Mar 23, 2003

So this is slipping into every other day mode, but hopefully it’s just temporary. Yesterday was kind of wash as Phil is still visiting and Beth is driving him all over the greater Boston area. Today was more of the same, but she was able to ditch him for a few hours. But enough about them. Friday night I went to see Tosca, a rare (maybe first-time) event in that I saw two operas in the same week. I think Tosca is the only one of the four major Puccini operas I haven’t seen live, having missed my chance back in college. One of the girls on my floor, Vera, and I decided to get tickets to as many operas as we could, and me being the advance planner that I am picked out which days looked promising for each opera before school had even started in the fall, and mailed the list to Vera to ask her what she thought. I never heard back from her, so I figured she’d decided to opt out, which was fine. Then on moving in day I ran into her and the first thing she asked was “Did you get your tickets yet?” to which I replied “What!” Apparently she had taken my recommendations and gone and bought herself a set of tickets for those dates. So I had to haul my opera-going ass down to the Lyric box office and try to scrounge whatever seats were still available for those same nights. I managed to get four of the five (including Tristan), but the only one that was sold out completely was Tosca, so I never saw it. As it turned out, her mother was able to score a ticket somehow and she went with her instead. For the next two seasons I just bought myself a subscription and that was that.

Anyway, this Tosca Friday night was very good, in spite of being in Northeastern’s Blackman Auditorium, which has all the ambiance and acoustics of a lecture hall, because, well, it is one. But it makes for a relatively intimate setting, and even my Arts/Boston ticket was in the 16th row of the main floor, albeit way over to one side. There were enough empty seats that those of us in the peanut gallery could spread out a bit, which was good. The Cavaradossi was a little too much of a teddy bear for my taste, but he made a great sound. Scarpia and Tosca herself were both good. Hearing the music live you get a sense of the complexity of the score and how tenuous the connection is sometimes between the orchestra and the singers, with lots of offbeat phrasing and such, but it held together pretty well. My expectations for BAM aren’t terribly high, so I tend to come away pleasantly surprised, but I was short on sleep that evening and still didn’t have any trouble staying awake, which is saying something. I also ran into Phyllis Froeschle out in the lobby, who I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. I keep intending to subscribe to BAM but still haven’t done it yet, and this season was pretty promising and as a result of not subscribing I never did make it to their Percheurs des Perles in the fall. Next season BLO is doing Tosca, I think, so I get to hear it again.

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