Despite wanting to stay home in bed after returning from work yesterday evening, I met Angela at Dongsishitiao subway station at 6:30. One of her former students, Liu Yang, an opera singer, had offered her tickets to the opera and we couldn't refuse. Naturally, you would think we were going to see Chinese opera, which is a completely different ballgame, but this was an opera in Italian. Il Ballo in Maschera by Verdi. If you're not familiar with this opera, you probably know where to look or you can look here. We were excited as neither of us had ever seen opera live before.
We met one of Angela's coworkers in the lobby of the Poly Theater and soon Liu Yang's girlfriend brought us the tickets. After giving us the tickets, we went outside and around to the back of the theater to meet Liu Yang. He looked great in his costume and I was thrilled to be so close to one of the performers. He wasn't playing one of the lead roles, but he had substantial part.
The theater was beautiful and our seats were quite good, about halfway down on the first floor. Before the show started, I walked down and took a look at the orchestra pit. A former musician, I still enjoy looking at the instruments and watching musicians. The performance was better than I had imagined, not being a real fan of opera music, although the audience was a bit noisy. I'd like to see an opera in another country now to compare audiences. The singing and music were great. A three-act opera, it lasted about three hours. I never thought I'd see my first opera in China.