Last Friday I got to get glammed up and enjoy a night out with some lovely friends. Not only is that an extremely rare event for me, I actually got to leave Oxfordshire for the evening! Oh yes, even it being Friday 13th wasn’t going to put me off spending a night at the Opera for the very first time!
So I got the straighteners out, dusted off the make up brushes and set to work to make myself look presentable for our trip to London. We were off to the Royal Albert Hall after all!
I got to wear my new Hotter shoes and put them through their paces as we walked through the Underground!
We were off for a night at the Opera to see Madam Butterfly and their English production of the world-famous Puccini Opera. It was going to be a first for all of us and I’m not sure we really knew what to expect as we headed down to London on the train.
Once at Marylebone we headed for the underground and decided to make our way to Gloucester Road so we could grab something quick to eat. My friend L spotted a Byron Burger restaurant and recommended it, so off we went. We told the waiter we had less than an hour to eat and get to the RAH, no problem. So we cracked open a bottle of wine and enjoyed some lovely burgers. Should have taken a snap to share with you all, but I was starving and just enjoying being out with friends. Trust me, we all really enjoyed the various options we sampled and I will definitely be trying the Oxford or Milton Keynes branches at some point with Monkey.
We decided to get a cab to save on time and luckily got dropped right outside the door we needed. As we headed to our seats we took in the stage before us. It was so cleverly done.
As the performance was about to start, the blinds were pulled up around the house in the Japanese water garden, so that the Opera could be seen by all. There was just time for a quick selfie with the girls before we enjoyed a night at the Opera.
Madam Butterfly was mesmerizing, the singers were just amazing and it was so easy to connect with their emotions. By the end of the first act we were all fans. We read up on the full story line (note to self, be prepared and do this in advance next time), enjoyed some ice cream and prepared for the second and third acts.
The Opera is set in Nagasaki, Japan in the early 1900’s. A US Naval Officer, Pinkerton, takes a lease on a home which comes with servants and a 15-year-old bride – Butterfly. Shortly after the wedding he returns to sea and Madam Butterfly is left waiting for him to return.
The water garden drained away to show a Japanese gravel garden and we were all back in Nagasaki watching the tragedy unfold. It was rather emotional and beautifully performed. Poor Butterfly has kept a secret for three years, a son and she waits every day watching each ship come into poor, waiting for her husband.
Unfortunately Pinkerton, decided that his Japanese wedding wasn’t legally binding and he’s married again to an American. The story unfolds as Pinkerton and his new wife return to Nagasaki, he wants nothing to do with Butterfly but the happy couple want custody of the boy.
It doesn’t end well but left us all wanting more. I’d definitely go to another operatic performance. I think you’d need a clear understanding of the story to watch a performance sang in a foreign language, but I’m sure the emotions would still translate really well. Sitting near to the orchestra was wonderful too, getting to watch some amazing musicians perform was a great experience.
We grabbed a taxi back to the station and caught the next train home. We had all thoroughly enjoyed a night at the Opera and my friend L got to tick something off her bucket list!
It was so lovely to get dressed up and be out in the evening, doing something others might take for granted. Being me, having grown up fun with friends. I will be doing more of that this year! Although it does mean missing swimming lessons once in a while.