Thursday, May 10, 2007

La Boheme

Earlier this week, Greg took me to see Puccini's La Boheme at the Seattle Opera. First, the important details: Greg scored free parking; I wore a little brown wrap dress with big white polka dots that I found for $25 last fall (think Minnie Mouse with cleavage); and Greg was dashing in a cool charcoal knit coat, a recent thrifty find.

McCaw Hall, recently rennovated, is a lovely space that greets its audience gently, neither too ornate nor overly stark. We checked out the art that adorns the lobby, including a large Mark Tobey collage, and my favorite, a Sarah Sze sculpture hanging in the atrium. We admired the Sze work from all angles: afar, underneath, and up-close as we ascended to the upper levels. From a distance, the geometric shapes combine into a delicate tornado. Up-close, you see that the structure is ornamented with measuring tapes, water bottles, carpenters' levels, extension cords, and plastic plants.

La Boheme is a great introduction to opera. It's light and funny, requiring little suspension of disbelief while carrying the audience through a romantic story to the heroine's imminent death. In a nutshell: poet meets crafter, they fall in love, and enjoy Bohemian Paris in a killer loft with great light. Mimi, the crafter, gets sick. Rodolfo, the poet, pushes her away so that she can hook up with a wealthier suitor to pay for her prescriptions. As Mimi gets sicker, she chucks her sugar daddy to return to her true love. Mimi dies, audience cries.

A timeless tale of the lack of access to health care and meager support for the arts. Beautifully performed with impressive sets. Now we just have to figure out how to get tickets for more performances next season. And try not to get tuberculosis.

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