Love of Opera

Happiness is seeing an opera broadcast at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. See you there March 25 for Idomeneo.

I fell in love with opera as a member of Boy Scout Troop 607 in Chicago when we would stage our annual Scout Show. A variety show borrowed from our brother Scouts in Britain, the show featured a rollicking chorus to the tune of Escamillio’s “Toreador Song” from Carmen.  I wanted more.  Much more. And so I began listening to the live broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera in New York on a radio in my parents’ basement.  They liked what I was listening to, and we began to listen upstairs. And, in the fullness of time, Natalie and I found ourselves in the “nosebleeds” at the Metropolitan celebrating Christmas with Puccini’s La bohéme.  A man in the row behind us had a bad cold and hacked his way through the whole opera, but we were smitten.  And we were delighted to become friends with a neighbor here in Harbert, the late Julie Holmes.  Julie invited us to her weekly “opera nights” in the summer, and she introduced us to the  entire opera canon.  And, as a bonus, Julie treated us to more than a few live performances at the Lyric in Chicago.  Now,  as official old guys on a fixed income, we take our opera pleasures as we can afford them, principally by listening to opera on Met Opera Radio and attending Met Opera: Live in HD broadcasts at the Browning Cinema in the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.  We recently took renewed delight in  Dvorák’s tale of a water nymph, Rusalka, who longs to become human, and we are looking forward to our date with Mozart and his Idomeneo on March 25.  And, yes, we cried and cried this Saturday listening to Verdi’s tragic La Traviata.  Better that we listened than watched, because we were not thrilled with the stark, concrete set the Met was offering.  We are traditionalists, and we like our operas staged the way the composers wanted their works staged.  The point being that we love opera and will until we sing our final arias. Bravi!!!!!

There is nothing like a post-opera stroll around the campus of Notre Dame.

About charleymckelvy

Charles McKelvy lives and writes in southwest Michigan with his wife and fellow writer, Natalie McKelvy. They established the Dunery Press in 1988 in order to publish their own fiction. They continue to do so to this day. Charles McKelvy is an Eagle Scout.
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2 Responses to Love of Opera

  1. I too fell in love with opera through Carmen only with me it was a puppet performance at the Kungsholm restaurant in Chicago. And I too loved this week’s performance of La Traviata at the Met, in spite of Michael Fabiano’s ridiculous wig. I know I am in the minority but I rather like the Met staging. Many sopranos have sang Violetta of course but the singer in this week’s performance (I can’t remember her eastern European name) was among the best I have heard-more “bel canto” than one normally hears in this opera. I may even see it again on Wed.

  2. I have new DVD’s of Eugene Onegin with Simon Keenlyside and Krassimira Stoyanova (a favorite soprano of mine) and also The Met’s Pearl Fisher’s which we saw a while back. Care to watch one or both of them next week?

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