Last Wednesday was a magical night for an opera. It was a stroke of luck then that the Encore Team and friends had decided a few months prior to set out for a picnic and live opera at Boston’s Esplanade park. Situated by Boston’s Charles River, the Esplanade houses an open-air venue called the Hatch Shell. We were among many others that had strewn blankets about and set out spreads of cheeses, fruits, meats, and wines— all perfect accompaniments for an opera of course. While we waited for the opera to start we had time to bond, reminisce about our experiences with performing, and share our love for music.
The opera, which was put on by the Boston Lyric Opera and the Landmarks Orchestra, presented us with snippets of operas from around the world. It was free to the public so it was accessible to all. We heard works from popular operas written by Puccini, Mozart, Wagner, Bernstein, Weber, Sullivan, Bizet and Delibes. Opera can be a bit intimidating to the general public but they did a wonderful job making the genre approachable to the audience by translating some of the songs into English. It was a great opportunity for those not familiar with the genre to familiarize themselves and for those of us who had fallen out of touch to fall back in love.
I think it was Puccini that struck a nerve in all of us. His romantic songs had us all mouthing the words, pretending to conduct, and smiling. It was beautiful. I, who had fallen a bit out of touch with Opera as I have lately been singing contemporary, fell back in love as soon as I heard Un bel di from Madame Butterfly. I had forgotten how much I had once loved Puccini and that I still do. It was indeed a wonderful night for opera.