A night at the opera

Last night Willie and I, Matt, and Chloe went out to Madama Butterfly at the State Theatre! Puccini isn't my usual musical fare to say the least, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a great spectacle, and the singing was fantastic, especially Hiromi Omura who played Butterfly. The set was simple, with some touches that made it magical: pools of water, glittering stars, and drifting cherry blossoms. I was grateful for the surtitles translating the Italian, as I wasn't familiar with the story beyond the basic naive-Japanese-heroine-meets-caddish-American-villain outline.

I've been to a couple of operas before: The Marriage of Figaro a year or two ago in Wellington, and L'Orfeo more recently. It's a great excuse to dress up and be fancy - a lovely escapist way to spend an evening. It was fun to introduce our newbie guests to the bizarre and sublime world of opera!

The teaser trailer:


Hiromi Omura in the same role, in a past production:


We had really good seats, thanks to a competition Opera Australia is running. The idea is to make an origami butterfly, and take a photo of it in a public place. I took my slightly dodgy butterfly along on one of my raiding-trips to the State Library music-scores room. ;)

A butterfly on a butterfly

Melbourne for beginners

Well, I'm finally here! Yesterday was my first full day in Melbourne.

In the morning, Willie and I headed out to brunch with a friend at a fantastic place in Hardware St, which was well worth the wait for a table. I had a pot of French Earl Grey tea, and some delicious baked eggs with asparagus. I managed to drip pistou down my front, but luckily I had my trusty Bright Side scarf to cover up the evidence. ;)

By the time we got back to our apartment we were both severely in need of a nap, especially as I never sleep well in a new bed, and my day of travelling on Saturday was pretty draining. When we woke up, there was just enough time to get dressed up, grab a bite to eat, and scramble to get to the Arts Centre for the performance of L'Orfeo. We just made it (hurrah)!

It was amazing to hear this live! The instruments in particular sounded fantastic, in various colourful combinations of violins, viols, lirone, recorders, cornetti, sackbutts, harpsichords, organ, regal, theorbos, Baroque guitars, and percussion.

After the opera, we walked home and again collapsed with exhaustion.
I expect I'll start to feel more like myself in a few days, but until then I'll have to try to take it easy...