Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Opera Night -- That'll Warm up Winter

Honestly, it's hard to think of a better antidote to cold, dreary, January days than a smoking-hot opera such as Carmen! And the Vancouver Opera Association has done a great job with this production -- such talent, especially the Israeli mezzo-soprano who played the title role. Rinat Shaham sings beautifully, acts convincingly, dances beguilingly (my husband's adverb -- he was rather captivated!). The set was sumptuous -- I loved the backdrop of tobaccos and taupes and chocolates, against which the burgundies, rich velvety greens, and occasional purples of the women's dresses created an alluring scene. Still very evocative of Spain but not heavily clich├ęd in blacks and reds -- although there was a striking scene in which the hundreds of red roses thrown into the bullring evoked the blood spilled in the final action -- oh dear! did I just give something away?

It's so heartening to see that the production is sold out for the two Saturday nights altho' some seats remain for the weeknight performances -- given our PM's nonsense last year about equating cultural spending with the elite, as if what he termed "ordinary working people" don't care about culture, how reassuring to see that even with the current economic climate, the fear of a recession, folks are still dressing up and stepping out and going home uplifted, humming all the way!

And btw, there was some wonderful dressing up Saturday night -- a wide range from the formal to the creative, the sparkly to the slinky, the red feathered boa (oh yes, really!) to the stunningly-stilettoed. And what about me? What did I wear? Well, I've been playing around over at Polyvore just 'cause I knew you'd ask that question. My dress was much less expensive than the Polyvore offering, but was similarly a black-stretch-lace sheath; also long-sleeved, mine has a mock-turtleneck rather than a v-neck. My earrings are long and dangly, like those in the Polyvore collage, but they're cheap-and-cheerful, sparkly with large, obviously-fake rhinestones. My boots are the Fluevog Operettas (yes, how appropriate!) -- I don't have a pair of opera glasses, as, thankfully, our seats are decent enough that we don't need them. My gold clutch is similar, but it's from Club Monaco. I thought it made a simple but effective outfit, enough glam but still comfortable -- and these Fluevog boots give me two inches of height AND let me walk the 30-minute walk to the theatre, no problem at all!

opera night
opera night - by materfamilias on Polyvore.com


  1. Was that the black dress you bought when you visited Toronto? Cool dress and shoes! I second you on the cultural critique and will be glued to the news re budget released today.

  2. oh that sounds like a great night! I love the theatre of the crowd almost as much as the opera. And those boots are so fabulous!!!

  3. Great ensemble! I adore those boots!

    I've only been to the opera once, and was startled to see that in LA a significant number of people attended in jeans. So that tells me that it's not just the "elites" who appreciate culture.

  4. oh so envious. I am glad you had such a great time, sorry to miss you at Bachus...what a way to end a luxurious night.

  5. Carmen is my favorite. You have actually got me singing now with the talk of your night of the opera.
    Love your look. The boots look like a shoe Carmen would wear as she was about to kick her lover to the curb!!

  6. Duchesse: No, this one I bought here in Nanaimo -- my "Toronto dress" is, sadly, a bit too light for outings to the opera, despite my original plan -- it's still fun, though, and I think of our shopping day together when I wear it.
    Alison: Exactly! The people-watching is a brilliant kind of theatre.
    Pseu: Good point re the jeans-wearers. Actually, we're noticing that the opera crowd is a bit more dressed up than they were last year -- not sure why that is. Maybe people realize that if they're going to spend the cost of the tickets, they might as well "do it up right"!
    Girlcook: It would have been fun to see you -- I'll give you more advance notice next time.
    LBR: Are you toreador-ing your way 'round L.A. thanks to me? And thank you -- I'm going to love my boots even more, thinking of myself as a feisty Carmen kicking away in them!

  7. Great outfit! I'm not sure what I will wear to the ballet (Feb 12), but I'm thinking about a grey, fine knit sweater with chiffon sleeves and either a skirt or trousers. I'll keep it simple for my first time! Patricia

  8. Oh right, realized that after I commented! It's fun to dress for the opera or theatre. Let's hold up the side!

  9. hi, me again. Finally, a few days of fingertip internet access! Just read back in the blog--so happy to hear your mom's surgery went well. Give her my best. Nice to get a few PI sights, smells, etc. The hellebores resolutely pushing up in the midst of winter always makes my heart leap. Spring's not far away. Meanwhile, hope you're staying warm and cozy...

  10. Patricia: I do wish you had a blog so you could post pictures of the opera house -- wouldn't you just love to be the conspicuous woman snapping photos all night at the ballet? ;-) That sweater sounds lovely -- I have some flouncy chiffon trim (leopard-print yet) on a cardigan I wore today -- I'm imagining it as sleeves. . .
    Duchesse: Absolutely!
    Alison: It's surprising how quickly mom's bounced back from such a big surgery -- the technology is pretty amazing. I'll be sure to give her your greeting. Besides the hellebores, I noticed this morning that my mahonia is starting to bloom -- I'll have to remember to sniff tomorrow morning! So delightful to have fragrance flowering in winter. I chatted with Louise today and said I might have to take a little wander through your garden and see what's blooming while you're not there.

  11. Yes, I really should have a blog, but I'm afraid that it seems like much too much work for me! I just don't know how you do it! Anyway, if you go to Google Images and enter "Opera House Budapest" you'll see some quite stunning photos. I got a bit of culture today - our hiking leader couldn't make it, plus it was raining, so some of us went downtown instead to the Museum of Fine Arts - we went on a free docent-led guided tour then had a look around an El Greco exhibit. We met a Ukrainian lady who just came to town last summer and was happy to chat with us (her hubby is american.) She might join our hikes - that would bring us up to around 7 different nationalities!

  12. Ahh, Carmen! How fabulous. Somehow your outfit seems perfect for the opera and this particular opera with your black lace and boots.

  13. Patricia: Sounds as if you're really making the most of your time in Europe . . . I'll check out the opera house when I get a minute.
    Mardel: It was fabulous! Of course, I have had several different pieces of music cycling through my head and I have to be careful about where I sing along with them ;-)


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