So. I'll admit. I've never been to the opera. Neel's mom was on a culture mission when he was growing up (she was a better woman than I), and he got to lots of things that came through Wilmington, DE and he went to see Don Giovanni with some music nerdy friends, but the closest I've ever come to the opera is when Nicholas Cage takes Cher to the Met to see La Bohème in Moonstruck.
What took me so long?
Because we missed the Norfolk showing of The Marriage of Figaro, we made a day of it. Brunch at Can Can, which we never get to, and afterwards the matinee. Pretty much perfect, if you ask me. It turned out better than I expected even. We started with cocktails at the bar while we waited for our table. I had a bloody (duh) with bacon vodka, bitters and fresh muddled tomato and bacon garnish. Neel had a breakfast martini. I wish I had grabbed a closer look at the ingredients for that one because it was a surprising delight. Something, something, something and butterscotch something. What? I expected sweet and instead it was tart and citrusy and perfect. The one small sip I got of it was, at least.
We went brunchy instead of breakfasty for our meal, and Neel had a cheeseburger while Callum had steak frites with maitre'd butter. I had the tartine. Hello. A thick slice of crusty bread, white bean tapenade, lardons of bacon, artichokes, a fried egg and sherry vinaigrette.
After a Spiced Brown Sugar Latte (to keep me awake after the bloody), we were off to the Opera. Not after Neel and Callum made a quick purchase outside the restaurant.
The Carpenter Theater is stunningly beautiful, but moody and dark. Hard to photograph. At that point, I was pretty ready to put my camera away and enjoy the show. The Virginia Opera did a fabulous job, and I was captivated from the first note. The 3+ hour opera when by in a flash, and we were enthralled from start to finish. There was a moment, at the very start, as the orchestra begins the overture and the curtain begins to pull open that my chest feels tight and my eyes fill with tears. I'm just so moved by all the effort and beauty that these humans are going to give us. We talked about it on the way home...Mozart could have sat beside us and aside from the electric "candles," that was his opera, just as he intended it.
This was all Callum's doing (although I did check to see what operas the VA Opera was putting on), and he pushed us to bypass other obligations to go. I'm so glad we did it. It was so good to do as a family and to keep doing. The Magic Flute comes in November. I can't wait to go again.