Renee Fleming, the Met, Rossini's Armida. What a fabulous way to spend four hours on a Saturday. I love the idea that people around the world can experience the glory of the Metropolitan Opera thanks to the Met's highly proclaimed HD series, now being shown in local theaters.
It is mind boggling to me that I can drive from my home, for a measly ten minutes, and see this incredible production rather than having to hop on plane, travel to NYC, and cab it to Lincoln Center. While I believe that there is nothing better than a live performance, this has to be the next best thing; and it is like having a front row seat...only better because the audience is given aerial views of dance formations, occasional close-ups of the performers, back stage shots, and even interviews with the lead singers as they exit the stage. All that for $15. I'll take it! And no opera glasses needed.
The theater is sold-out and the parking lot full as we join local opera lovers, as well as a nation-wide audience, to witness a breathtaking performance of this not so familiar opera, a fact that does not lower the enjoyment quotient at all. The Met expects Armida to reach 250,000 viewers, and this 9 show season has sold 2.2 million tickets. Wow.
Next up? An encore performance of Carmen in July. I'm so there.