21 April 2006

A loooOOOOOOoooooong night

I am crushed. Truly, utterly, and completely crushed. Remember when we went to the Opera Bastille, and I was one of two people wearing an evening gown? Tonight, we went to opening night of Bellini's Semiramide at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, which is located on the French version of Rodeo Drive (av. Montaigne) and I was the only person even remotely dressed up! Seriously, there were tons of people in jeans and t-shirts, toting along their shopping bags from their excursions earlier in the day. (One guy spilled the entire contents of his FNAC bag down the stairs during the first half of the opera. Sigh.) So, once again, I felt like a fool when I thought for sure that I would be in better company this time. I've never been happier to see the door to our little apartment.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the opera left a lot to be desired (like acting, for example). Colin didn't tell me until intermission -- 2 hours into the performance!! -- that the most important part of 19th century Italian opera is to showcase the beauty of the human voice, rather than to tell a story. Then, he let slip that we had another 1.5 hours to go! Oh man, what torture. We got home a little bit after midnight from a show that started at 7:30 pm. Ugh. I never thought I'd get "car butt" from sitting in a theater! Oh, and don't think that I took solace in the costumes or scenery: it was 100% black and white, save two red robes. (When the first red robe came on, I wanted to weep with joy.)

There's a country song that came out a few years back, entitled something to the effect of "I shaved for this?" Well, I thought about titling this blog with the same sentiment, except that I actually didn't shave for that. We had the start time wrong, so I had to hurry through my shower. So, take that, jean-wearing Frenchies! I may have worn an evening gown, but I had hairy legs, damnit. (Sigh. I wish I could say that "insult" made me feel better...)

ps Happy Birthday, Dad!


At 21/4/06 01:34, Blogger croust said...

Unfortunately, by not shaving her legs, Amy fit right in with all the women at the performance (except, probably, with the remarkable number of American tourists in attendance).

On the plus side, the singing was pretty impressive. The soprano who sang Semiramide (Alexandrina Pendatchanska) had a great voice...and a bust for which you didn't need opera glasses, even in the second balcony. Idreno (sung by Gregory Kunde) did a magnificent job in the second-act love scene. And Assur (Michele Pertusi) did a great job singing; his acting, however, was worse than Drake Hogestyn's.

At 22/4/06 03:38, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This phenomenon isn't only found in Paris, of course. It seems that dress codes have gone downhill amazingly in the last several years. Used to be that going to the symphony was cause to dress up, but now you see everything from jeans to suits to a few women in evening dress.

When we toured Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin in Scottsdale recently, I was very interested to hear that when FLW was alive, new apprentices coming there to study had to bring formalwear with them. Even though the new students spent their first year living in tents, they were required to dress for a formal dinner every night. Wright's rationale was that when they became working architects, they would be interacting with a class of people who enjoyed formal dinners and classical music, so they needed to learn to fit into that atmosphere. I wonder what he would think of the lowered standard of dress these days?

Question: when is it appropriate and/or expected that formal dress be worn these days? Weddings, prom, the symphony gala, formal night on the cruise ship -- there aren't that many occasions these days. [And there are now cruise lines that advertise that they don't have formal nights anymore, which is apparently a plus for many travelers. I, personally, would be very disappointed to go on one of those cruises.]

Maybe when you get back you'll have to host a formal night for your friends, so you can show off your fancy duds!

At 22/4/06 03:40, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, should have identified myself. I didn't mean to be THAT anonymous!

SD Mom


Post a Comment

<< Home