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Monday, November 19, 2007

The Magic Flute

I'm back from New York, all in one piece. Die Zauberflote was amazing--Julie Taymor's production rocked the world, and every single performer was a knockout. I have a serious crush on for the Met.

She drew inspiration from multiple traditions, including kabuki, puppetry (is that bear not fabulous?), Commedia dell'Arte, Freemason symbolism, and a generous dash of slapstick. I don't usually love comic opera, being the type of person who prefers the big melodramatic death aria sung at top volume by a woman supposedly dying of tuberculosis, but I might have to make an exception for Mozart. The Magic Flute is phenomenal, a completely nonsensical fairy tale with loads of standout arias beyond the most famous Queen of the Night coloratura. She was wonderful in this production, though, extremely menacing, in a gorgeous way, and her high notes and control were perfection.

It's hard to describe the thrill of hearing someone execute a fiendishly difficult piece of music like that live and in person, at least for an opera geek like me. I had chills and heart palpitations. That's her in the red, there, hitting the high G, or whatever the hell it is. Could you die?

Anyway, we had a blast. Drank lots of cocktails, since that's what we can't get in Norwalk (unless we make them ourselves, and I will say, it's forced me to learn to make a damn good manhattan), ate lots of good stuff, including cheap Thai food (yay!), and I got to see my best New York friends, the people I miss the most, Meg and John.

Meg and I actually went to the same college, but didn't become close until we both moved to Manhattan after graduation. She was one of my bridesmaids. She's a big foodie, loves opera as much as I do (I know, what a freak!) and has one of the wickedest senses of humor I've ever been involved with.

John is also hysterically funny (are we sensing a common theme? I MUST be entertained) and smart. We met at work, both editors at the same publisher, although he acquired mostly sci fi/fantasy. He left a little before I did, to work for DC Comics, and now has lots of interesting inside information that he meanly refuses to share on things like the new Batman movie.

I have friends in my new town, and we get along great. We go out, have fun together, even have a few things in common. But they're not what Anne of Green Gables would call "kindred spirits". You know? When something happens to me, good or bad, John and Meg are the ones I call. I love my friends, and I miss them a lot.


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