On Saturday, July 17th my (almost) 1 ½ year old son was introduced to his 1st live opera during his 3rd visit to BSO!!!
Because of the Artscape, traffic in Downtown was pretty bad. Many streets were closed for the event. We decided that my husband would drop us off at the Symphony Hall, surf the Artscape and join us later.
Like I said earlier, the concert was free, but the tickets existed and were handed out at the entrance. There was no admission age limit and all humans were allowed. The seating was also free, so we got a great aisle seat in the 4th Row. The seat continued to be great, until a huge guy with a hat strapped around his neck, landed into the seat right in front of us. Very politely I attempted to ask if he could possibly scoot one seat to the right (his whole row was empty), because my little guy had a hard time seeing the stage, but heard "No, sorry - I like my seat!" Lucky for Troy, I could turn more into the aisle, so he could still see most of what was going on onstage. I was surprised, however, that the guy was so stingy about a little thing like that. First of all, he was late, and it wasn't exactly like he had to pay for his seat either. People like that never stop surprising me. But...whatever. I guess.
All right, let's change the subject. We have more exciting stuff to talk about.
Troy could not take his eyes off the stage with all the musical instruments right in front of him, the musicians dressed in white and particularly, the conductor, Christian Colberg. He was fascinated with the way the conductor was moving his hands and has been trying to do the same thing ever since.
The concert consisted of just 4 numbers:
Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien,
Offenbach's Les Oiseaux Dans Les Charmille, and
Glitter and Be Gay from Bernstein's Candide, both sung by Rachele Gilmore, and
Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio Espagnol.
I am proud to report that Troy enjoyed the music with all his heart and being, especially the first two numbers. Just like a grown-up. Except he was sitting on my lap with a pacifier in his mouth (that he mostly uses for shows these days). He listened with all his attention, clapping quietly every now and then and turning to me with a huge smile on his face, as if to check, if I was enjoying it as much as he was.
Other audience members expressed quite a bit of surprise about the way he was listening and behaving. They were almost cheering for him, which made me - oh, so proud of my little guy.
Rachele Gilmore came onstage looking as pretty and youthful as in her pictures. She wore a bright red dress with a bow on the back. I was so happy that Troy got to hear that "signature aria" (that made her sort of famous after her Met debut as Olympia this season) along with the incomparably beautiful music by Offenbach.
I guess in the famous You Tube videos Ms. Gilmore demonstrated a little bit riskier and thus more effective singing, but hey - it was a very decent and confident performance. She spiced the aria up with some acting and Mr. Colberg could not be happier to oblige to wind her up every time she "broke down" having run out of power, which made the audience laugh.
Troy still behaved very well in the 2nd part of the concert, even though his level of concentration was not the same. Who could blame him though? Capriccio Italiene alone was quite an adventure! Even though it is a fusion of incredibly beautiful tunes, it is a heavy, long and tiring work for such a young a listener. I was thinking that had the music selections been lighter and catchier, like Mozart or Rossini for instance, he would have probably had enough concentration for the whole show.
After the concert was over, Rachele Gilmore, changed into a stylish black and grey summer dress, walked through the house, accompanied by a tall, dark and handsome gentleman. A couple of people came up to express their appreciation, but she was obviously in a rush, so we didn’t.
In the foyer, they had smaller musical instruments for the kids to look at and try out. Troy had a chance to run his fingers through the harp strings and hear those beautiful sounds. Even though he was pretty exhausted by then, his face got all lit up and happy. I absolutely love this outreach initiative that BSO has for kids!
All in all, we all had a wonderful time and would definitely do it again.