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05 April 2016

Sydney: Part 3 - The Opera House

When I found out that Jon was taking me to Sydney, I was prepared to do just about anything to get tickets to the Opera.  Somehow, the weekend we were there, La Boheme was showing, which made it extra exciting as I've been wanting to see it for the last several years. We managed to snag some tickets, albeit in the nose bleed section, and off we went.

The opera house was gorgeous, especially since we arrived just as the sun was going down. Everything was all golden and beautiful, which seemed like a good omen for what lay ahead.

Things started off pretty well, although we apparently stuck out a bit from the crowd. Several opera house employees offered to take our photo and told us how great it was that we dressed up. That seemed like a weird compliment given that we were at arguably the most famous opera house in the world. But then we got inside and noticed that there were a lot of people in cut-offs and board shorts.

On the one hand, I love that people felt so uninhibited by tradition and just came as they were to enjoy a really beautiful art form. On the other though, my inner snob wants to yell "hey buddy, show a little respect!" This feeling was only made worse by a our seatmates talking and dropping beverages during the performance.

Ultimately, we just had to chalk it up to the fact that the Sydney Opera House is a tourist trap, for better or for worse. For some, this may be their first and last experience with opera, I did my best to bite my tongue and be grateful that they were financially supporting something I feel passionate about.  Without them, the opera house might not be able to stay open, and seriously, how sad would that be?!

Now, on to the show...

Generally speaking, I'm a big fan of Puccini. My absolute favourite opera of all time is Turandot. But, I gotta say, La Boheme didn't really do it for me. I'm not sure who is to blame for that... The performers all sang beautifully, the music was lovely, but there were some weird choices on the part of the director, and I'm tempted to point the finger in his direction.

For example, one scene was turned into a burlesque number. In the background some of the non-singing girls came out topless. This weirdly sexualised scene was bizarre-- like a cheap pandering ploy to make Puccini seem exotic to the tourists.

Needless to say I was not impressed.

Some of the casting choices also felt misguided as well, and overall Jon and I sort of left scratching our heads.

But we didn't let that get us down. Afterwards we walked out and this was our view! What a magical night.

We took a walk around Sydney Harbour and said goodnight and goodbye to this lovely city. It was a great way to end the evening and our trip. Til next time, Sydney!

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