Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Story: an evening at the opera

The balcony level lobby
Last night I took my first trip to see an event at the Abay State Opera and Ballet theater.  A colleague and I went down to see Rigoletto since her former roommate at the conservatory was singing Gilda.  We arrived early so we purchased our tickets 400 Tenge each (about three dollars) for the cheap seats and then spent our remaining time talking on a bench in the park across the street.

The theater is spectacular both inside and out.   The details are done in traditional Kazakh design employing different Kazakh symbols.

Each week they run a different opera, and once a work is rehearsed and performed it can return in that form up to three times a year for several years.  While the show seemed stiff and some of the singers seemed to have a difficult time projecting over the orchestra, the singers who played Rigoletto and Gilda, were quite amazing and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

This fixture represents the opening at the top of a yurt
When the performance was over my colleague and I went back stage to meet the woman who played Gilda.  We found her still on stage talking with her cast-mates and director.  I have to say, it was super exciting to be on that stage as it is about 3 times larger than you get to see as an audience. We hung out in Gilda's dressing room for a while and then went out for coffee.  It was a fantastic evening that I hope to repeat in a couple of weeks with La Traviata.

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