Sunday, December 1, 2013

My First Opera

2013 has been a year of a lot of 'firsts.' I have traveled to many different places, had my first Valentine's Day as a single woman, participated in my first race with obstacle courses, have been to more than one 49ers games and Sharks games, first time taking a motorcycle outside the parking lot and going 75 mph from Oakley to Tracy, drove a 4-wheeler, and now my first opera.

I received a Groupon notice for tickets to see The Barber of Seville for half off. I have never been to an opera and remember the advertising agency I was working for, Y&R, had the San Francisco Opera account. Some employees usually get free tickets or discounts but I was never that lucky. I asked Megan, my aspiring actress friend, if she wanted to go and she enthusiastically said yes. I also didn't have to ask her if she wanted to dress up. It was an excuse to have a girls' night and get dressed up.


I decided to wear a white BCBG dress that I haven't worn since my 29th (?) birthday to see Wicked. And it fit just fine, maybe even better. I paired it with my gray snakeskin strappy heels from White House Black Market, one of my favorite stores. I couldn't find my gray snakeskin Stella & Dot wristlet that I love so I had to borrow Megan's Jessica McClintock silver clutch. Megan wore a dark blue  and black satin dress, a faux fur jacket, black flowered stockings and black low boots. She borrowered the discontinuing Gigi Studs in black and gold.

We made reservations at Absinthe but all that was left was one for 7pm. The show started at 8pm. We decided to go early and maybe squeeze in for an earlier seating. Before that, I had to take Bevo to Happy Hound because I didn't want to go all the way home to take him out just to head out to the city. I just had to make sure I picked him up before midnight. The production was a 3-hour and ten minutes event. Stay tuned for the evening dash details.

Absinthe was great. We were able to be seated inmediately but in the bar area, which was fine because it was just far enough away from the door. We wanted to just sit and be able to enjoy our meal without being rushed. We started off with wine. I was craving a glass of Pinot Noir but with wearing all white, I didn't want to risk it. I went with a reisling, while Megan returned her first glass and was happy with her second choice. She never sends back a glass of wine but she wanted to fully enjoy her meal. I totally understand. 

We decided to split an appetizer and the chicken liver was calling her name. I was fine with that. It was a first for me and my God, it was tasty. It came with sliced toast and darkened quince, a fruit I have never had before. More firsts! I went with the ahi tuna and Megan went with the duck. Both of our entrees were delicious and it was seasoned even better with humorous conversation. We definitely were below the average age of the patrons in the establishment and thankfully we weren't treated differently. Our money was good there. We finished it off with a chocolate dessert that was so rich I gave up majority of my half to Megan.



We had just enough time to grab a drink at Jardiniere. It is right across the street from the War Memorial Opera House and I have always wanted to eat there. There wasn't anywhere to sit except the low handicap spots at the bar. Ha, why not! The bartender was very nice and gave us the drink and dessert menu. Megan was stuffed so she decided not to get anything. I went with the Honey Parfait, it came in an expected form, and the recommended Moscato. Both were tasty under the starlit ceiling, and I convinced Megan to try it. I knew she had room. 



Then it was show time. We finally had a chance to get a photo of the both of us where the lighting wasn't prepped for a romantic dinner.



We had to climb four flights of stairs. The cheapest tickets were for $17 but I went with a bit more expensive tickets as I am kind of blind. But we still had to climb those flights. The seats are narrow and there's not much room to cross your legs comfortably. But the show was great. The incredible talent of these singers were mind blowing. They sang in Italian but there were English subtitles above the stage. Thank goodness because my Italian is not so good. The use of the stage was not as impressive as other productions I have seen such as Miss Saigon or even Wicked. Nonetheless, it was entertaining. We enjoyed ourselves, as always. I would like to see Phantom of the Opera someday. There's a Cirque show in San Francisco now. I'm not sure if I'll be able to see that but I would love to!


Intermission

It was 11:08 pm when the show ended. Will I be able to make it to Happy Hound to pick up my pup in time? With Warrior Dash under my belt, jogging in heels from the opera house to Civic Center Bart, trying not to twist my ankle down the escalator and around a standing person in my way to catch a train that was just about to close its doors, was a piece of cake. I made it to my Beeves with 15 minutes to spare.

Here's to new and exciting adventures!

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