“Turandot” 10/3/2012 – Shumaila

On Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012, I went to my first Opera titled “Turandot”. The opera was about a princess who didn’t want to be controlled by any man. She composed a plan so that she would never get married. Any potential suitor would have to correctly answer the three riddles, and if they answered incorrectly, they were beheaded.
When I first got out of the subway terminal, and walked in to the hallway that led to the outside courtyard between the Metropolitan Opera House and the Julliard school, I was amazed by the overpowering scenery. I didn’t expect that the fountain, the building, and just the comprehensive setting would convey such an immense sense of appreciation for the arts.
During the Opera, seeing the orchestra perform live, was something I had never seen before. I watched in awe as the conductor directed the musicians so play their instruments. Watching the “Nessun Dorma” was definitely an amazingly emotion-filled experience. At the end, I was happy that Turandot was finally able to love the man that risked his life to prove that he was a suitable man for her. The colors of the stage, and how they changed the settings during the intermission was so interesting to me.
In conclusion, I loved how so many elements of the arts came together to form such an amazing production. The performers all acted in such harmony, each performing their numbers at the perfect moment. I can most definitely say that my first time at an Opera was an unforgettable experience, one that I will reminisce for the rest of my life.

Wednesday 10/3 Andrew Garafalo

This Wednesday I went to an opera for the first time in my life and it was a very interesting experience. The Metropolitan Opera House was a beautiful place that really took me by surprise.  I was in awe at the sights around me. Everything was very high class and formal. The story of “Turandot” was compelling and enjoyable. At the start, I felt a little confused and uninterested because it was very foreign and puzzling due to the language barrier. After I turned on the English subtitles, the play was much easier to understand and follow, and I became captivated. Although, looking back and forth between the chair and the stage was difficult. I was taken aback by the power and talent of the opera singers. Their endurance was truly admirable. The orchestra was also phenomenal! Seeing their live performance was truly amazing. I loved the rendition of “nessun dorma”. I had a refined appreciation for it after hearing Luciano Pavarotti perform it twice in class. I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend an opera, although I’m not sure if I would go to another for my own pleasure.

~My first Opera 10/3/12 Naomi~

On Wednesday October 3, 2012 I attended my first opera.  After watching clips of the opera in class and seeing commercials on tv for the Metropolitan opera I was excited to see Turnadot in person.  When we first arrived at the opera house I was in  awe of the foyer, everything from the high chandeliers, velvet red carpets, ornate costumes on display, and high wrapping staircases amazed me.

I enjoyed the first act of the opera and I was amazed that even without microphones the performer’s voices were able to carry all the way up to the highest balcony of the opera house where we were sitting.  Even though I enjoyed the first act I was a little disappointed that from our seats we were not able to see Princess Turnadot in her tower through the first act. During the first intermission I got my opportunity to walk down to the first floor orchestra seats with Professor Kahan, Elisa and Austin.  As the lights went down for the commencement of the second act Elisa and I were able to find seats in the third row  from the orchestra pit.

With my new seat I was able to see the entire stage in all of its glory.  I was able to see the intricate details of the set pieces, the shimmering jewels of Turnadot’s magnificent costume and the severe makeup on the performers faces.  I would never have had this magnificent experience from my original fourth balcony seat.

In the end my first opera experience was a very positive one.  I hope to return to the metropolitan opera soon, and I hope to share this experience with my family.



On Wednesday, October 3rd, we went to see the opera, Turandot, in lieu of having a class. I’d never been to an opera before and I’d also never even been to Lincoln Center, so I was definitely excited to take in all my surroundings. The place was absolutely beautiful and full of life, with people bustling about everywhere.

Once the opera started, the beautiful singing kept me engaged with the story. I was very impressed with all of the actors’ and actresses’ talent. Their voices were amazing. The orchestra played very well, complementing the singing perfectly. I noticed how the highs and lows of the story were accented by the music played by the orchestra. However, as impressed as I was with the singing, I didn’t really like the story itself. It just felt very impractical to me; I know it was written centuries ago, so to have expected it to be something more modern would have been outrageous, but regardless, I found it extremely hard to relate to and I just didn’t really enjoy it.

All in all, however, it was a worthwhile experience. I found the place breathtaking and I truly appreciated the music in the opera. I don’t think I ever expected to be able to say this, but I would definitely like to go back and watch another opera at some point in the future.

Corinna K. 10-3-12

On Wednesday we went to the Metropolitan Opera and saw Tourandot.  Being that this was my first opera, everything truly fascinated me.  So many people showed up and seemed excited.  This was a bit surprising due to my prior belief that opera was no longer something people were interested in.  Not only did people show up, but they also got dressed up, wearing gowns and suits along with their flashiest accessories.  They actually complimented the Metropolitan Opera, which was a very extravagant and classy building with beautiful chandeliers and red velvet stairs that seemed to go on forever.  Once we got seated, I was excited to see the show that had all these people aroused.

Overall, I thought the show was very well written and rehearsed.  I loved the detailed and exorbitant costumes, and thought the props and choreography were perfect.  The singing was clearly done by professionals who, in my opinion, made singing opera seem simple.  As far as I could tell, they hit their notes and had enough power to be heard from the back of the auditorium.

Some thing I was not particularly fond of was how they used the character Liu.  She made a big deal about how she loved Calaf and later dies for him, but even then, she is still simply forgotten.  Her death is not made into a big deal, which made me wonder why they even put it in the script.  Another thing that made the opera a little less enjoyable was the fact that we were sitting so far away.  I wasn’t able to see the characters’ faces, and therefore their showing of emotions.  This definitely took away from the show/experience.  Also, I had a hard time going back and forth from looking at the translations to the stage.  Regardless, going to the Metropolitan Opera and watching my first opera was still a great experience, and one that I may want to repeat sometime in the future.

Turandot 10/3

Puccini’s Turandot was everything a good show should be; the opera was (very) dramatic, poetic, and even included some necessary comic relief.  Although the storyline seems a little far-fetched (the prince answers the three riddles and wins the contest, yet he gives Turandot an opportunity to get away and himself another chance of death), I think that is the charm of the opera and it contributes to the poetry.  Calaf does not want to force Turandot to marry him.  His goal is to melt her cold heart and take down the defensive gate she surrounded herself with.  In fact, this is apparent in her wardrobe.  When we are introduced to Turandot, she is wearing many layers of sparkly clothing and a tall crown.  As Turandot spends more time with Calaf and begins to warm up, she loses the outside layers of her clothing and headpiece, a metaphor for losing her defensive borders.

I was also amazed by the opera’s incredible scenery.  The short intermissions did not seem like enough time to set up the detailed and intricate settings that were built.  I also noticed how the orchestra contributed to the storyline and subliminally let the audience know how they should be feeling.  The slow, sweet music indicated a calm, touching scene, and hurried, sharp tones signified panic in the city.  Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the opera, and I am excited to see another!

10/03/12- The Opera

Wow! I can’t believe that I went to an opera! When I read through the syllabus for this class, I was dreading the fact that I had to go see Turandot. I thought that it was going to be really boring. I thought I’d be totally lost, since it is in a different language. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

Even with our little bit of confusion and disorder leaving CSI, we managed to make it there in plenty of time. When I came up the escalator from the subway, I was amazed! Lincoln Center looked absolutely beautiful at night!! The only time I had really seen it was during the day and, honestly, I had no clue that THAT was Lincoln Center. After meeting up with my friends, we went inside the opera hall. What another amazing sight. The decor was stunning, and a lot to take in. When we finally walked all the way up to the nosebleeds, we found our seats and Act I began. Act I was hard to see, considering the distance. It also didn’t help that he upper part of the stage was covered by the curtains. This part of the opera seemed more like background explaination than story telling. I wasn’t impressed.

During the first intermission, Elisa, Naomi, Professor and I went down to the orchestra level to find empty seats. I found a seat in Row C, on the floor, and settled in for Act II. I was hoping that this would improve my opera experience. When the curtain opened for the start of Act II, the stage was mind-blowing. The amount of craftsmanship and effort put into the backdrop was incredible. I could not believe my eyes! Being closer to the stage, I was able to get more involved in the story. I started to enjoy the opera.

By Act III, I was hooked. The much anticipated aria, “Nessun Dorma,” was breathtaking. Marcello Giordani did an excellent job filling the piece with emotion, hitting the notes with ease. I’m sure it must be difficult to sing a piece made famous by Pavarotti, as comparisons will always be made.  For my first opera experience, however, I went in a skeptic and left a fan.

I absolutely enjoyed attending the opera. I think that it was a wonderful experience, one I definitely would not have had in my forseeable future. I would like to thank Macaulay for taking us. It was a beautiful choice. It was great spending by birthday evening with all of my friends seeing Turandot.


Wednesday night, we went to go see Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera. I can honestly say that even though I didn’t think I would ever go to an Opera, I actually enjoyed it. Every aspect of the Opera that we learned about in class came together to create a beautiful creation that I will always remember.

Before Monday’s class, I had always associated Opera with a man in a fluffy costume yelling at people in angry languages. However, my viewpoint was completely turned around after that class. After learning about all the aspects of the Opera, I was impressed with all the work that was put into it and was excited to actually see the Opera. When we walked into the theater, I couldn’t believe the immense size of it. I had learned that the Opera singers did not use microphones, but I could not understand how a person could possibly fill an entire amphitheater with just their voice. However, as soon as the vocals started, I was blown away by the fact that everything was so clear and perfectly audible. I could hear every note sung as if the singer was sitting in the seat next to me. The performers’ talent was incredible.

As well as the singing, I was also very impressed by the overall experience of the opera. It really did tell a very visual story. When I looked down at the stage and saw 100 people walking around on a beautifully crafted stage with lamplight, I was awestruck. It didn’t look like some cheesy play; rather, it truly looked realistic. The orchestra hit every note with feeling and emotion that perfectly complemented what was going on on stage. Overall, it was a great new experience for me.

10/3/12- The Opera

On Wednesday, October 3rd, both seminar classes went to the Met in New York City to see the opera Turandot. Unlike most of my classmates, I knew exactly what to expect as I got off the subway and walked up the stairs to the fountain in front of the Met. Last year I saw the opera The Barber of Seville and I loved it. It was such a great experience. Since I had a great time at last year’s opera, I didn’t mind seeing another opera this year. In fact, I was excited. The Met was just like I remembered. There were many people surrounding the beautiful fountain outside the Met, people were dressed their best, and the chandeliers  inside the Met were just as stunning as the first time I saw them. I loved the elegant atmosphere.

Then it was time for the opera to begin. I found my seat and waited for the curtain to be lifted. Turandot is an Italian opera about a princess who lives in China and tries to find her prince and true love. They way in which she finds him is through solving riddles. If the man solves the three riddles, he has won her love. However, if he does not, he is to be beheaded. In the end, Calaf wins her heart and marries Turandot. Once again, I had a great experience at the opera. The orchestra and the music, along with the voices of the performers, were truly amazing. The costumes and the stage decor were also unbelievable. Even though I do understand and speak Italian, it was still difficult to understand some of the words the performers were trying to say. As a result, i put the Italian subtitles on and followed word for word what the performers were singing. This made it much more enjoyable and easier to understand. All of these factors combined to make an unforgettable night.


Oh my gosh! The opera was amazing! I’ve watched telecasts of a few operas and I’ve listened to one or two on the radio but actually being at the Met is a completely different experience. My mother and I have bought tickets to see Adia by Verdi because I really want to see another opera before the year is over. On the way home, I was humming Nessun Dorma. I knew the opera would be great but I was still blown away by everything. I’m not exaggerating when I say everything.

So much goes into making an opera and it’s clear to see. One thing I would like to know is how the singers get together to practice and how the opera is choreographed because the singers usually don’t speak the same native language. Hilba Gerzmava (Liù) is from Russia, Maria Guleghina (Turandot) is from the Ukraine, Marco Berti (Calàf) is from Italy, and James Morris (Timur) is from the States. I wonder how they were able to practice when they don’t speak the same native language. I guess that doesn’t matter because they all share the love of opera. It’s also pretty amazing that no matter where you are seated in the Met, you can hear the singers just fine. However, there were a few moments when you could tell that the singers were pushing their voices even though it didn’t sound strained.
There were so many people on stage sometimes and some of the scenes had some intense choreography that obviously required hours upon hours of practice.  The musicians complemented the performers so well and it’s pretty amazing that I was able to hear flutes from where I was sitting. The costumes and sets were so beautiful and I was taken aback when Act II Scene II began and the beautiful palace and princess were revealed. The costumes had so many intricate details, which showed me that the Met wants everything to be perfect.

I can’t wait for Wednesday so, I can hear what everyone else loved about the opera. It was so nice hearing people talking about it on the bus ride home and I’m glad that we all went because I think a lot of people who didn’t think they would enjoy the opera actually loved it.

– Amber G