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
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 & Me
No regrets. Dad would be proud.