And I'm not referring to the night Eleanor Steber played the Continental!
People who know me well were placing bets on how soon after our arrival I'd be dragging poor long-suffering Laurent off to our first opera. Well we arrive on Monday July 30 at 0800 and should be taking our seats at the Thermes de Caracalla on Friday August 3 at 2100. That's a good 109 hours after our arrival, quite long enough in my opinion.
I booked tickets at Charta On-line for a performance of Puccini's Turandot. I'm not sure I'll be doing that too often, there was a surcharge of 14 euros ($28.00) per ticket for "Internet service" so I may just stand in line at the box office when I want tickets for anything else, maybe even stopping for a leisurely "ombre" at a local cafe on my way back home.
Every summer the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma present opera and ballet amidst the spectacular ruins of the old Baths. The biggy is always Aida with horses, elephants - and I am told one year a giraffe - though what they have to do with poor Aida pining for her Patria by the Nile I'm not sure. These days the singers are often not the big divas and divos but its really more about the spectacle, a warm Roman summer night and the setting.
I've been told that this production of Turandot is unusual in that we don't get the entire population of China decked out in courtly splendor screaming for Calaf's head. Apparently it is more intimate though its hard to imagine intimate at Caracalla. I'm looking forward to it.
While looking on YouTube for videos of Caracalla I came across this newsreel footage of an opening night Aida at Caracalla in 1962. Stella, Simonato, Bergonzi - big operatic names at the time, were performing and the audience was filled with B-grade celebrities of the day.
It gives you an idea of the size of the stage and the spectacle. And that announcer cracks me up - he must be going for a speed record.