Monday, September 28, 2009

An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down.*

My previous post was full of excitement that we were seeing La Boheme in Portland on Sunday. The opera was marvelous! It was so good to be back, and we won't let years pass again before our next opera. What a cast, totally deserving of the standing ovation at the end. The stage sets were wonderful and our box seats gave us a perfect vantage point to fully appreciate the artistic touches that helped to sweep us into another world. It was a full house which both surprised and pleased me, given the economy - which has not improved in Oregon. I had a sense that people are not about to let The Arts take it in the chops if they can in any way prevent it.

Yes, it is an emotional opera.....sad and soaring. But what brought me to tears was someone we passed on our way out of the box seat section when the production was over. Sitting just inside the box section exit, waiting for the crowd to clear some before leaving via elevator and not stairway as most of us were, was the most beautiful little girl in a powder blue dress. She was maybe eight years old, but had the composure of an old soul. Her pretty dark brown hair was slightly curled and I think I remember a light blue headband. I did not look to see the adult(s) with her because there was such a glow about her I didn't want to alter my focus as we moved along at a fair pace with the crowd. She had such poise and child-joy. It was clear to me that she had loved La Boheme, most likely loves opera, quite possibly knows more about it than many adults there that afternoon. She was fully present. Not exchanging glances with any of us walking by her wheelchair, her soft eyes remained fixed on the stage.

painting: Marie-Therese Gaillard by Mary Cassatt, 1894

* "An opera begins long before the curtain goes up and ends long after it has come down. It starts in my imagination, it becomes my life, and it stays part of my life long after I've left the opera house" - Maria Callas



The Stylish House said...

Often people watching is better then the show, but this opera sounds enchanting. I spent seven years in Beaverton, and loved the rich bohemian vibe of Portland. I became a caffeine addict sitting in Powell’s on rainy weekend afternoons.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

I keep thinking that i should get myself a cd of some Puccini, because i like the sound of what i've heard: but i admit that i know very little about opera outside of the popular stuff you hear from time to time.

Glad you had such a good time

Darlene said...

What a wonderful ending to the pleasure of seeing an opera well preformed. You had a very dramatic ending with the rapt little girl sitting in the wheelchair. I had a few tears behind my eyelids, too.

You told this so well. Thank you for an inspiring and touching story.

Lydia said...

@The Stylish House- Love your reminiscing about Powell's here, Cathy! It's one of my favorite places. Fun to know you can visualize the area I'm writing about. :)

@Pixies- I encourage you to get a cd. You are so musical.....I think you'd appreciate opera (and appreciate the humor in opera also!).

@Darlene- If you had a tear behind your eyelids reading this I imagine that you would have joined me in my blubbering if you'd been walking with us. She was very touching.

Rhiannon said...

I've know quite a few children through the years in neighborhoods I've lived as a single. These kids most foster kids seemed to always gravitate towards me..and like you said some of them I noticed were definitely "old souls" you just knew. One young lady about 5 years old with very large thick glasses and pigtails one Halloween night in my frontyard (the kids running over to hang out with me and say "hi")kept pulling at my sleeve trying to get my attention. She said she had something important she wanted to tell me. So I stooped down and she said very adult like and strong voice "you deserve to live a better life than you are because your are a very special and beautiful ladyperson". I hardly knew this young one! profound. I held my tears was as if she just "knew" how I felt and was not only reading my mind but looking in my soul. She was a special earth angel I never forgot. I remember wrapping my arms around her and I said the same deserved to lead a better life also. She died the next year.

It's amazing how some children we run into or get to know are not only wise beyond their years but even more "wise" than us so called "adults".

Thank you for the lovely post and bringing this wonderful memory to my heart again.

Love, Rhi

Lydia said...

@Rhi- What an astonishing little girl. A beautiful story and you told it with the emotion it deserves. Thank you for remembering it here. xo



Related Posts with Thumbnails