Thursday, August 27, 2009

A night at the opera

My birthday treat was a night in Verona with Malcolm, Jane & Hannah to go to the opera "Carmen". I hear some of you thinking "A night at the opera doesn't sound like much of a treat..." and to be honest it more the experience than the opera that I was going for. It was part of the Verona Summer Festival and the opera is held in the open air, Roman amphitheatre and it was amazing sitting in the theatre which was built in 49BC and had been the scene of many a nights entertainment.
We were sitting in the 'cheap seats' which consisted of stone steps which were un-numbered and so we had to get there early to get a good spot. We took along cushions to seat on which was very neccessary as sitting on stone steps for over 4 hours would not have been comfortable! Yes, 4 hours - the performance started at 9pm and finished at 1am.
I have to say I really enjoyed the performance which was the story of love, jealousy and death...It was performed without the use of microphones and speakers and considering we were seated about 150m away from the stage we could still hear reasonably well - those Romans sure knew how to build amphitheatres. The stage area was huge and at times there were horses, mules and about 250 people all on stage together.
During the breaks between acts there was also plenty of entertainment in the crowd with the vendors selling drinks (calling out 'Coca, Fanta, Biera, Vino'), programmes, CDs and cushions to rent. We also had our own food and drink supplies which we nibbled on as the evening passed by.
Our night at the opera was very enjoyable and if you are in Verona during August it is something not to be missed!

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