Sunday, September 27, 2009

Opera At The Ballpark

Opera at the Ballpark! What a funny idea, right? A simulcast of a live opera being performed in the San Francisco Opera House to the Giants baseball stadium just across the city. Luckily for me, my parents listen to the classical radio station that was sponsoring this event, so I knew about it and we got to go with them. I grew up hearing opera all the time, and one of my great-uncles was actually an opera singer. One of my favorite memories was seeing him perform in The Barber of Seville.
The boys had never seen an opera and I thought it was about time. Plus this event was priced really well, ie, FREE.
We stood in a super long line to be able to sit down on the field. As a baseball fan I think this was the most thrilling part of the evening for me, getting to sit at the edge of the warning track out at the edge of center and right field.There were about 25,000 people there in the ballpark, and it was stunning how quiet it was during the opera. I was worried it would be as noisy as a baseball game but people were really engaged with the performance.

Even though it was dark out, the sky looks blue in this picture, maybe because of the very bright stadium lights.As we sat there waiting for it to begin, I was worried they wouldn't turn out the big lights that illuminate the field. We wouldn't have been able to see the screen very well, and it would have been bad to be looking into that brightness for so long. But nope, they turned those out as the performance began and left some smaller lights on.
This is my favorite picture of my foot and the boys feet. We took turns running into the padded outfield wall pretending to catch fly balls. Too fun.
The opera performed was Il Trovatore by Verdi (The Troubadour) which has so many plot twists and turns, sword duels, the famous "Anvil Chorus" and a great surprise ending. The leads were amazing singers as well as actors. We were all impressed with the sound system and how good it looked up on the big screen. It was almost like being there live! But more fun because we got to go on the baseball field and lay down and be casual which one most certainly does not get to do at the opera house!
We'll definitely be going again next year.


Karoda said...

what a great idea to mix the art and the sport! i wonder if it will catch on across the ocuntry?

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Ah! My ignorance is showing. I never knew the Anvil Chorus was from this. It sounds like a wonderful time--and what a way to put culture out to the masses, even the young folks who would never enter an Opera House!