Friday, January 22, 2010

Your First Time



Do you remember your first time? Of course you do. The first time will always be special and something you won't easily forget for the rest of your life. So on this sunny and beautiful day in Vancouver, we ask:

So, how old were you...When you watched your first opera? What was it? And where did you do the deed?

Here's our Facebook friends reminiscing:

Jo Thomas - Barber of Seville. I was 18 and it was at the Queen Elizabeth Theater in Vancouver.

Sunny Shams - Rigoletto. I was 17 and it was the Pacific Opera Victoria production in the Royal Theater.

James McQuillen - Die Walk├╝re at Dallas Opera. I was 16 and was blown out of my seat.

Diana Maureen Sandberg - Mme. Butterfly, 9yo, San Francisco Opera House. I was horrified by the final scene; can still clearly see the blindfolded little boy sitting placidly, waving a flag, as his mama collapses on the stage. My experience of live theatre was quite limited up to then; it was quite a revelation.

Marc van Bree - Parsifal at the Wiener Staatsoper with Placido Domingo. Had to wait in line for 5 hours to buy the standing room tickets for a couple of Euro, then had to stand another 5 hours for the actual opera. But I loved it.

I think it was the second or third date with the girl that's now my wife. I remember when I told my mother I went to the opera, she asked: "Who's the girl?"

Luis Bernhardt - 1971, War Memorial Opera House, SF. I was a 20-yr-old music student in Oakland, and they let us see the opera for free in exchange for serving as ushers. That night it was the legendary Leontyne Price as Giorgetta in Il Tabarro. I was too much a newbie to really appreciate her performance, darn! The other half of the evening was Carmina Burana done... as a stunning scenic oratorio complete with dancers and a huge chorus costumed in monks' hooded robes. It was the most stunning thing I had ever seen...

I also saw a production of Butterfly in the early 70's, but at the Oakland Auditorium. I think in those days it was standard practice that the child be blindfolded and handed an American flag. I thought this was very relevant and touching, especially in those Viet Nam War days. I wonder why they stopped doing this?

Diana Maureen Sandberg - (responding to Luis Bernhardt)- apparently it was also the custom in 1957

Jarod Smith - Pagliacci/Suor Angelica, COC @ O'Keefe Center - 1990 (i think)

Jennifer Lee - Madama Butterfly. 17 years old. Queen Elizabeth Theatre!

Dan Hanoomansingh - Salome at QE Theatre last year, 15 y/o

Sabrina Martini - La Traviata. 24 yrs @ Vienna State Opera House in balcony seats!

Andre Prevost - Pagliacci. 11 y/o. B/W CBC broadcast with Jon Vickers...I date myself!

Max Ipinza - Aida in BC Place when I was 4 years old


And not to forget our Twitter friends:

@musicbizkid - (a) Turandot (b) 19 (c) UNH's Johnson Theater

@operatuck - Boheme. 9. Vancouver Opera. Still here!!

@operaincinema - La Boheme (only the first act!), six, at Austin Opera!

@jamesrodgersNZ - Simon Boccenegra, 18, New Zealand International Arts Festival. Great production and amazing cast.

@jazz2midnight - Flying Dutchman, Seattle Opera, 17

Thanks again for playing Lunchtime Poll and taking a stroll together down memory lane!

~ Ling Chan

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