The sky was overcast; the chill of fall was in the air. The flowers in the Park & Tilford gardens besides the movie house are still in color and the horse chesnut trees in the Chinese garden are a brilliant orange. A perfect morning to settle into my regular seat, D1, and watch this morning’s projection from the MET of Boris Godunov. And during the intervals to walk slowly around the gardens enjoying the last of summer.
Inside the movie house, we thrilled to grand opera. Magnificent music, magnificent singing, and dramatic staging. Maybe the costumes were a bit overdone. It probably cost more to clothe the singers than is cost to clothe the Tsar and his entourage. The clothes seemed to take up the seemingly small space of the stage.
All leads, except Boris (Rene Pape) were Russian. I can follow Italian, German, and French in the opera—along with supertitles. But Russian is just a conglomerate of sound, strange sound. Thus I have previously found Russian operas opaque. Same problem this morning, although the fact that most leads had deep voices (bass and baritone) made for auditory pleasure. You forgive all non-word-understanding, however, when you listen to the music. It tells you everything that is going on in the minds of the protagonists. The MET orchestra did a superb job–although some credit must go to the sound system at the movie house.
Along with me to this morning’s opera was a fellow from work whom I persuaded, over drinks the other night, to try opera for the first time (part of my campaign to make it more popular.) Always interesting to see how the first-time opera go-er responds. To his credit he was thrilled. “You can see where so much modern movie music comes from,” was one of his comments. Funny how we have to relate something new to something known. He wants to see more opera, so we succeeded in bringing another into the fold.
With which I close down for the day, having completed the PowerPoint presentation for next week to a group of mine managers on things mining. Except for a few more photos of the Park & Tilford gardens. Come see them sometime; they are small but beautiful.