Last night was my introduction to our new opera house and in between bouts of hacking and coughing freely today, I'm still excited about the experience.
There are seats for 2000 but it seems even more intimate than that. The sightlines are amazing, the acoustics finely tuned, the seats comfortable and what's this? Legroom?! There may well be things that mean more but to a 6 foot tall galoot, legroom is right up there. With only 14 rows between me and the orchestra pit, everything was perfect.
Ladies, you'll be pleased to know that there are double the washroom facilities for women in the building. There were complimentary cough drops at all of the bars on each level and also plent of space to roam about, mingle and generally see and be seen.
Mozart's Così fan tutte was on offer and it was a fitting start to what hopefully is a brilliant season. Apart from a few curtain glitches that the performers managed to work to their advantage in this farcical piece, everything else was perfect. The singing was excellent on all accounts and every performer could be heard along with rather than in competition with the music as often seemed to be the case at the old venue. What a treat.
I overheard people say that parts of the performance were too slapsticky. Please, it's a comedy! Play along folks, it can't all be high art.
When I wasn't laughing at the antics of the cast, particularly Shannon Mercer as Despina and Kristina Szabo as Dorabella, I was wiping away the tears at Michael Colvin's beautiful tenor. I'm not sure of the name of his solo in Act 1 but it was such a pure and moving sound that I forgot to check the surtitles, it had to have been about love.
Even as I suffered with the worst cold ever visited upon a mortal, like the good patron I am, I waited until applause to cough, only sneezed once and refrained fully from the urge to spit on all those who dared to wear jeans to the big show. Who says I'm not charitable? Rawther.