We have our box at the opera this year but unfortunately it doesn't include the season's opening production - Tosca directed by Franco Zeffirelli. Zio Franco is still a big draw around these parts - even if recent pronouncements he's made in the papers sound like he may be, how shall we say, losing it just a bit. We want to see this "new" Zio Franco production even if it is a rehash of the Callas 1964 one from Covent Garden or the Met's elevator mad one, just to see real solid sets and not steeply sloped floors with sticky out bits. Guaranteed with Zio Franco if the libretto says Act I - Church of Sant'Andrea delle Valle you'll get the Church of Sant'Andrea delle Valle.
So when tickets went on sale for the season this morning I headed down to Piazza Beniamino Gigli to get us some seats.
The Box Office opened at 1000 I arrived at 1130 and joined this crowd:
And received this slip of paper from a kindly gentleman ensconced in the corner:
He wasn't a member of the Opera House staff - just an opera lover who was going to make damned sure everyone got their turn based on when they arrived. And wonder of wonders it was working except they were just calling number 85 and 86 when he handed me mine.
I figured it would be a long wait so left to do a bit of window shopping and book buying. I returned an hour later and they had just called number 106. An hour after that and they were up to number 162. In conversation with the man who had number 446 we decided we'd be lucky to get to the box office window by tomorrow. In the meantime I had been back and forth to Termini hoping to meet our friend Jack when he arrived on the airport train.
He called to say his flight had arrived late, he had waited an hour to get his bag and he was in the line up for train tickets. An hour later he called to say he had just got his ticket and would be on the next train. The final trip to the Opera House indicated that they were "Now Serving Number 187."
In the meantime I thought I'd buy the stamps I need for my Residence Permit at the Station Post Office while I was waiting. And surprise I ran into another line up.
It just seemed to be a day for line ups. I didn't get my tickets for Tosca nor the stamps for my Permit but I did manage to pick Jack up so at least something was accomplished. Mind you we had to line up for 10 minutes for a cab.
03 gennaio - Santa Genoveffa