La Boheme Sydney Opera House

Jan Leeming

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Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.

 

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

LA BOHEME - Sydney Opera House

Date: 16th January 2014

I must state at the outset that I am no great Opera Buff. There are a few I very much like and would go a long way to see such as Bizet's 'Carmen'. However in the main, I'd rather go to the Theatre or a Ballet.

Jonathan insisted that I really must experience Opera in the Sydney Opera House and we booked for La Boheme. Jonathan was unwell so his girlfriend accompanied me. I think my love of Carmen, apart from the fantastic score, is that is it a fairly 'meaty' story. La Boheme, like so many operas, has a rather trite plot carrying some lovely Arias. And I was at a loss to understand the fairground in the street before the entry into the Cafe and their involvement within the Cafe - possibly a way of padding out a very thin story.

That said, the production was superb - the acoustics phenomenal and the singing fabulous. It would be almost unfair to pick out one of the superb cast but I will do it anyway. I don't know his background and professional history but the young Korean man who played Rodolfo, Ji-Min Park, was absolutely wonderful. Remember that I am no Opera afficionado but I do appreciate clarity and though I don't read music, I can always hear a duff note whether it be in an orchestra or with a singer. This brings me back to the Acoustics in the Opera House - they must be second to none as are the sight lines. Our seats were on the side in the Dress circle and we couldn't fault them - all we could criticize was the AC - we were both frozen! I noticed that several of the women were carrying shawls - now I know why. (It was also interesting that the women in particular had made more of an effort to 'dress up' than they normally do in this ultra ultra casual city.)

I find it rather sad that tickets are so expensive to any form of the Arts in the developed world. Probably theatre is the least expensive but Opera and Ballet remain highly priced thus rendering the experience inaccessible to a large swathe of the population. Our seats were medium priced and infinitely better value than The Illusionists which we saw last Saturday. I go back to the UK tomorrow - sad for all sorts of reasons. I shall be unhappy at saying goodbye to my son and not knowing when I'll see him again and I'm leaving just as the Sydney Festival gets into full swing and there's so much in the programme I would love to have seen.

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.