A few weeks ago, the President of my University tweeted: “Interested in joining me for lunch & opera Regina TheClariceUMD on Apr.10? Be one of 20 UMD students to tweet back & receive an invite” to which I knew that I had to reply with an extremely enthusiastic “yes please!”
It’s been quite the weekend, with a Saturday night at a Jeopardy viewing, and a Sunday afternoon eating lunch with my University Dean and his wife then attending my first opera.
The luncheon started at 1:30, and reaching promptly at exactly 1:32 in order to cut the awkwardness of being the first student invited, I walked up the long walkway, into the beautiful home that is Dr. Wallace Loh’s.
With the finest foods prepared by professional chefs, chocolate mousse and crème brûlée for dessert, and Starbucks brewed coffee and 14 different Tazo teas to choose from afterwards, it definitely set the stage for the rest of the experiences I would have that day.
2 hours later, we walked to the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center where I attended my first Opera – Regina, a rendition of The Little Foxes – which has a strong statement against capitalism.
No doubt I was nervous about my first opera. This is the extent of my knowledge on Operas:
- It’s probably in Italian, and as much as I’ve been wanting to learn, I know absolutely nothing.
- There’s a lot of singing so I’m scared I won’t be able to follow the plot line
- Men are going to be wearing tuxedos with gloves, and women are going to be wearing ball gowns with opera gloves in which they hold their opera glasses, and I’m going to be extremely under-dressed.
Let me be the first to say, if you haven’t been to an opera, you have nothing to be nervous about, because this was one of the greatest experiences of my life, as a) It was luckily in English, b) I was able to follow the story just fine c) I wore a nice business casual dress and I fit in perfectly.
I’m not going to give any spoilers of Regina but it’s definitely worth watching!
So first, our seating, we were in the Orchestra seating, and luck was on my side as my prepaid ticket had me in Row G, smack in the middle, so I got a great view of all of the actors, the set, and even the musicians in the pit. We arrived early as to make sure we don’t have to climb over everyone else in our row and accidentally break toes. We also ordered coffee to be given to us during the second intermission, which was for 15 minutes after Act II, and I was given a number which I could use to pick up my drink when the time arrived.
The show started off great. What is great about Regina is that it’s not performed often, because it takes aspects from Opera and from Broadway, so it truly was a unique experience, and a shoutout to all of the wonderful members of the Maryland Opera House who performed so beautifully.
During the intermission after Act I, we were able to go backstage and meet some of the artists. Being backstage, watching the makeup, the costumes, and the commotion that was happening, I wanted to change my major from Economics to Theater right then, despite not being able to sing for my life. (Trust me, if my showerhead could kick me out when I start performing a song, it would)
After Act II, the intermission when I picked up a beautiful vanilla latte, and the final act of the show, Act III had ended, I knew that this would be a moment I would never forget.
So let’s recap. If you ever get the chance to meet your University Dean, then do it, you’ll be treated like a prince/princess. And Two: Everyone should experience at least one Opera in their life. Leaving the auditorium, I could almost feel my life being more enriched, and another thing to cross off my bucket list.
Have you had any of the above experiences, if so, tell me about it below in your comments!