Saturday, February 5, 2011

Turandot and David Hockney ツーランドットとホックニー

Turandot. This Puccini's masterpiece is one of my favorites, and I have seen it many times at the Met in New York, but I could never get tired of it. We found out that Turandot was at the San Diego Opera the night before the show, so we bought whatever tickets left that night... and of course they were good but expensive Orchestra seats. "It will be my Valentine's gift for you," my sweet husband said. "Great!" I booked the tickets right away!


I was a little nervous before the show. I was afraid that I might be disappointed... in any ways: I grew up with operas. My mother was a singer (amateur) and sang often. My father was a patron at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and we used to go to the Met every Friday for many years during the seasons. As a small child it was rather a torture. Sitting and listening to people scream for 3 hours was not quite fun for me. I remember making excuses often not to go to the opera. Then when I grew up I began to love the operas, but ironically I could not afford myself to buy the best seat that I was used to! Anyway, my point is that I grew up with the best operas in New York, so I was afraid to see anything less and to be disappointed.

実は私、オペラの前に少しナーバスになっていました。オペラに囲まれて育った私。母はアマチュアですが歌をよく歌っていて、父はニューヨークのメトロポリタンオペラのパトロンをしていました。オペラシーズンになると毎週金曜日はオペラ。子供にとって3時間もじっと座って皆が叫び声を上げ合うのを観るのは、拷問のように感じたものです。あれこれと言い訳をしてオペラに行かなくても良いようにしたのを覚えています。皮肉にも、大人になってオペラが大好きになってからは、子供の頃に座っていたような良い席を買えませんでした!笑 そして言いたかったのは、ニューヨークのベストを観て育ったので、それに劣るものを観てがっかりしたくなかったのです。

The show was spectaclar and one of the best I had ever seen. The set design was done by David Hockney. His colorful and whimsical paper-cut-out like design added a modern feeling to this ancient tale. Ian Falconer designed the costume, and I must say that I wanted to wear every single coat that he had designed - they were breathtakingly beautiful! At the San Diego Opera they show the translation above the stage. At the met the translation is in front of your seat. Wherever the translation is it is a good idea, and it helps the audience to understand better. When I was a child there was no translation during the opera, so you had to read and understand the story before the show (unless you understand Italian and German, etc.) The stage was much smaller than the Met, but I felt more connected to the performance, and certainly there was a good connection with the audience and the entire show.


Right before the opera we found out that my husband knew the exective director of the San Diego Opera, and we were invited to the VIP Tent during the intermissions. There were many tasty o'douves and desserts including some red-heart-cookies. The napkins and table cloth were red. The curtain was red. The carpet was red. David Hockney's stage was red. As I was enjoying some red cookies I looked down. Then here they were... my red velvet shoes matching the red carpet. What a beautiful and splendid evening with lots of red... Happy coming Valentine's Day to everyone!


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