2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

My first opera

Published: March 4, 2014, 11:26 am, by Jen Mulson
"Lakme" by Opera Theatre of the Rockies

“Lakme” by Opera Theatre of the Rockies

That’s right. I attended my first opera Saturday night: “Lakme” by Opera Theatre of the Rockies at Armstrong Theatre at Colorado College.

First things first – have you been to a full-length opera before? Or am I way behind the curve here? To be upfront, I’ve never been all that interested in going to one. That all changed on New Year’s Eve, when I went to the Colorado Springs Philharmonic’s concert at the Pikes Peak Center. It featured three local female singers, one of who was an opera singer. I wrote an earlier blog post about Jennifer DeDominici and how she captivated me. She changed my already made up mind about opera.

That’s how I ended up sitting in the audience of “Lakme.”

The opera’s setting was right up my alley. It took place in British India, and featured Hindu statues and practices. As a practicing yogi, you sometimes see and encounter Hindu beliefs in a yoga practice, depending on the studio or teacher, of course. So that was fun to see on stage. The character Lakme was a Brahman priestess.

I’m so glad I went, though I hesitate to offer any sort of review, as I have nothing to compare it to. I ran into a coworker at the show, and admitted I had no idea if the performance was good or not. She astutely said, “If you’re having a good time, then it’s fabulous.”

In a synchronous interview Friday afternoon, I talked to Jake Heggie, the San Francisco composer who wrote the music to the opera “Dead Man Walking.” I told him I was going to my first opera, and asked if he had any advice for me. He told me to familiarize myself with the story beforehand so I would know what was going on. Good advice. It was also helpful that the opera offered a bit of closed captioning, if you will, during the show. Text was projected on a screen directly above the stage.

Here’s another tidbit I learned: operas are long. Next time I attend one, I might select an afternoon matinee. I am not a night owl these days, and when the second act ended at 9:30 p.m., I knew that after a second intermission and third act, I’d be home around 11 p.m. I was exhausted, readers, and, I admit it – I left.

I do plan to attend another opera, and my editor recommended one at Central City Opera. Maybe even Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking,” though I’ll have to wait until July.

What about you? Have you been to an opera? Are you an opera fanatic? Why or why not? Drop me a line or post a comment here: jen.mulson@gazette.com.