Sunday, March 21, 2010

La Boheme, Metropolitan Opera, NYC

On the evening of March 17th. my husband and I went to Lincoln Center in Manhattan to see the 1,216th Metropolitan Opera performance of Giacomo Pucini's La Boheme. (all photos will enlarge when clicked on)


Although it was a slightly hazy evening it was nice to see the opera house in the light again when we arrived,  as the days are getting longer.

A photo mosaic of the beautiful new fountain in the Josie Robertson Plaza in front of the opera house. It is a favorite gathering place for those waiting for friends, or to spend a few minutes chatting before going inside.

Because it was St. Patrick's Day we saw quite a few revelers near Lincoln Center and I couldn't resist taking a photo of this happy fellow wearing a kilt and carrying bagpipes.


Inside the opera house I stopped to admire the current vintage costumes on display. The set above and below were from the opera Carmen.  The Metropolitan Opera had put on a brand new production of Carmen this year, to much critical acclaim.


The General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera, Peter Gelb, has been changing many of the productions of favorite operas over the past few years, in an effort to "revitalize opera and connect it to a wider audience," and while we understand his desire to make the Met's productions fresh and modern, my husband and I are particularly fond of all the Franco Zeffirelli productions, and it was one of the reasons we decided to attend La Boeme this season, as we fear it's beautiful and elaborate set and staging will be retired in the near future.  It is also one of our favorite operas, as it is for many, as the tender love story of Mimi and Roldolfo is sentimental, beautiful, and filled with many exquisite arias that never fail to bring a tear to the eye.  If you've never seen an opera before this is the one I'd recommend to be your first. 

Marco Armiliato was the conductor, with soprano Anna Netrebko as Mimi, tenor Piotr Beczala as Rodolfo, and an audience favorite was coloratura soprano Ruth Ann Swenson as Musetta.  The entire synopsis of La Boheme can be read at this link.  As always the opera house responded with a long ovation at the end of this perennial gem.

If I still had music on my blog, this would be the aria from act one of La Boheme that would be playing, “Che gelida manina,” as sung by the dearly missed tenor Lucciano Pavorotti in a 1990 San Francisco production. It is in this scene that the poor poet Roldolfo and his neighbor Mimi first met, and feeling an immediate attraction to her, he tells her of his dreams.  Perhaps you'd like to listen to it for a few minutes?



I'm linking this post to Mosaic Monday on Mary's blog The Little Red House.  Please visit Mary today and see her beautiful spring flower mosaic and visit the links to other blogs participating today.  Thanks, Mary, for hosting this popular event each week!



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53 comments:

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - La Boheme is one of my favorite operas and I just love that Zefferelli set at the Met. I hope Gelb doesn't get rid of that next! You saw it with a great cast too - love Netrebko and Swenson too.

Bobbi said...

Oh what beautiful mosaics!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

La Boheme is my very favorite opera.... I would have loved to have been there with you Pat... Better still--I would have loved seeing Pavorotti doing that role... He's my all-time favorite Tenor.

The fountains are beutiful... In fact, I am just envious... You are so fortunate to get to go to the Met.... Wow!!!!

Hugs,
Betsy

Annesphamily said...

Beautiful! I wish I could have been there.

Debbie said...

How great is that to just pop on over to Manhattan for a show!~ Looked great. The guy in the kilt was pretty cute too!

Living In Williamsburg Virginia said...

Cool shots, thanks for sharing!
Darryl and Ruth : )

Lily Hydrangea said...

oh my gosh, now I want to go see this Pat.
I love the Pavorotti link. what a voice. I was so sad when he died.
please visit me if you can today. I am celebrating two years of blogging with a giveaway.
: )

外太空 said...

成功等於目前,其他都是這句話的註解。........................................

Helen said...

Hello! I've not experienced Opera in NYC ... but the Met brings productions to St. Louis and I saw many of them when I lived there years ago. What an incredible treat!

Riet said...

Another series of beautiful pictures in todays mosaic Pat. I love La Boheme too. How wonderful to be able to visit all these places and shows

Allie and Pattie said...

Pat, as always a wonderful post. It's been years since I've been to the Met- you always bring back such lovely memories
xoxo Pattie

Old Kitty said...

Awwww Lovely Lovely Lovely!!!

What a lovely way to start Monday morning! Thank you.

I remember first seeing La Boheme when I was university. It was billed as an amateur production by the student's operatic society. All I remember was blubbing quite unashamedly at the end for poor Mimi - my goodness that woman suffered!

I love the pics of the vintage costumes! All so romantic looking. I'm all for revitalising art to attract new audiences - but always hope it is not at the expense of good traditional quality! You need opulence in operas! Especially in La Boheme where the contrast of lavishness and poverty play a pivotal role in the lives of Mimi and Rudolfo.

I love the sihouetted fountains shots - the waters look like crystals.

Take care
x

Melanie said...

Those costumes are wonderful. Like you I want to see productions as they were designed to be seen. I once saw a Shakespeare play where they dressed all in modern outfits to be "accessable" but it left me cold. Guns instead of sword play just didn't work. I was so glad I hadn't taken anyone with me to watch it- I felt bad at what I felt had been a waste of money.

Theatre and opera should be an experience that entertains and takes you away from the reality of every day life and gives you a wow feeling. IMHO I do hope you get to continue proper productions of the operas you love.

Tracy said...

La Boheme... always a favorite! I love when you take us along to the opera, Pat! Really enjoyed seeing these costume close-ups--beautiful! Going to the opera or theater is always a very special experience. :o) Happy Week, my friend ((HUGS))

Gracie said...

Another night at the Opea! Thanks Pat for sharing with us.
P.S. La Boheme is one of my favoutite too, I saw it a few time at my local theatre here, never disappointed me.

Karena said...

A fabulous opera, and I love that you highlighted the costumes.Works of art! Pavarotti such a genius , so talented.

Karena
Art by Karena

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Your pictures of the fountain are just breath taking Pat! Franco Zefferelli knows romantic...it gives me goose bumps! This must have been just beautiful.
♥, Susan

Joyce said...

Such a great classic. Honestly every time I go there I think of the film Moonstruck and Cher and her Dad meeting up with his girlfriend:)
Joyce

Queenmothermamaw said...

I love anything Pavarotti sang. I love this opera too. I know the story well and many of the songs. Never saw the opera though. Would love to. My daughter and her best friend are spending the weekend in NYC for their 40th birthdays. They have tickets to 2 Broadway shows. I forgot which. My daughter has never been to the city although to NY state many times.
QMM

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

My only visits to the opera are with you, Pat. Thanks for taking us along again...most special!

susan said...

Pat-Your pictures of the fountain are just breathtaking! I have been wanting to make a trip to NYC for a while now. Your post has me even more determined to make it happen! Thanks for sharing the photos and the video!

Jenny said...

Beautiful post. Great trip to go on.

I don't know if you know but being an opera singer was always my dream.

But I just can't sing.

But I do have the fat lady part down pretty well.

I'm sorry.

This was a lovely and intellectual post and I am being a dork.

Please forgive me.

I will be good next time I visit.

Hugs and Happy Monday!

Meri said...

Seeing Pavarotti was one of my lifetime concert highlights. The only problem was I cried from joy through the concert, so my nose was running and my face was all puffy. Really attractive. . .

Beverly said...

Oh, Pat. This post has made my day. How lucky you are to have access to so many wonderful experiences.

Thank you for sharing with us.

Vee said...

Oh it sounds like a wonderful evening and perhaps a little sad, too, if you're believing that the set will be packed away for some time. Is this your favorite opera? I did listen to Pavarotti...he was in fine voice. So glad that we have his recordings to continue to enjoy.

Sally said...

Oh, lucky you!

Shirleyanne said...

A truly lovely post pat.
I've only ever been to see opera twice, & this La Boheme was one of them. A wonderful experience, & it certainly made me see & feel how powerful & dramatic opera can be. Hope one day I'll get the chance to see more.
What a nice thought to be sat outside by the fountains while waiting to meet with friends. True entertainment in your post.
Kind Regards

Trotter said...

Hi Pat! Wonderful Pavarotti in Che gelida manina...
Excellent shots of the fountain!!

Thanks for your comments at Blogtrotter 2, which has now landed in Mexico. Enjoy and have a great week!!

Helen said...

Hello! Both parents of my best friend grades 1-12 graduated from Cornell! So I have a soft spot in my heart for them ... and the underdogs Saint Mary's and Northern Iowa.
Though I suspect Kentucky may have the upper hand ......
we'll see.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Your photographs are beautiful! What wonderful arts you have so easily accessible. I really enjoyed the opera clip. Just hearing that voice is enough to bring tears to the eyes! laurie

GardenofDaisies said...

That has always been my mother's favorite opera. Puccini is wonderful. And Pavarotti... well we love him. We play his Cd's a lot, and my husband sings along. DH is quite good actually, although he never had any voice training, which is a shame.
His twin sister sings beautifully and their dad (my father in law) sang solos in church all the time. FIL remembers his mother singing while she hung the laundry on the line, and the whole neighborhood coming to a standstill to listen.

GardenofDaisies said...

OH I forgot.. Yes, I do recommend The Constant Gardener, although the story it tells is not pleasant.

32˙North said...

Those fountain pictures are compelling enough to be in an advertisement, really, well done!

Amanda

annie said...

Love La Boheme. Saw it at the Met 5 years ago. Had a wonderful time, thanks for the photos and memories!

CatHerder said...

Zefferelli is a genius...and dear to my heart was his rendition of Romeo and Juliet with Leonard Whiting! I could watch it every day!

Ebie said...

Lovely mosaic of the fountains! Hmmm, I need to shed off a lot of pounds to fit in one of the dress!

I would love to see this opera!

Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos!

suzyQ said...

love this! sounds amazing

ellen b. said...

Beautiful. What a lovely evening and what a fun day to go!

Willow said...

What a beautiful place! I love how you celebrated 'my birthday'.

Chatelaine said...

What a fun evening out! Your mosaics are wonderful. I would love to go to the theatre in NYC.

Last time I was there I saw Michael Crawford in Phantom of the Opera. It was fabulous!

Paz said...

cute guy in the kilt. ;-) wonderful photos of lincoln center. it's nice that you are able to attend the concerts there.

paz

Mary said...

One of the last things we did before moving West was to attend La Boheme at Lincoln Center. We had season tickets to the opera for the 30 years we lived on the East Coast. I loved your post today, though it made me a bit homesick.

My name is PJ. said...

I've never been to the Met. The only opera I've seen was at The Kennedy Center. I feel I missed out on some of NY's finest offerings!

I listened to Pavrotti; beautiful!

Just a little something from Judy said...

I have never attended an opera. But, now that I've visited your post, I would love to. I always enjoyed concerts on television with Pavorotti, and I too like his style of music. Your pictures of this special evening with your husband, are truly amazing! Your camera and your eye for photography continue to bless your blog visitors.

Carol said...

Beautiful! Have a great week!

Janean said...

thank you for taking us to a place we may never have the chance to visit!

never been to an opera, but maybe some day?

myletterstoemily said...

oh, la boheme! i would love to
hear netrebko.

thank you for letting us pretend
we were there.

your blog is such a treat.

myletterstoemily said...

oh, la boheme! i would love to
hear netrebko.

thank you for letting us pretend
we were there.

your blog is such a treat.

M.Kate said...

Another wonderful post Pat, as usual, I do wish I was there :)

Nola @ the Alamo said...

My favorite (okay, the only one I've ever seen)! SOME DAY I WILL GO THERE! It's on my bucket list. I only wish I could have seen Pavarotti perform there. At least I got to see him, guess that's gotta be enough.

Sharyn Sowell said...

Wow. I think this is a perfect illustration of why I too can say I LOVE NEW YORK! Gorgeous! This is my favorite of your posts.

Dishesdone said...

La Boheme, just fantastic! How lucky you were to see! Beautiful, wish I had seen it!

mya said...

Lucky you! I love musicals but Metropolitan Opera is my favorite!