This post is part of my
2022 Word Project. You can read what that’s about here.
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
We bought season tickets to the Nashville opera.
This is a new thing. We’ve never had season tickets to anything, let alone opera. Up until three years ago the only opera I ever saw was Madam Butterfly. Ralph took me to see it. I’m not sure if we were married or not, which just means it was a long time ago.
I don’t remember much about it, except like most operas it ended in tragedy and death.
I do remember crying.
Fast forward something like 25 or 30 years and suddenly Covid locked everything down so everyone had to improvise. The Met started streaming all its operas online for free. The only reason I knew this was because Ralph’s mother told me.
She loves opera and she had mentioned it to me enough times and told me to watch it that I watched it. I figured it would give us something to talk about that didn’t involve bread.
By the time lockdown was over I had seen pretty much every opera they streamed, some more than once, including a couple of paid specials that his mom gifted to me.
The specials were individual singers performing a specific piece from one of their shows. There was something weirdly creepy about watching these singers pour their heart and soul into a piece until its emotional crescendo carried you up into the clouds and then smashed you back down to earth, and then the music stopped to the sound of… absolutely nothing. Dead, audience-less silence.
I had my favorites. I liked La Bohème. I loved La Traviata and watched it multiple times with multiple casts. You can’t really watch opera and not watch Carmen.
One of my favorites was The Merry Widow, because I thought it was hilarious, and the lead was Renée Fleming who I could watch all day.
There was one that was super creative with all sorts of bright sets and shadows but I can’t remember what it was called. I tried looking it up but “super creative with all sorts of bright sets and shadows” doesn’t really net you much on Google.
Honestly, if you had told me four years ago that I would like opera AND spend money on it, I would have thought you were off your meds.
The season tickets we bought include four shows, none of which I’ve seen. Turns out you can see a whole lot and still have not seen a lot more.
The process of getting the tickets was so complicated I almost gave up and just watched another season of Survivor. I mean, you’d think someone would figure out how to compose a package deal for people based on actual reality.
Think about it. The two most likely options are: you want to buy season tickets for one person, like for yourself, or for someone else as a gift.
Or you want to buy season tickets for two people, so you can go with someone.
I’m sure there are other things, like parents with kids, but really, how many kids are going to the opera these days? They barely have the attention span to wait for a traffic light without scrolling Instagram.
If you buy the tickets to all four shows, you get one free ticket, but the ticket is only good for two of the shows, and also you don’t actually get the ticket until some unspecified time later, and if you want to buy another ticket for someone to go with you, you have to buy it separately after they go on sale publicly, at which point you incur fees.
I couldn’t possibly explain it without getting very boring but suffice it to say that to take advantage of the season tickets at the best price, I had to buy a subscription to all four shows for me, then buy Ralph a subscription to three shows, then designate my free ticket to the show he didn’t get.
There are other complications like parking passes and whether or not you want an aisle seat. It literally took me half a day, five phone calls, and two tries on the website before I could order these tickets, which, by the way, they MAIL to you like it’s 1988 or something.
Nothing is digital. Which is not the best thing for me, who tends to lose and/or forget and/or drop things into the bowl of meatloaf.
Anyway I’m looking forward to the shows.
In my excitement I went to the Met website to remind myself of some of the operas I liked and they have a yearly on-demand streaming service for $150. That’s a seriously good deal. Watch all the operas, any time I want? Like in the shower where I can sing along and sound almost as good?
Or on the Peloton?
I mean, I’m getting that, right?
I was going to ask Ralph what he thought but maybe I will just dare to buy.
He loves Carmen, too, so he’ll probably forgive me. I’ll just say it was a present to him, and he gets to let me watch for free.
Photo: Seriously, you didn’t think I was going to find a photo of an opera, did you? But I did find this guy, who is pretty theatrical and looks excited to see the show.