We are opera goers. I never though much about opera until I got together with my husband other than to think it was a bunch of fat ladies in Viking horns singing in that way I used to imitate as a kid when I'd belt out "God Bless America" Kate Smith style. At Christmas time, I'd do my opera (I thought Kate Smith was opera) version of Silent Night because, gosh darn it, people would ASK ME TO. It was funny, I was probably 5 years old. And that was probably the only time I'd ever called attention to myself as a kid. Flying well under the radar was and is my usual MO.
The thing about opera is there's not always a happy ending. In fact, more often than not, there's an unhappy, even tragic, ending. People die! I love this. We make it into an event. We pay big money for season tickets, get all dressed up, get a hotel room, make fancy dinner reservations, read the plot synopsis, etc. I don't need a happy, feel-good story to be entertained. I want emotions, conflict, love, desire, betrayal, angst (lots of angst), beauty, innocence, human nature. It's messy, like life. The Colorado Opera does a pretty good job too of getting really talented singers and the staging and costumes are excellent and you can just get totally sucked into the story. And the people watching! Love to see what people are there and what they are wearing. You can tell the old school people from the first timers. The ones who are benefactors from the ones who got student discount tickets. And we all fall completely silent and watch, enthralled, as the story unfolds...
Don Giovanni is a Don Juan story. The guy's a cad, a womanizer, a jerk and a spoiled brat. He rapes, he murders, he bribes, he thinks he's above the law. It is one of the most performed operas but I had never seen it. I kept wishing it was proper opera etiquette to boo the villain. In the end, he goes to hell and the other cast members sing about how he got what he deserved. Bravo!
Remember my last blog about gaining back all the weight I'd lost over one weekend of partying with the family in Austin? That weight did come off fast, yay but I was really worried about this opera weekend being a repeat of that. So, I went into it thinking about how it felt to step on the scale and see all that progress that I'd worked so hard for GONE. We ate at Oceanaire, which is a nice seafood place, high-end, and in my opinion one of the best seafood places in Denver. Plus, it's right there next to the hotel and opera house. Usually, I eat whatever I want there. This time I ordered a shrimp cocktail to share with my hubby (instead of the usual Oysters Rockafeller) and then I ordered the Mixed Seafood Grill, which is two kinds of shrimp, scallops, fish, all grilled but unfortunately all also drenched in what had to be high calorie sauces. Had them replace the mashed potatoes with sauteed spinach ($2 extra!) and it came with asparagus too. Ignored the bread. Had ONE GLASS(instead of splitting a whole bottle) of white wine, Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc, very crisp and appley. Declined dessert (Baked Alaska!). Walked out happy and full and didn't feel like I had comprised that much. Could do that again. yay. (My calorie count for the day was about 2000 but I also had burned 1800 so yes, I did not get my deficit but am okay with the numbers.)
We had sparkling water during intermission instead of our usual champagne. THAT was hard. And not nearly as festive feeling. But, we survived.
After the opera, we usually hit one of the nearby lounges for drinks and maybe a snack, a cheese plate or another dessert but this time, we just went back to the hotel room. I had brought along mint tea and our usual dark chocolate and we had a little tea and chocolate whilst relaxing in bed and watching SNL (we never see regular TV! Sheesh, it's mostly ads!).
Woke up the next morning not feeling all blurry and hung over and tired like we are used to it. It was great! Had breakfast (egg white veggie omelet and cinnamon scone) at our favorite little place which we were so happy to learn was ignoring the fact it was Easter Sunday. Headed home and worked on our veggie garden (but THAT is another blog....).
Summary: Opera is cool. I can enjoy it without drinking copious amounts of alcohol. I can eat out at a nice restaurant and yes, it will be higher calories but I can control how much higher. It feels great to wake up in a hotel and not be hung over. My weight was up this morning, but only .4 pounds. A successful opera outing!