Most of the time, my favorite opera is Die Zauberflote, but often when Rebecca and I go to the opera, my second favorite suddenly is whatever we have just seen. It’s no different today. In my pervasive opera ignorance, I didn’t even know that there was an opera of Don Quixote until I bought the tickets. So, needless to say, that while I was fond of much of Massenet’s music, my expectations were fairly mild to moderate. But what a stunner this was! From the very first scene – or before the first scene even – the first note of the overture. The opera itself was filled with lovely music – tender, exciting, sweet, passionate, silken, flamboyant, faux flamenco, and very, very French with lots of cello. But the production! Wow! I always enjoy the Seattle Opera productions, but this one was off the charts! I don’t want to give anything away for those of you who have not gone yet, but the secenery was beautiful, inspired, genius – much of it done with “lights and mirrors”. The windmills in themselves were worth the price of the ticket.
Rebecca always reads the synopsis while we wait for the start, or between the acts. I prefer not to read them and to be surprised. I would rather not know what is going to happen, if I don’t already. So between acts, she was reading, and said, “Oh dear! I don’t think this is going to end well.” “Will I cry?” I asked her. “I think so,” she said. Of course, she was right. The story of the kindly, mad knight was touching in a wonderful way. Great music, great story, great staging and scenery. What more can one ask?
We were both concerned about two of the actresses – those playing Rocinante and Dapple! What if one of them had an accident on stage? I was picturing operatic rodeo clowns stationed nearby with little brooms and dustpans, ready to rush out and sweep up any droppings, but everyone was continent until the curtain call.
One of our former choir comrades was almost the star of the whole thing, playing one of Dulcinée’s suitors. That made it all even more exciting!