Monday, March 25, 2013

Bratislava Opera: And Then The Lights Went Out

After dropping by the Sheraton Lounge for a glass of wine, we wandered along the Danube toward the Old Opera Building for tonight's performance of Il Barbiere di Siviglia. What a glorious building it is, inside and out.

As is described here...

The theatre building was constructed in 1886 after designs of the prolific Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer. The architects designed numerous theaters in Europe, including ones in Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Graz, Salzburg, Brno, Carlsbad, Zurich, Hamburg, Zagreb and Odessa. The Old Opera Building in Bratislava is a neo-Renaissance structure with a charming Ganymede Fountain by Viktor Tilgner in the front. 

We walked in, and with only a minimum of difficulty found our way to our fantastic center seats in the front row of a 12-seat box in the first (or second) balcony, arguably the best seats in the house.

The lights dimmed, the small orchestra played Rossini's wonderful overture, and off we went. That last for all of about 40 minutes. Figaro had just finished singing his eponymous aria, and old Dr. Bartolo emerged on the balcony with Rosina, the ward whom he plans to marry when the lights went out!

For one moment Brian thought it was part of some modern version of this classic but Kathy already had it figured out. We sat around for nearly 10 minutes and then Kathy suggested we head for the basement cloakroom to reclaim our jackets, one of which contained Kathy's iPod Touch and its flashlight app.

As we walked back up the down staircase, we realized, to quote another figure from opera, La commedia e finita!

Apparently we have three days to claim refunds, and we're keeping our fingers crossed that tomorrow night's production of Tosca in the new opera building just across the way is glitch-free.

We're back in the Sheraton Executive Lounge, drowning our sorrows in Müller-Thurgau, Buffalo Chicken Wings, and a mushroom pasta prepared by the same kitchen that offered up that excellent lunch.

Yes, we spent nearly as much time walking in light snow to and from the performance as we did watching it, but somehow we're not feeling all that bad. There must be something about Müller-Thurgau.


Dennis Warner said...

Perhaps they had only rehearsed that much of the opera and to save face turned the power off!! Ha ha. Anyway, I hope that you get to see Tosca in its entirety in the new opera house tomorrow! If not you'll still have the Müller-Thurgau!

Kathy and Brian said...

A plausible theory indeed!