Curtain Call

November 5th, 2013, 10pm

I am not a fan of the Opera but ‘La Traviata’ by Giuseppe Verdi I know well - it is one of my mom’s favorites and she would play it often when I was growing up - that’s why I chose to go to the Opera and chose an opera performance instead of for example a ballet performance. Plus, I wanted to see the interior of the Hungarian State Opera House, which is supposed to be one of the best in Europe, maybe the second best after Milan’s ‘La Scala’.

Since I don’t know much about opera, I can’t tell if this was a good performance or not. However, it was quite memorable for me because I spent the entire performance sitting on the floor of one of the corridors after rushing out coughing during the first Act. I had gotten a bad cold and I kept choking on my own phlegm. After coming back in I did not dare disturb the other spectators so I decided to stay close to the door and rush out whenever the cough returned, which it did once or twice. The usher was not pleased at all and since she spoke no English she had to gesture me to go out every time very much like a traffic controller.

Still, I did not mind sitting on the corridor because I had a better view than from my seat because in front of me had sat a tall woman with an enormous hairdo that blocked half the stage, so I had to keep bobbing my head right and left in order to follow the performers across the stage.

The performance ended quite quickly, or so it felt, and it was a strange experience, in all, what with all my going in and out, the austere looks of the usher and the surprised looks of the other ushers that kept bumping into me in the dark as they were coming in. Oh, did I mention that the over-titles were of course in Hungarian and even though I speak Italian I could hardly understand what they were saying? (I always wonder if native Italians understand their own language when it’s sung in opera). I mean I knew the story, but it would have helped if I understood what was said so that I could have been more engaged in what was happening. Instead, I was engaged with my phlegm and my butt getting numb…

Chris said thanks.

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Maria Coveou

travel journalist, translator, freelance script supervisor for film & TV, film buff, lover of the written word and of music, blogger, vintage lover, '80s child, occasional flapper, Lindy hopper, traveler, thinker, dreamer, temporary alien []

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