dress :: forever21 (get it here) | tights :: forever21 (here) | scarf :: Utah Opera giftshop | necklace :: forever21 | earrings :: forever 21 | heels :: kardashian kollection (similar) | black trench coat :: bebe (similar) | sunglasses :: charlotte russe | cocktail ring :: forever 21 (get it here) | beaded clutch :: vintage c/o LoveCharles Vintage
My first exposure of any kind to opera was through Pretty Woman; when Richard Gere takes Julia Roberts to her first performance, he explains that one either loves the opera, or one learns to love it, and that it doesn't matter that one might not understand the words - the music communicates the emotions.
Having been on a lifelong, desperate search for some kind of culture beyond the meager offerings of a backwater Utah town, I was intrigued. Up until this brief, distant introduction, the opera was merely something my brothers made fun of, an acquired taste reserved for a select few; now, it was something a little bit mysterious, something that might be beautiful. It became this wonderful fantasy of tragic love stories and epic battles and twisted tales played out on a stage and sung in the world's most beautiful languages... and I had absolutely no idea of what it really was.
So when the lovely Sara from the Utah Opera contacted me a few weeks ago to see if I was interested in attending the premiere of Verdi's Il Trovatore this last Saturday evening at the Capitol Theatre, I literally hopped around the kitchen with excitement. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to explore a form of musical expression that previously had seemed so illusive to me.
I did my research before opening night (meaning I asked around and read the Wiki). I bought a very simple but gorgeous dress (no splurge required), added some shiny accessories and ridiculous heels, artfully mussed up my hair and topped it all off with my favorite Audrey Hepburn style black trench coat for a very sophisticated fall evening look.
Yet, with all of my preparations, I was in no way prepared for the experience. It was truly overwhelming and absolutely beautiful and I desperately want to go again.
As an opera newbie, I don't feel I can really justify "reviewing" the performance, and I certainly can't commentate on the technicalities, but I can tell you that the story was intense, the portrayal was brilliant, the talent was breathtaking and the entire night unerringly perfect. Keeping my ADHD at bay is a miraculous feat in itself, but I was utterly enraptured by the performance throughout its entirety - the only disappointment coming at the end, because it ended. The fact that I at no point had the urge to check my cell phone should be enough to convince you of how incredible it was.
If you've never been to the opera (or even if you have been)... GO. Il Trovatore runs through this Sunday, 10/21 and tickets start at just $15 (you'll pay more for a concert and have less fun, trust me). Il Trovatore is performed in Italian, but they provide a playbill with an act-by-act synopsis, and there's a scrolling marquee with a general translation of the lyrics (at least on the orchestra level, where I sat). Even without the board, though, it was fairly easy to understand what was transpiring through the intensity of the music and vocals.
Overall, it was a Saturday evening very well spent, and I'm considering making opening night a tradition when their next show, Florencia en el Amazonas, premieres on January 19th. I may even treat myself to the USUO's Upbeat Design-A-Series pass for a compilation of next year's performances...