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Dinner & The Opera: Crow & Turandot

I’m so thankful to have found an opera buddy.  Well, more of an opera couple.  We joined our good friends Randy & Margaret at the opera the other night for the second time now to see Seattle Opera’s Turandot.  I secretly think Margaret and I are a little more into it than the guys, but it makes for a great couples evening and we adore hanging out with them!

I have a particular interest in this specific opera.  For my college graduating B.F.A piece I choreographed a dance to the famous aria “Nessun dorma” from Turandot.  I believe it was whilst I was attending Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle for my senior year that the Seattle Opera completely refurbished their production of Turandot.  Alas, as starving arts student I was unable to go.  However, now I’m no longer a starving arts student and we had a wonderful double date with our friends.

Our evening started at the restaurant Crow located in the lower Queen Anne neighborhood.  We began with drinks and two starters: seasonal melon & prosciutto and steamed Manila clams.  Both were tasty and off set each other nicely.  The melon with prosciutto was light, fresh and sweet.  The clams were in a tomato broth with Spanish chorizo.

About mid meal we began talking about being exposed to the arts and culture in our childhoods.  Randy and Michael both mentioned that twenty years ago, they would have never pictured themselves at the opera, but were thankful for the experience.  I mentioned that I view any performance, movie, book or even meal as an addition to my life’s resume.  Each experience enriches my life and is a catalyst for thought and conversation, not to mention a shared and common adventure with friends or family.

On to the Opera!  This production of Turandot was everything and more.  The sets and costumes were extraordinary and the lighting added to the mood of each scene.  The voices of the soloists were completely captivating and personified opera at it’s best.  I personally thought the voice of the woman that performed Liu was richer than the female in the title role of Turandot.  I simply preferred her voice.  Both sopranos were truly amazing.  The Italian male tenor who played Calaf, did not disappoint.  His solo of Nessun dorma, while was a little less annunciated than the Pavarotti version I have on my iPod, was still superb.

On an etiquette side note: two things I find annoying at the theatre.  One: jeans.  People, please don’t wear jeans to the theatre, opera, ballet or symphony.  Yes, this is Seattle, but if you are going to the trouble of wearing pants at all, just reach for the slacks or even chinos instead.  Certainly if you are putting in the effort to wear a sport coat, make the extra effort and don a nice pair of pants.  However, if it’s jeans or nothing IE you don’t come to the event at all, then I suppose it’s okay.  Because I’d rather you present and supporting the arts in your jeans, than not at all.

Two: please don’t leave as the performers are bowing or whilst the audience is clapping – it’s rude and disrespectful to the performers.  It’s already late in the evening and if you think the time you are going to gain by leaving early is going to make a huge difference in your life or by beating all the rest of us out of the parking garage by about two extra minutes.  The performers worked very hard leading up to and during the show.  You pay your respect, homage and pleasure by standing or sitting and clapping until the curtain falls.  It’s a tradition of the stage and a sacred theatrical custom – please don’t merde on it.

As always we had a wonderful time on our opera date with Randy and Margaret.  We spoke of getting together to go to Rovers owned by current Top Chef Master contestant Thierry Rautureau.  I’ll shall look forward to another adventure with them.


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