Sunday, December 16, 2012

Aida HD Live - Preamble

The live streaming of the HD opera is the most popular of the HD events at the Crowfoot Cineplex, given that the performance has designated seats – not something I often have to attend to when I go to the movies.

The seats were filled right from the back, going down the isle towards the screen, until only the front seats were empty.

I love going to the opera with my peers. They are travelling now with canes, walkers and wheel chairs. They don’t let limited mobility get in the way of good times.

Kelvin, Tonia and I were early enough to be able to find our seat numbers before the theatre darkened. As a side point, I noticed before the Second Act began, that the usher was wearing a headphone and as he walked along the back of the hall, I saw him deep in concentration, walking toward the theatre door, talking aloud and counting “Six, five, four, three, ....” I thought to myself, “I think this usher is overworked.” But no, on two and one he was walking over to the theatre light switch, and off it went as the second act began.

And while I am doing side trips about all of the other non-opera fun I see at the opera, I saw a man leaving at the end, carrying out his trash out on one of the trays Wyona is well known for – the cardboard bottom of a case of lemon juice. Directing her attention to him, I said to Tonia, “Look he is carrying one of the lemon juice boxes your mother is famous for. I think he brought his whole lunch, and no wonder, the opera was four hours.”

I am thinking about this later, for Tonia said, “Did you notice, this is not an extra-large popcorn and soda crowd as you would see in most theatres. Not a bag of popcorn in sight.” She was right. On reflection, I am not sure if this is because they are too sophisticated for the popcorn and a large drink, or if they don’t eat popcorn because it gets under their false teeth plates, or if it is just too complicated to carry both pop and popcorn and keep their balance while walking down the long hallway to theatre six. Some might quality on all three points.

I ran into my university colleague, Nora Robins, before the show began. She has a new puppy and couldn’t stay for the whole opera. “I am lucky,” she said. “I can get home and still listen to the end of the opera on CBC radio’s Saturday Afternoon at the Met.”. I saw her leave at the half. I tested out her thesis, and yes, since I watched the live stream, and since the radio broadcast is delayed, I got to hear everything after O patria mia / "Oh, my dear country!") in Act III, again on the radio. Now that was sweet.

I have always loved Nora. We are the same age and were talking one day about what we liked to do with our money as teen-agers. She liked to buy sets of complete operas to play on her record player. I used to like to buy earrings.

I also saw my dear friend Catharine Warren at the opera, whom I know from my writer’s group. Oh, I just wanted to take her over to a table and sit down and start doing “writer’s talk” with her. But we were at the opera and desisted.

More on the opera ... coming.



  1. Zeneida (sp?) told me she only likes ballet and spectacle (plays?). She can't relate to Opera. She said you must be exposed to opera as a child to like it.

    Lucky me. I was. I love the big sound. I love intensity of the experience - auditory and visual. It really lets me take a break from day-to-day thoughts.

    I have not seen the opera Aida, but I have a beautiful neice with that name who lives in Spain.

  2. Well... i was exposed as a child, but ....argh..... after all that work to SAY i was going to be there, I just couldn't pull it off. Can't even remember now WHAT the conflict was, but there was one.
    sigh.... i will try for the next! (which is NT Live!)