towards the end of last month i was incredibly lucky to have been invited by the english national opera to come along to one of their infamous shows. having never been to the opera before, but considering how much i love a good musical, i was excited to head along - especially after our jaunt across to mozart's homeland back in august; when i saw that one of the options was mozart's the marriage of figaro, i knew it was a sign.
i met rebekah out the front after having grabbed the tickets from the box office, wolfed down a bag of wotsits for dinner, and been confused as "emma" by a young chap who was clearly meeting his match of the day, and we headed to the bar. standard. the coliseum just off charing cross road is not just any old theatre; it's london's largest and most luxurious family theatre. that was pretty evident, if the pristine rouge carpet and sparkly stairwell banisters were anything to go by. that, and they served dom perignon at the bar (we settled for the marlborough sav though).
the show started promptly at seven, and was - surprisingly, wholly in english. above the stage was a wee screen with the words being sung by the cast (helpful), which was actually really (helpful) helpful because... so much singing. until recently, le mis was the first musical i'd seen where not a single word was spoken. as in, every single word was sung. but at least sung in a sing-song-talky kind of way. not at the opera, oh no. almost each and every word was operatic. not exactly a bad thing, just... not helpful, especially if you're not familiar with the story (us)...
the show was surprisingly fun! i was kiiinda expecting it to be a bit naff, and fairly dry, but there were definitely parts of it that had us giggling. sadly though, there wasn't enough happening to hold my attention. the thing i love about musicals is the fast pace, the quick costume changes, the props and stage sets. at the opera, there's none of that. it was really hard work to stay entertained. so... we left at interval.
"but erica, you said it was fun!" yes, yes i did. and i stand by that. but sometimes "fun" just isn't enough. it needed a big sequinned number. it was missing sequins. or maybe i'm just missing a bit of class... sigh.
tell me, my loyal, non-judgemental readers, was i wrong to walk out of the opera?
have you been before; what did you think?