It’s been a long while since I went to the opera, but about 10 days ago we decided to attend a performance by the NZ Opera Company of Mozart’s Magic Flute. We took up the option of a 6 pm performance and joined all the old age pensioners at the St James Theatre in Courtenay Place.
The last opera I attended was in about 1981 in Edinburgh, Scotland, where I saw a very boring Pearl Fishers. Now, thanks to modern technology, the theatre was equipped with surtitles (is that what they’re called? — there were strategically placed screens offering English translations of the songs). That was a nice touch, although given the always rather trivial and sexist nature of the ‘plot’ in Opera, some friends said they enjoyed it more once they stopped reading the translations.
What I particularly enjoyed were the splendid and stunningly creative sets, costumes and lighting. As for the rest, perhaps it was our seats being up in the ‘gods’, but I felt rather disengaged from the performance and not at all caught up in it.