When did I first long to be in the audience at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera? I can’t say exactly, but the desire was probably born in 1967, the year I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Our city boasts a fine company, Santa Fe Opera, and I’ve never missed attending their productions. Wonderful, but not the Met. During not-so-long-ago months of the Covid lockdown, most nights found me watching HD Met Opera productions on the computer. Along with thousands of other opera buffs, I found my spirits lifted, worries forgotten. I imagined myself there.
This January during a visit to the East Coast, I finally attended the Met. Thanks to a kind friend who secured tickets for us, I got to see “Fedora” by Umberto Giordano. Involving the tragic, entangled love affair of two aristocrats, the opera was melodramatic, sumptuously presented, brilliantly sung. The play on which this little known opera is based was written by a Frenchman, Victorien Sardou. Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva sang the role of Princess Fedora; Piotr Beczala, a tenor from Poland, performed the role of Count Loris, Fedora’s lover. The plot becomes impossibly tangled and — no surprise —Fedora ends up tragically poisoned by her own hand. As one critic quipped, “Fedora” is about as opera as opera gets.”
Being at the Met exceeded my expectations; it was incredibly rewarding. But there were other highlights of the trip back East. Thanks to the kind friend, I saw the Berkshires, the Catskills, the house of Robert Frost in South Shaftsbury, Vermont, and the Clark Art Museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Even though I would never choose to live anywhere but Santa Fe, I was reminded that beautiful and fascinating sights and experiences are to be enjoyed in the Northeast.
Robert Frost House/ Sculpture of Frost writing “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”
Join Elaine on Mondays for reflections on the writing, hiking and the outdoors, Santa Fe life, and the world as seen through adoption-colored glasses. Check out her newest novel The Hand of Ganesh. Follow adoptees Clara Jordan and Dottie Benet in their quest to find Dottie’s birthparents. Order today from Amazon or http://www.pocolpress.com. And thanks for reading!