Tuesday, 23 August 2011

August Opera Challenge Day Twenty Three: Best Opera To See With A Lover

For the first time in the August Opera Challenge, I'm completely at a loss. There are so many operas full of romance and passion, but not many of them end that well. The only operas I have been on dates to are Verdi's La Traviata and Wagner's Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg. I suppose it depends what kind of atmosphere you're looking for, but neither of those are exactly ideal- La Traviata is a real heartbreaker, and Die Meistersinger is many hours long. The way I see it, you have two choices- something light hearted and lovely (Le nozze di Figaro?) or something along the lines of La Traviata (full of sexy passion but with a very unhappy ending). I'm sort of edging towards the latter, because at least you'll get to experience some really intense, romantic music and a poetic libretto, even if you do need a hanky at the end.

So Puccini's La Boheme. One of the world's most popular operas. It's very accessible, so if your companion isn't an experienced opera attendee then they'll still enjoy it, and it's definitely full of passion (has any composer written about love better than Puccini?) If it's a first date, then you'll relate well to Mimi and Rodolfo, although apart from the initial magic between them, you probably shouldn't take too much inspiration from their love story. If you're as skint as they are, you could just stay in and watch the wonderful film featuring Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon. And the best bit? If you realise by the glorious O soave fanciulla that what you feel for the person sitting next to you doesn't come close to what's emanating from the stage, at least you've saved yourself a whole lot of heartache...

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