Monday, April 21, 2008

Mimosas and Floria Tosca

Sunday afternoon was the final performance by the Knoxville Opera of Puccini's Tosca. Met for brunch (and the attendant 25 cent mimosas) at DGB, then headed over, picked up our tickets at will call and made it to our seats, on the floor this time instead of the balcony. Although the angle was not optimum for viewing the stage, the closer approach gave the opportunity to see the performers' facial expressions, something which came in tremendously handy when Tosca sang of her painful choice regarding Baron Scarpia. I was moved almost to tears, able to feel her bitter anguish. "The loving Tosca is a prisoner...." She cried out to God, forlorn and forsaken, and when her trembling form finally fell silent and collapsed to the stage floor, the audience erupted into applause, and even I was not opposed to the unscheduled break in the story.
There were, of course, the occasional moments of unbridled idiocy (in case one forgot that one was in Tennessee). The woman behind us was constantly clinking her hefty metal bracelets together, and halfway through the third act, an older lady in the row in front of us decided it was a good time to use a lint roller on her blouse (because, as my friend pointed out, it's imperative to look one's best in the dark). Although I love tragedies (especially those, like Tosca, in which everyone dies), I still am less than enamored with Puccini's treatment of his villain, Scarpia; we already know he's the bad guy, there is no need to sing about his desire to conquest women. But I forget that the character is not speaking to us, merely musing to himself.
After the performance, the boys and I headed over to Market Square to enjoy a beer and the sunshine on the patio of the Preservation Pub, and then went our separate ways. It was a pleasant end to a pleasant day, the highlight of my strenuous (and unfortunately stressful) week.

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