Last night we went to the opera.
I have heard several people saying how wonderful the transmission of live opera from the New York Met is. The system is that in order to bring opera to the masses - or to make more money - various major opera companies are transmitting their performances to cinemas and other venues around the world. You get to see things close up, get good sound production, comfy chairs, reasonable prices for major works, interviews with the stars. Altogether worth a look.
OK so they do this at the cinema in Sarlat - about 40 minutes away - and also in a Chateau even more locally. As we happened to be in the place where you could reserve tickets for the Chateau and that sounded really romantic let's give that a go. Opera/chateau/gardens/beautiful evening...................
And it was a really lovely evening. The chateau has renowned gardens and we arrived in plenty of time to get our tickets and have a walk around the garden which has a cliff top view of two major rivers with the valleys sprinkled with lovely farmhouses.
Now it begins to slip away.
The few people that were wandering around seemed to be dressed for a live performance of opera. Very dressed up, very posh english accents braying across the lawns welcoming each other.
The room where the screen has been set up is a large stone walled room but not completely dark on this beautiful evening. The chairs are standard plastic with added very thin cushions - for a 3 hour performance. The screen is a roll down white one like Dad used to show slides on (bit larger but you get the picture).
The show is a live showing so we are all dutifully in place by 7 pm. And off we go...... And the sound is just slightly out of sync with the pictures - they look as if they are miming. They are also acting for the stage and we are seeing it close up.
The singing of the main male voice was lovely.
The subtitles for a french performance were, of course, in french even though the opera was sung in french. I had read a synopsis of the plot and told Him Outdoors but evenso we were struggling to know what was going on. Now ok maybe that doesn't matter much with opera since the plots are fairly silly anyway but ..............
So here we are sat in a room with no atmosphere, sound/mouths out of sync, no idea what's going on, stagey acting. Get to the end of the aria and everyone in the room claps......
Nope, sorry, just don't get it. But as Billy Connolly says "That's OK".