A Woman is Fickle like a Feather in the Breeze

November 20, 2006

Last Friday, Katie and I had the chance to have a great night out together. We don’t go on a lot of ‘date’ dates, and so it was wonderful to be able to just be all coupley and stuff. We had dinner at the local steakhouse Delaney’s, and afterward attended an opera. The Madison Opera Company’s premier performance of Rigoletto, to be specific. It was my first opera, and something Katie hasn’t had the chance to enjoy since she graduated from college. It was … definitely an experience.

Overture Hall, the large performing space we saw the show in, was very much like a modern and vertically quite tall version of the opera halls you see in old movies. There were box seats along both walls, and sweeping stadium-style seating, with not one, not two, but three balconies above the seating on the floor. Katie and I were alllll the way up, on the topmost balcony, but in the very first row. My mother, a wonderful person, very kindly gave the seats to us my birthday present.

The problem was, the designers of this audacious auditorium gave very short shrift to the people sitting in the front rows of their balconies. The views were incredible, of course. We could look straight down (well over 100 feet), and had commanding views of the stage. Up where we were, though, we were scrunched together with lots of people and had very very little leg room. It was less leg room than I’ve had on some airplanes, actually, which made my leg muscles very sad.

Even more disconcerting was the profound sense of vertigo this small walkway inspired when moving from our seats in the middle of the row out to the aisle. I have a fairly mild case of acrophobia, but it was going off like gangbusters that night. I was sweatily gripping the knee-high guardrail and doing a sort of squatty, shuffly sidle on every trip into and out of the row. All while trying, as best I could, to keep my face or butt out of people’s faces. *sigh*

The opera itself, when I wasn’t woozy or experiencing cramping in my legs, was fan-tastic. The singers were very expressive, and while there were subtitles I was surprised by how much of the context I could get just by listening to the performances. My long years spent watching subtitled movies and anime helped, I’m sure, as after a while I barely noticed my eyes flicking up to gather the context of what I was hearing.

The final act (wherein Rigoletto and his daughter head to the little shack on the water) was simply amazing, and (I know, I know, I’m sorry) it reminded me a lot of good moments from RPGs. There was a level of spontaneity that I don’t normally associate with productions like Opera.

“You hear the rogues inside plotting to kill your father.”
“I … will die for him!”
“You WHAT?”

Despite the somewhat uncomfortable situation, we had a lovely evening, and a quite memorable one.


One comment

  1. Hi sweetie, sorry about that. Didn’t realize the seats were that high up, thought the first row would be cool. I hope you let the music help your legs :)

    Love you,


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