Night at the Opera

17 Jan

The Barber of Seville

It rained and rained and rained today. And was rather chilly, by Tel Aviv standards. We wanted to run some errands or simply take a walk but the weather was just too miserable.

We were invited to N and R’s house for dinner this evening. Even though they live just a short walk from our house R drove by to pick us up…but by that time it had stopped raining. Dinner was very good, an abundant kosher meal: huge bowl of butternut squash soup, green salad, roast chicken with tomatoes and olives, baked cherry tomatoes and bread crumbs, carrot/cabbage salad and broccoli. For dessert, chocolate cake and coffee (sans milk or cream — it was a kosher meal!) I had to have coffee, though, to ensure I would stay awake for the opera we went to after dinner.

We went to see The Barber of Seville performed by the Israel Tel Aviv Philharmonic Orchestra at the Mann Auditorium in downtown Tel Aviv. I enjoyed the ride into town. Tel Aviv seems like a lively city and I look forward to exploring it further once we get some wheels.

The performance was billed as an “opera in concert form.” The orchestra was situated in front of a plain elevated platform with two basic props (a desk and chair and a piano). All singers wore black costumes. Action took place on the platform as well as on the stage with opera singers walking amongst the members of the orchestra, at times addressing the conductor.

I was disappointed that the surtitles were only provided in Hebrew. I had read a synopsis of the opera ahead of time but forgot many of the details. I was delighted that I was able to understand some of the Italian lyrics. I’m not an opera buff but I thought the performances were quite good.

The Barber of Seville

graphics borrowed from The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra website

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