Our #Adventures going to @SFOpera for #Falstaff #Culture #Opera #art #sf
The Dynamic Duo of Sophie’s Dish! E and I in the San Francisco Opera’s Lobby
Two weeks ago, we went to SF Opera to see Falstaff. (SF Opera’s Full Details on Falstaff). This would be our 2nd opera. The first being the Magic Flute that happened last year. Tonight we are going to see Barber of Seville (SF Operas Full Details on Barber of Seville). The Barber of Seville runs until 12/1/2013 so if you want to go there’s still a chance! They even have a family night with a shortened program as the opera can be too long for little ones.
The opera for a long time seemed to me to be a bit of older person’s fancy and far out of my reach. However, the SF Opera is actually very affordable. I purchased my tickets during their 50% off sale so they were around $30 each. The operas usually last about 3 hours so you definitely get your money’s worth! If you sign up for their mailing list they will email about the different sales and opera shows going on. The ticket also includes pre-opera talks that happen an hour before the event.
We both really enjoy our time in the opera. It was not at all as stuffy or boring as one might expect. 😛 It’s in this beautiful, ornate building but don’t let that intimidate you! Some people do bring out their Sunday best and make a big night of it. It’s similar to going to a play or the symphony. We just arrive in our normal work clothes since we usually hit up a weekday opera. The staff is super helpful and friendly. The actual opera was filled with tons of moments to laugh and you don’t have to be at all familiar with the opera at all to have a good time. There’s always amazing live orchestra music and compelling sets!
(Ending Scene – Falstaff, where the singers are doing their bows from the upper tiers, you can see the opera vision screen above)
Falstaff is a comedy with a moral. The main character, Falstaff thinks he’s hot stuff and tries to seduce two married women at the same time for their riches. However, he doesn’t realize the women know each other and are aware of his devious plans. The women and the townspeople soon begin to plot funny pranks against Falstaff and the story unfolds. FYI Sir John Falstaff is the most hilarious looking character! He’s got a huge belly, balding and a curly mustache! He kind of reminds me of what Santa would look like if he fell off the wagon.
I really wish I could have captured the scene when Falstaff appears in his pompous red suit. It’s so hilarious! You’ll have to check SF Opera site to see it. I couldn’t take any pictures during the actual opera but I snapped at the end to show our view. We sat in the 2nd tier which is quite high up but with Opera Vision (screen), it was still a great view. Opera Vision is a live stream of the opera with English subtitles. Falstaff was sung in Italian with English subtitles. It was about 2 hours 40 minutes long with 1 intermission. The opera goes by quite fast with lots of entertaining scenes.
There’s a couple of side plots going on while Falstaff is busy pursuing women. There’s a plot happening in parallel about one’s the women’s daughter falling in love with a employee of her father. There’s Falstaff’s henchmen egging on one’s of the women’s husband to foil the plot of seduction. There’s fairies and plots twists…and old dudes that no one wants.
Anyway the opera ends with Falstaff revealing that all the world is folly and all the figures are fun Tutto nel mondo è burla… Tutti gabbati! / “Everything in the world a jest…” and that he’s pleased is he not the only duped. He’s a fairly jolly man after being duped so often but it’s his own fault to mess with more than he can chew.
Falstaff Opera Stage
I am always amazed how they design the opera’s stage. We loved the Magic Flute’s artistic design. I was quite amazed by how Falstaff stage was the same set throughout the opera but it had all these moving parts to show scene changes. From our seats, the stage looks immense but up close it’s actually quite a small stage that’s slated upwards. The opera was a lovely night out! There’s a amazing venue, a theatrical performance, a full pit orchestra, great vocals, comedy and laughter. I highly recommend going to one!
I’m excited to see how Barber of Seville tonight!
* Opera tickets were purchased by me with my own money*
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