Memories of a Time That Will Be
My trusty phone just reminded me that it’s time to leave to see Aïda at the Met at 8.
I programmed in my entire season of opera when I booked my build-a-season tickets, pre-COVID. I haven’t deleted them, for just a few seconds I can remember another, better world. I climb the red carpeted staircase, mixing in the lower levels with the well-dressed and well-off upper strata of New York society, up to the nose bleed section where I can hear as well as they can, and perched at the front of family circle with my binoculars I can see better than if I had a seat in the rear orchestra.
Most vividly I remember seeing Tosca. The titular singer Tosca and her lover the painter Cavaradossi Act II aria Vissi d’arte as she demands of God to know why she is treated so, with her services to the Church, to humanity, and the arts. The final scene was shocking, even though I had read the plot summary in a sneak break at work.
And Macbeth. Which should probably be called Lady Macbeth, in the opera she is so much the central figure as she sends her husband to commit treason and murder. My ticket was for the opening night, but I missed Plácido Domingo by a day as he was brought down by the #MeToo movement. Justified of course, but I felt the loss. I had come to opera recently, finally scratching the surface of the cultural richness New York City has to offer after my divorce, and now I would never see Domingo in person.
I remember March 14th, the night before I retreated into my mancave, treating myself to dinner at a French bistro-Le Singe-followed by an evening at Terra Blues listening to the house band play the blues until two in the morning. Back when the subway still ran at two in the morning.
Those times will come again. I have already booked next season. Meanwhile it’s binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer from quarantine.