Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The other day a friend and I were lamenting things that were disappearing - such as phone booths. One of the things that I think will eventually disappear is classical opera. I think my generation did not gain an appreciation for this art form, and the following generations barely know of it.
My love of opera goes back a long time. My mother used to listen to nothing but classical music when I was a very small child. On Sundays after our noon meal, we were all required to be quiet for an hour. Mom would turn on the old radio - a big brown amazing instrument, taller than I at the time, with fascinating dials, knobs, and strange noises. She would tune to a classical program, the one I remember most was called "Intermezzo" and it came to mind just last Sunday as I was posting a video of one so-named piece. Many classical melodies were familiar to my ears long before I learned to love other types of music. I never lost that early love.
Not many people I know share my love of opera - except my ex-husband, who probably was more passionate about opera than almost anyone I know. His favorites were by Puccini, particularly "La Boheme". We were season tickets holders for many years for the local opera companies. We listened to the Met broadcasts on Saturdays. We had an extensive CD and DVD collection.
I recently took myself out to see a movie, "Atonement". I went alone as no-one could go with me that evening and I was determined to see it. It was a good movie, but at one point, as the young man is writing a love letter, he is playing a recording of a love duet from La Boheme. It took me by surprise, and touched me deeply and somewhat painfully to hear that beautiful duet. Certain operas will trigger for me reminders of happier times and regret for all we lost, I know.
But I am determined not to give up listening to opera and I believe I will get past those difficult feelings. The Utah Opera just announced the selections for the next season. The Utah Festival Opera will be doing Aida and Manon Lescot in the summer. I plan to see them.