Tuesday, June 25, 2013

An opera in the garden

I had spent all day in jury duty—the air conditioning was welcome, but the long unproductive waits not so much. I shouldn't complain; I met some very cool women, and I FINALLY got to see a little bit what the American jury system is like. (First time I ever got called in.) But after a full day inside, feeling anxious about the fate of a man who was going to be tried with police officers as the only witnesses in his case, and also feeling anxious about the fact that SCOTUS did not rule on DOMA, and rocking a headache all day long, I was finally released with enough time to get home to drop off my heavy bag, and to meet Josh, James, Andy, and Jesse for a night of opera at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.

The Gotham Chamber Opera produced a wonderful new piece there—La Hija de Rappaccini—a piece set in a garden of trees, which was, of course, the entire reason they did it in the BBG. So much about it felt right. It was a beautiful set, casually situated amongst the cherry trees, and we the people spread our blankets out along the great lawn, and someone lent us some of those lawn chairs with no legs, and I still had my headache and the conductor (someone I've met a few times, but is a close friend of Andy and Jesse) gave me some of his personal Tylenol, and the singers sang their hearts out, especially when the generators went down and they were outside and unamplified and we could STILL hear them and they sounded fantastic, and when the generators went down the singers couldn't see a monitor, so the assistant conductor moved down and sat on the grass and conducted the actors from the front of the lawn while the main conductor continued to conduct the orchestra and it was all done with grace and flexibility and it just worked out. The whole event felt (and this is HIGH compliment coming from me) like being in Portland. I stood up at one point and thought, "I must know other people here," and then there they were—my other people—just a few feet away.

A perfect summer evening under the stars (OK, under the clouds.)

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