Life without regret

La Bohème Curtain Call

La Bohème: Curtain Call at the Metropolitan Opera

Before my sister decided to be a candidate for the state senate, she called Dad, seeking his advice.  He told her that she may or may not have regrets if she decided to run, but it was a certainty that she would always have doubts if she decided not to do so. He was right, of course. She chose to run.

The Metropolitan Opera season premiere of Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème was in late September. This production featured the Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo in the role of Rodolfo. I had wanted to go because Mr. Puccini is my favorite opera composer, La Bohème is my favorite opera, and Mr. Grigolo is my favorite tenor. The Met is the theatre where I saw my first opera, many years ago, and I had never been back. 

Dad became quite ill in August, so I made no travel plans to Manhattan from my West Coast home. After Dad passed away in early September, it may have been fear or inertia or mourning that kept me from scheduling the trip, but that gnawing regret was ever present.

When I read the glowing review of La Bohème in the New York Times the morning after opening night, I knew that I had to see it. Besides, I needed to strengthen my commitment to my new book, and that meant an expedition into the living, breathing world of opera.

Although it had been many years since I had been to New York, and had never traveled there without having a friend on hand, I overcame my fear. I purchased a front-row ticket to Mr. Grigolo’s closing night, bought the plane ticket and booked the hotel.

The weekend in New York exceeded my dreams. Seeing La Bohème at the Met was a thrill. The woman sitting next to me was delightful, and we had a lively conversation before the show and during one of the intermissions. I told her that her insights into opera were going to be helpful to me as I write my next historical novel. She asked me if I had ever met Mr. Grigolo. I replied that I had not. To my surprise, she invited me to accompany her and her friend after the performance, and she would introduce me.

As you may have noticed from the awkwardness of the following photograph, I do not take selfies. However, Mr. Grigolo does, and he graciously took this one of the two of us.

Vittorio Grigolo & Me

Vittorio Grigolo & Me

One of my new friends took the photograph of me with Nicole Car, the beautiful Australian soprano who performed in the role of Mimi.

Nicole Car

Nicole Car & Me

No regrets. Dad would be proud.

6 thoughts on “Life without regret

  1. Oh, my goodness! You met Grigolo! That is such an amazing story. No regrets! Awesome! I didn’t know you were working on another novel. So exciting!

  2. Rox – your dad was proud of you when you were a little girl. (I know; I was there!) And I’m sure that he remains immensely proud of you now from the hereafter.

    I, too, am proud of my dear friend. And so very glad I’ve had you almost my entire life!

  3. Roxane, Thanks for the great recap of your trip. Traveling to NYC for opera without friends? No problem. In no time you meet beautiful, opera loving, new friends. I was so fortunate to sit next to you at LaBoheme and share in your trip. I am ever grateful for the experience. Looking forward to our future opera interactions!

  4. Thank you Linda. Meeting you was a great pleasure. As I told you, your insights into the fabulous world of opera enriched my perspective, and I am very appreciative. I look forward as well to future shared opera experiences.

  5. This is an awesome story, Roxie! So inspiring to “live without regrets” – love it! I once asked a friend how she always seemed to get what she wants and her unabashed answer: “I just ask!” Your dad surely IS proud of you – you asked of yourself, you gave to yourself, and you received more than you even asked FOR! What a love story! May you have found your groove, my long-lost friend ~

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