Wednesday, February 15, 2006

What I Did Yesterday...

M's letters are going so slowly. 100 different letters for 100 different people. Those reports sit still unsent.

Today, I smell of hospital because my arm hurts and I have had to anoint it and bandage it up.


Anyway, in the evening I got all dressed up - yes I DID go out!!!

I put on my little black cocktail dress, black diamond tights, black knee-length high-heeled boots, and a sage-green Russian-style bolero with faux-fur trim.

I went to the Arts Club for an evening of Opera in Love. When I got there and handed in my coat, the staff sent me upstairs with a glow because a couple of waiters were standing outside the dining room and said, "You look very pretty this evening." I smiled and thanked them shyly, continued up the staircase and the evaluation continued something like: "Yes isn't she looking lovely?" "Oh indeed she is."

I was tickled pink and it showed. As I waited beside someone not much older than I to enter the drawing room, she said, "You look sweeter than I do, maybe you can flutter your eyelashes and get us a free drink!"

Three students from Trinity College - a tenor, a mezzo soprano, and a pianist - performed some pretty love arias from popular operas. I didn't see a programme so this will be a struggle. You'd know them if you heard them...

Mozart: le Nozze di Figaro & la Clemenza di Tito
Beethoven: Fidelio
Puccini: Nessun Dorma (Turandot), O mio babbino caro (La Boheme), something from Tosca...
Verdi: la Traviata, the bit where Don Alfredo tells Violetta he loves her and she says forget it
plus a gorgous Chopin barcarolle in the middle
The encore was the drinking song from la Traviata

When I arrived, the room was full; my flatterer and I snagged the last chairs in the room. The head of the Opera Circle, V, had invited me at the Xmas ball, and the chair next to her was empty so she waved me over. It was at the front and I could almost touch the singers. (They had sung at V and P's wedding last month.)

For the first time ever, I understood the words. Nothing got lost because we were in such an intimate setting, so even the people at the back got it all. But when they hit the loud notes I literally got plastered into my seat and felt myself unpeeling afterwards.

Hearing the Chopin I was reminded of how much I love to hear his music performed live.

Beaming with appreciation, some of us made our way downstairs to the dining room where the Opera Circle attempted to sit together.

There was a set menu and I chose:

1) split pea soup
2) roast guinea fowl in a creamy watercress sauce
3) passion fruit mousse surrounded by diced mango, papaya, and pomegranate seeds

Someone shared a bottle of sweetish dry white wine with me. I skipped the espresso, as it was late and nearly 11pm when I got home.

Rather shockingly, I discovered P and another lady, who we were all meeting for the first time, were cognitive and organisational development pyschologists, respectively. I thought I had escaped all that! After an initial conversation about architecture, art deco, and which museums to join, we descended into a discussion about my pet subject, birth order, with a bit of neuropsychology. Get out...!

Finally, I wrote a poem called First Desire, which you can read if you visit my quiet blog, Your Eyes Only.


Jia Li said...

have I seen this post eariler

Olivia said...

Yes JL you did - on 20six, you silly goose!

Rebecca said...

O Mio Babbino Caro is from Gianni Schicchi (comic opera, great laugh!)

Was La TRaviata aria Croce e Delizia? Or the one before that? Oooh, La TRaviata has to have some of the most beuatiful music!

Olivia said...

Oops, got my stories mixed up.
Oh yes, thanks for the remind - it was that very aria! I found it quite sad that he thought so...

I saw la Traviata at Verona but the atmosphere alone was so distracting that i remember none of it, except it was modern and there were giant cards and a big scary doll onstage. Plus the live horse in Il Trovatore, and the pipe pyramid in Aida.

Michelle said...

Sounds exciting, and your ensemble sounds gorgeous! Someone gave me a few boleros for my birthday but I never wear them. I rarely dress up at all and they don't pair well at all with anything but a sleeveless. I've tried tank tops but the effect was faaaar less than stunning.

Prerona said...

hey, i'll republish the tag thing. u do urs and then i'll hide it again. lol

i'm down today. planning to apply for a masters this year - just dunno how and where to begin. feel overwhelmed! lol - why did god make me so lazy?

Steliano Ponticos said...

wow...I went to a jazz concert..I am just back..but you did much better

Steliano Ponticos said...

I was trying to play a part of la traviata the other day..SO HARD

Rebecca said...

I only saw La Traviata once, but it was at The Met in NY and it was stunning! Aaah. I wore a floor-length evening gown and pearls, and it was my first ever time at the Met. A dream!

Olivia said...

Michelle - Londoners know how to break the rules when it comes to clothing. Boleros are everywhere and they now go with everything! It took me a long time to adjust but I'm getting there.

Prerona - really it would be easier to email me!
A Master's? Ha. Tell me about it...
Hope you cheer up tomorrow.

Steli - and I am supposed to go out tonight too. Meeting up with some bloggers again at another pub. But it's way on the other side of town...So in that respect your jazz club sounds better.
Stick to singing from La Traviata - I must say it was odd hearing orchestral arrangements modified for the piano.

Rebecca - awesome, bella! It's not often people dress up to go to the opera/symphony/theatre anymore.

M. said...

Glad you got dolled up and had a fun time! I love most of those arias.

*sigh* Yup, missing the big city life.


Jia Li said...

not the only one Mers.

death said...

nice flowers on the blog

M. said...

Well, when I move back to a big city, you can come visit, J. :)