What We Feel and What We Mean
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Night at the Opera

I personally walked into the Opera that day with a negative attitude. I had a huge exam early next morning and the last thing I wanted to do was be in the middle in Manhattan until late at night and get home a 1am. Also from all the media that has brainwashed me over the years, I thought the Opera wouldn’t be interesting to me since it’s always portrayed as a “rich” people thing and all I would feel the whole night is the high pitched voices of people.

I however was wrong, and even with the negative attitude I came in, the art of Opera itself proved to me how magnificent it was. I was already speechless as I approached the building. The lights sparkled and the fountains were beautiful. As I walked in elegance just screamed from the place. The stairs were a milky marble white with an elegant red carpet on top. People who came often made their ways up the stairs. I myself had to stop and absorb my surroundings. A huge chandelier hanged from the center and as you got up the stairs you could peer from the balcony the grandeur of the place. After just simply admiring the place, I found my seat. Even though we were pretty high up, I found myself pretty comfortable and it wasn’t hard to see the stage at all. The only thing was that the people were smaller but I could still clearly tell what was going on the whole night.

As the lights dimmed, this anticipation grew in me even though I came in with no anticipating at all. The atmosphere of sitting in there was completely different from sitting in a movie theater. Everyone expected total respect from everyone else and it was a no nonsense atmosphere. When the lights finally turned off I could see on the curtains of the stage a woman. It was somewhat eerie in the  beginning to see this woman’s face projected on the curtain. It was also interesting how they did this whenever it was intermission. Natasha who sat next to me was especially disturbed by the projection of the woman.

My favorite part of the opera was the orchestra. I have a great appreciation for music since I used to be a musician myself. The orchestra was simply beautiful. I could close my eyes and hear the sounds coming together. From the orchestra itself you can tell what’s happening with the actors because it’s the orchestra that sets the mood. Another thing that impressed me was the scene changes. I’ve never been to an opera before so I was really surprised when they just moved the furniture and placed new things right in front of us. Usually in school plays and stuff they would close the curtain or make it completely dark for a minute to change the set. What impressed me even more was how natural the scene change was. It took them like 20 seconds as all the actors on stage would simply just take a piece of the set with them like it was nothing. The way they set the subtitles in the Opera was also really interesting. In the very beginning I kept thinking to myself, why I was the only one reading the subtitles? My friend however told me she was reading it too and I was like how is that possible your screen is completely dark. I however looked over and saw in fact the subtitles were on. It showed me how much consideration the people made in order to make everyone’s opera experience great. They didn’t want the light from the subtitles to interfere with everyone’s experience.

Last but not least are the amazing voices of those who were a part of the opera. I have never been so impressed with people I don’t really understand. I didn’t really read the subtitles that much because I already knew the plot and only looked at them once in awhile when I truly didn’t get what was happening. The whole time I was just listening to people sing in French and it felt like I understood it in a way. The voices they have just wrap around you. It wasn’t hard to hear them at all even though we were so far away. When Marina Poplavskaya who played Marguerite hit her high notes I was stunned yet scared for her voice. It was amazing to listen to these people sing without losing their breath or falling out of tempo.

All in all I had a great time at the Opera and enjoyed Faust immensely. I remember not wanting to stay in the Opera for about 4 hours but when I was actually there I was surprised each time intermission came in because time passed by so fast. Having this experience gave me a new found appreciation of a different type of art. I would go to the Opera again if given the chance to in the future.


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