture Lust blog.

And we'd love to know your first opera experience, so please share them in the comment section below.

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