What We Feel and What We Mean
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The Metropolitan Opera: Faust

I had rushed to the Metropolitan Opera because I misunderstood the time the opera was actually going to start but thankfully I made it just in time. I was entranced by the grand, red, velvet staircase that led my up to my seat. As I was going up, I also noted all the different types of people that attended this event. There were obviously very wealthy people but many “normal” middle class people were there as well. The opera is truly an event enjoyed and admired by all.

I admit that I was kind of scared as I was going up to my seat (I’m deathly afraid of heights!). The auditorium was so grand that I thought I was going to fall right down but I calmed down to take in everything that was going on around me. I think the best part about our seats was that we could actually see the whole auditorium. If we were up in the front, I do not think we could have actually seen how gorgeous it really was. I was amazed at how beautiful the intricate chandeliers looked as they went up to the ceiling when the opera started.

Throughout the first two acts, I did not know how to get the translator screen in front of me to work so I just relied on the facial expressions of the actors and the tone of the music to get an understanding of what was going on. The music is obviously an integral part of the opera but I did not realize how much of an impact it would have on me. By not reading the translator, I got to fully appreciate the music. I could not believe the sound that one sole person could emit. Their singing literally filled up the whole auditorium! Their musical range was pretty amazing. Not to mention the orchestra. Listening to the orchestra was my favorite part of the whole performance. Each different component of the orchestra is so important to the overall sound of the orchestra. Its kind of like the saying “there is so such thing as a small role” but in this case I think it truly applies.

Now for the actual plot of the play. Because of my confusion with the translator in the first two acts, I was kind of confused in the beginning but I eventually got the gist of what was going on. The concept of the plot was interesting. I think Dr. Ugoretz mentioned this before but it reminded me of Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. I also thought the props and stage were set up beautifully. They moved through and between the scenes so swiftly. In a matter of minutes a beautiful new setting was in place.

Would I rather watch an opera on television? Most definitely not! I would not feel the music, orchestra, actors, auditorium or the people around me.  In that case we might as go through life watching everything on a television screen. For example, traveling to another country in person versus watching someone on a travel channel are two completely different experiences.

I was really excited to visit the opera and I am glad to say that it lived up to my expectations. The grandeur of the auditorium, the stage/set design and the orchestra truly amazed me.


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