Last month I asked Ben if we could go see Puccini’s La Rondine at the Met. I am big fan of Puccini’s work. Several years ago, I got to see Il trittico, three one-act plays, one of which has the popular aria, “O mio babbino caro.” (Beautiful unparalleled music, but wretched insipid lyrics. You’re much better off not knowing what the girl is saying.) I love Puccini because of the soaring notes and lush melodies in his arias.
We went during a weekday night because it fit into our schedule. When we arrived a little after five, we found that the Met has a rush ticket program. During the week, about 200 Orchestra seats (subject to availability and excluding galas and opening nights) are made available for $20 to the public. Fifty are set aside for senior citizens and they can get their tickets starting at 10 am. For the under 65 years set, rush tickets are purchased at the ticket box office starting around 2 hours before curtain call. For Friday and Saturday nights, tickets are $25 and made available through an online drawing.
We arrived just before they were about to sell tickets. The line was fast and efficient. We quickly got our tickets and then went out for dinner.
In my opinion, La Rondine is not one of Puccini’s better works. Kristine Opolais, who played the lead role of Magda, was magnificent. I loved her voice. The plot of La Rondine is about a woman who is a courtesan, who meets and falls in love with a young impressionable youth. The opera raises the question of whether she will choose safety and comfort of her life with her protector or will she choose love? I doubt I will ruin the opera by telling you what happened. Madga chooses to go back to her old life with her protector and thus devastating her young lover. Ben and I can’t ever forget how the tenor flung himself on the floor wailing over the loss of his love. Ben and I tend to be emotionally reserved when it comes to these matters, so we had to repress a strong urge to shake him and tell him to pull himself together.
The Metropolitan Opera is an incredible cultural institution and I’m really grateful that I have the opportunity to go there so easily. Now that I now about the rush ticket program, I will definitely be making more of an effort to go to more performances.
Great info–thanks for this! I fell asleep in my first opera— in Milan no less. If you ever want to take a trip —the opera in Santa Fe, New Mexico is a gorgeous outdoor venue—-you can see the mesa through the back of the stage which is amazing!
Oh, that sounds amazing. I love the Southwest. Another fantastic outdoor venue for opera (albeit a farther trip) is Bregenz, Austria. Every summer they stage an opera out on the lake. Yup, the stage is out on the lake.