Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Austin Lyric Opera’s production of Elixir of Love. If you live in Austin and you missed it, shame on you. I had seen Elixir of Love a few years ago and studied it in college, but I was totally blown away by Austin Lyric Opera’s production – particularly Rene Barbera, who played Nemorino. His rendition of “Una Furtiva Lagrima” (which is one of my all-time favorite arias for men) gave me goosebumps upon goosebumps.
As many of you know, I am a huge opera fan. I trained as a singer in high school – even toured a bit internationally as part of a group – before having to give it up in college (I couldn’t balance keeping up my singing with my rigorous engineering curriculum). Even though I had to give up highly technical operatic singing/training, I never gave up my appreciation for the art form – I even took a course on Opera my Junior year of college.
In the past seven years, I have seen over 25 operas. To call me an opera addict may be an understatement. By the end of this weekend, this year alone I will have seen four operas: Das Rhinegold by the Houston Grand Opera, Tosca and Elixir of Love by the Austin Lyric Opera, and – tomorrow night – Silent Night by the Fort Worth Opera. And it’s only May.
What else do I love about going to the opera (aside from the obvious: art, music, and dressing to the nines)? Introducing friends who have never before seen an opera to the opera. I was so happy to finally introduce my dear friend Danielle to opera last weekend – and to do so over such a splendid production! Spoiler alert: nobody dies (on stage) in Elixir of Love. I told her that ahead of time and warned her that that is not the norm in opera (the “swan song” is a thing for a reason). The first thing she said to me after the cast of Elixir of Love took their bow? “I can’t wait to see one where somebody dies.”
Ladies and gentleman (and opera lovers everywhere), I’ve brought one over to the dark side. Don’t worry: we have cookies.
Have you ever been to the opera? What’d you see?