Saturday, March 22, 2008
La Folle Journée
I had planned on showing my Music 101 class Ingmar Bergman's wonderful film of The Magic Flute next week in our section on classical opera, but after hearing the "recognition" sextet from Act III of Le Nozze di Figaro, my students wanted more. Preparing for next week's classes, when I'll show the opera, I recall the many performances of Figaro that I attended at the Metropolitan Opera in the 1990s. It was customary for us young freelance singers to buy $25 tickets in Family Circle, to train our opera glasses around the upper-tier audience before the chandeliers ascended and the curtain rose to see what friends, colleagues, and rivals were in attendance, and (if you were a soprano, or the boyfriend or husband of one) to leave after Susanna sang her fourth-act aria, "Deh vieni, non tardar," because it's a long opera, and we had to be at our temp jobs in the morning.