On Thursday I had my first experience at the opera, and I think I'm hooked. The sets! The costumes! The drama! Those piercing high notes that fill the entire auditorium! Chills!
The video doesn't do it justice, but oh my goodness... hearing her exquisite voice heard live was just beyond. I was completely and totally enthralled, in awe, entranced, etc.
I've always wanted to go to the opera, and when I saw this season's lineup at the Minnesota Opera one in particular stood out to me: Silent Night. It was inspired by the film Joyeuse Nöel, which depicts the true story of French, Scottish and German soldiers who called a truce on Christmas Eve 1914. They exchanged provisions, sang Christmas carols and buried their dead, only to have to continue trying to kill their now-humanized "enemy" once the truce was over.
Before the show we had a short chat with the composer and librettist, who called WWI, "the stupidest war ever." The 20th Century had been going so well, and WWI tipped off a series of events that led to so much hate and destruction. When I had my French history class in Paris in 2006, one of our field trips was to Verdun, where hundreds of thousands of French and German soldiers died during an 11-month battle. You can still see the tips of bayonets poking up through the grass in a chilling reminder of all the wasted lives whose remains were below.
The opera drives home the tragic futility of war... once these men got to know one another as decent humans, with loved ones at home and so much to live for, rather than the enemy, how could they go on with the senseless killing?
If you've never been to an opera before, I think Silent Night is the perfect first taste. To help you get there, the Minnesota Opera has generously offered Francey Pantsers an incredible deal to see this Tuesday's performance for $20. Go. Seriously. You will not regret it.
The fine print: Limit up to 4 seats regularly priced $50- $110. Online: Enter blog20 and click “Add Coupon”. You will see your savings applied. Do not complete order if coupon does not load. Service charges and other restrictions may apply. Offer valid for the 11/15 performance only. Offer expires 11/15. For additional information call the Ticket Office at 612-333-6669, M-F, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.