Thursday, July 24, 2014

Here and Back Again in NYC - Day 10 (part 1) - Werther

Hey you all! Ah I just finished reading my Fifty Shades trilogy and I must say I really liked what I read! I'm feeling very book orphaned now that I finished and since the movie trailer (HOLY SHIT IT'S SO HOT, click here if you dare and watch it) came out today you won't be surprised if I start reading the series all over again soon. There are some parts that are over sweetened but the story is involving and the sex is real great! My AMAZING voice coach gave me a book called Fifty Shades of Mr. Darcy for my birthday which is a crossover of Fifty Shades of Gray and Pride and Prejudice, it’s a satire and I cannot wait to start reading it tonight! I also downloaded the first season of Mad Man which I’m excited to start watching!

Remember there was one day missing from my New York City adventures? Here it goes then!

It is always like this, when we near the end of a trip like this we start wanting to do a gazzilion things all at the same time. That is why mum and I were up extra early that morning and after our breakfast, we hit the streets. We went to several stores buying all in our way (Brazilians are very much like that, we have no sense of proportion). We went to this trendy sunglasses store, ah, the name escapes me, ah, I know! Sunglass Hut (or something) on Fifth Avenue. Don’t worry I wasn’t about to throw a couple of hundred dollars into sunglasses, I mean, I got mine at Forever 21 for like $10 and they are great! We were actually there because my cousin’s sunglasses broke and my uncle asked us to take them there to get them fixed. And I can say without a shadow of a doubt that that was the very worst service I ever got in a store. I would hop from attendant to attendant trying to get someone to help me and they would either ignore me or just try and shove to another attendant. My patience was coming to an end because I had a ticket to see Werther at 1 and the hour was nearing. Bottom line, we didn’t get anything solved and that store is the worst, I’m serious, the worst!
that's my mommy, ain't he the cutest? 
Well I got in a cab and rushed to the Met. Man, why am I ALWAYS rushing to that godforsaken place? Why can’t I just be early for once? I always arrive at the nick of time! Anyway, I did get there a good 15 minutes prior to curtain and I thought I might try my luck yet again with the student ticket thing since my seat pretty much sucked balls. And I think I’m starting to understand this whole thing, it depends ENTIRELY upon the good will of the person in the booth. Because as soon as I saw the sour face of the attendant I knew I wouldn’t be getting shit. Well, I had a ticket, a $30 Family Circle side ticket, but a ticket nonetheless, in a bit I was in!

As I headed towards my seat, which was oddly near to the stage but far too high I started regretting the decision of buying this ticket. It was the nearest seat to the stage up in the family circle so I actually had to lean forward a lot to see the stage. I also had to make a choice, to either read the surtitles or watch the opera, I could not do both. Anyway, I was just happy to be there so sod it! A very cool couple sat next to me and we chatted for a little bit before it began.

THE fabulous view!
Oh dude, Werther, it’s Massenet, only one of my favorite composers, my favorite French composer, I was in the clouds as soon as those first notes rang. Again, I loved the story telling in the beginning and the good thing about this seat was that I could actually see facial expressions! I could see them extremely well! The back of the stage was blocked to me but in the front part, not a single facial expression was missed. So it was really like watching a whole new thing, I already had a very good notion of how the production worked but now I could actually see all their faces twist and twitch!

Kudos yet again to those kids playing Charlotte’s siblings, they were simply incredible. Such sincere, playful and truthful acting you would think they were not acting at all! This makes me wish I could have seen my good friend Melanie perform in the children’s chorus. But anyway it was really great to be able to actually see with my own eyes the first time Werther sets his eyes on Charlotte. And we’re talking Jonas Kaufmann here so you people know that he absolutely rocked the singing and the acting part of Werther. I feel so lucky that I was able to actually see this amazing production live, twice! I’ll never tire of saying that because I’m truly humbled and extremely grateful that I was lucky enough to be there.

As the plot moves along I’m able to see the ball scene upclose which was such a lovely amazing surprise to me and quickly became one of my favorite scenes from this production. Even though it’s like 3 minutes long, it’s extremely romantic and gives me goose pups. Because when they arrive at the garden after the ball they are already smitten with each other. But to have that ball scene you get to see their firsts, like the first dance, the first time they look in each others eyes, their first conversation alone, it’s inspired. Gosh I’m getting way too overly excited about this. Sorry guys, you people have to remember I’m a hopeless romantic even though I put on the ice queen façade. 

You cannot help but fall for Jonas’ Werther, now I could see the amount of adoration his eyes carry for Charlotte. Although I felt again that Koch was a tad cold to MY taste. As everyone knows I’m a bit too fiery sometimes and expect characters to match that warmth. I did purchase the original Goethe “Die Leiden des jungen Werther” last Sunday. I was lucky enough to find it in a local bookstore here in my hometown and I was a sight to see squirming like an idiot because of my discovery and buying it regardless of the fact that I cannot read German. I find it it’s always good to have the origins and the originals of my favorite works (although my Pushin’s Eugene Onegin is in English but Russian is a step too far, right?). Anyhow back to Koch’s (Charlotte’s) coldness, maybe I found it frustrating because it contrasted SO much with Kaufmann’s (Werther’s) ardor.

The garden scene was so great and it was real wonderful to see the facial expressions! One day I’ll have enough money to get myself on a seat in which I can see the facial expressions, sit up straight, read the surtitles and have full view of the stage. Or at least be relevant enough to be given such a seat!

As act one finishes the couple next to me is cuddling and exchanging loving words and I’m surprised that I don’t feel the annoyance I normally do in this kind of situation. I felt actually really happy for them, they were very nice and looked very cute together. Maybe it was the opera. And in that little interval I find out that the lady is actually Brazilian, what are the freaking odds??

Act two of Werther, not my favorite part of the day. I started getting very irritated with Charlotte’s coldness and lack of compassion for this dude who was crawling at her feet! Sophie’s aria however was LOVELY. I’m so dead serious when I say that Lisette has one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard! Geez, what a gift, and paired with such great acting as well as the fact that she is SUPER sweet she just totally wins me over.

I had such an amazing time at intermission. I was joined by my good, good opera buddies Harry and Kim and we talked about opera all the way and it was awesome. Gosh, I LOVE it that I have them and we can discuss stuff at the same level without me having to explain stuff. We can just talk and exchange so much in such a small period of time! Anyways, as per usual intermission flew by and we were back for DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA!

Act three of Werther, my favorite act! I must admit that Sophie Koch purred her soul out in this, she was INCREDIBLE. She has such a beautiful full, rich, velvety voice that fills the Met and melts your insides. It’s very contrasting with her portrayal of cold Charlotte. Although in this act she was much more emotional, kind of desperate because she thought Werther was going to kill himself. Her sister arrives and she finishes us off with “Va laisse couler me larmes” and I know that’s only the beginning of angst festival but the poor woman next to me does not as she weeps and weeps. The whole opera became even sadder because of her reaction to it, she cried most of the time. And I totally do not judge her, the first time I saw this I also cried the entire final acts. Sophie leaves and DAM, DAM, DAM, DAAAAM, Werther arrives.

I was so grateful that they remained mostly downstage for this act because then I could see the angst filled expressions of both of them. It was so FREAKING intense I was almost throwing myself off that seat in order to get a better view! At the end of that too impossibly good for words “Pourquoi me réveiller” that opera house almost came apart. I love this part because this aria prepares you for the passionate, desperate part when for brief moments Charlotte gives in. No need to say he’s all over her, and just a fun fact, they TOTALLY toned it down for the HD. They were so all over each other when I saw it, just like the kiss at the end of Eugene Onegin, they REALLY had it going ‘off camera’.

Then act four was the most frustrating thing that EVER happened to me. Why? Because I could see naught! That little square that was Werther’s room was far to upstage plus the structure blocked my view from above! Meaning I did not see anything really of this whole part. Very, very sad. I could hear it though and that was pretty awesome. And I could also see the lady who was sitting next to me fall apart. She was full on SOBBING, it was so sad, I felt really bad for her. But I also did shed a tear for our Werther.

bows from my crappy seat
At bows the audience was wild and the whole cast was just in awe of the whole response. I sat there talking to the lady for quite a while after the curtain fell and she was telling me how she knew opera could be sad but not SO sad. Then I met Kim and we headed down to the stage door so she could get her stuff signed.

Harry, Kim and me after the opera
DUDE, that stage door was PACKED! I’m talking about 60 people making loads of noise and pushing and pushing. I was really very shocked, I had never seen the stage door like this before. I made a silent prayer thanking my Scots friend Mike for making me wait for 2 hours in the freezing cold at opening night because there was no way I could have exchanged 3 words with Jonas Kaufmann in this crazy gathering.

When Jonas came out loads of people clapped and I just stayed behind waiting for Kim as she ventured to try and get a pic and autograph (she succeeded btw). I felt really bad for Jonas actually, he had to scream several times “I swear I will sign everything and take pictures but please STOP PUSHING!” that is really fucked up. Some people have no respect.

I got this pic from Lisette's twitter but it really does not do justice to what happened, here people are actually giving her room to breathe, something Jonas did not get

After the crowd cleared I was tempted to go talk to him but decided against it at the end.

I’m gonna stop here because I really wanna post this today and if I went on and told you about Fledermaus I wouldn’t be able to. I’ll post last day in NYC part 2 soon! Thanks for reading and cheers!

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