Saturday, September 21, 2013

Opera Season is Here!

 
Well it appears opera season is here and in full swing on this beautiful September day! Last winter one of my beau's I am seeing is a professor, a sexy professor at that, took me to my first ever opera , and I must admit I did enjoy myself. Not only was the singing mind blowing, but I enjoyed all the pomp and circumstance. Not to mention the dinner after, and the night ended on a good note so to speak!!!! he has already asked if I like to sing a high note again, so plans are under way to go see another. But before going I was a wee bit nervous as to what to wear and was there any etiquette I had to know about? So I called my friend M, who is one of the opera goers. I felt better .  I was going to go with something like this.....
 
 
minis the deer head though. But it might have been over the top, so I went with my slim fit dark suit I paid a fortune and two house boys for, but it fit me like it was tailor made. But I highly recommend going if you ever have the chance, the music is like none I have ever heard live.There are probably several questions that you are asking yourself about what to expect from your first opera performance or trip to the opera house. Here are some things from the Mistress that may help.....
 
 
What should I do before the performance?

Opera tickets is that the most expensive seat is not always the best seat in the opera house. The most expensive might be the closest, but not give you the best sound. It is always best the first time to buy the tickets at the theater box office if possible. The people working in the box office will often be able to tell you what your best options are to enjoy the entire experience of the drama and the music by showing you the opera house seating chart. Opera also gear up in September and wind down with the season ending in April and May.

Secondly, it is also a good idea to do at least a little research about the opera that you are attending. Taking 10 minutes to review the basic opera plot information about the opera or hearing an opera cd of the piece, so that you are familiar with what you are about to see, will allow you to better enjoy all that is going on on stage.

When should I get there?

One of the best parts of going to the opera is people watching, which I love. This can be almost as entertaining as the show. People who are dressed to the nines, peacocking around as if they were royalty, making small talk about “operatic things.” My date and I were discussing what we would do to each other after. I would recommend getting to the theater early enough to make it to the bathroom before the show starts. Opera acts tend to run pretty long, and lines at the bathroom during intermission can be even longer Don't these guys know if you shake it more than once your playing with it? . Go before hand and you will have more time to people watch.
 
What should I wear?
One of the fun things about opera is that there is no set dress code. You will find people dressed in anything from business casual, to Sunday best, to what I like to call the “fur-brigade.” About 75% will wear what they might wear to a church service, but by all means if you have that formal gown and are just dying to wear it out, let the drag queen out!!! you will not feel out of place. Ripped jeans and a t-shirt will not get you kicked out of the opera house, but you might consider cleaning up a bit. On a side note, if you are going to a premiere or opening night, people tend to dress on the fancier side of things, with tux and ball gowns.

What do I do during the performance?

Enjoy the show and take it all in. It is inappropriate to hum or tap along. It is also inappropriate to talk during the performance. Please turn off all phones, beepers, and pagers. Most theaters will also not allow you to record a live opera performance, so no cameras or camcorders either. It's also not good to talk and rattle  candy wrappers like at the movies, or show up late, or get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the show. And probably not a good time for getting frisky. Again, just sit back and enjoy the show!
 

When do I clap?

This is always a fear for someone who is spending a night at the opera for the first time. As a general rule of thumb, there are a few key places when clapping is a good idea, assuming that the level of the performance warrants clapping:
 
  • When the conductor comes out to start the overture.
  • When everyone else around you is clapping.
  • At the end of an act or the end of the opera and the opera singers are taking bows.
When in doubt, it is better not to clap than to clap and get the evil stares of people around you. Also you are bound to hear cheers from the audience of “Bravo.” Bravo for the beginner can be a bit scary, as the word changes based on whom you are saying it to. Here is a quick guide to Bravo:

  • Say Bravo to a single male performer’s exceptional performance.
  • Say Brava to a single female performer’s exceptional performance.

Don't be Late!

Unlike a movie theater,  Opera Houses do not allow latecomers to take their seats after the performance has begun. (Those who miss the curtain can still take in the show—live—on television monitors in the lobby. Latecomers can then take their seats at a suitable interval—usually intermission.)
 
And it probably won't hurt to take a pair of one of my favorite accessories too....the opera glasses!!!!!! Either of these is suitable....
 
 
 
 
And if you wear opera gloves there is rules for that too......
 
 
 
Traditionally, opera gloves should not be put on in public, but should be donned in the privacy of one's home before going out.
 
*Your gloves should be kept on when shaking hands (e.g., in a reception line) or when dancing.

*Gloves may also be worn while drinking, though care must be exercised by one not to spill liquids on them, especially when the gloves are made of kidskin or some other delicate leather.
*When you sit down to dinner, you should take off your gloves, and put them back on when dinner is over.

*If you remove your opera gloves, you should not take them off in a way that calls undue or seductive attention to the process (unless, of course, you are attempting to seduce the viewer, like myself!)
 *The basic rule as to length of gloves may be defined as follows: the shorter the sleeve, the longer the glove. Opera gloves are, therefore, properly worn with sleeveless or short-sleeved dresses or strapless, sleeveless (with straps) or short-sleeved evening gowns.
*White and its various shades, including ivory, beige and taupe, are the traditional colors for opera gloves and are appropriate for virtually any occasion on which opera gloves are worn.

*Black opera gloves should not be worn with white or light-colored dresses or gowns, but can be worn with black, dark-colored or bright-colored clothing.

*Opera gloves of other colors generally should be worn only in coordination with the color scheme of the dress or gown you are wearing.

 

So lets do all these opera divas proud! The above are my three favorites...Beverly Sills, Maria Callas and Dame Gwyneth Jones. I think everybody would enjoy seeing just one in their lifetime and getting up dressed up to the nines. Besides for myself and the Professor it was even more fun getting each other out of the suits after, and those ties came in handy, but that's another story!

34 comments:

  1. That's too many rules for me to keep up with. And with how people in SoCal always fashionably late wherever we go, I hope my local opera house has a huge lobby!

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    1. so long as there is a bar in the lobby the Mistress is happy

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    2. Well you now tootes along with decorum comes a lot of rules.....and gin.

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  2. Went to the opera in Portland Oregon. As I was a kid I didn't pay attention to anything other than the program had the story so I knew why all the people were singing about.... I probably wore a white blouse, plaid skirt, knee socks and mary janes.

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  3. Mistress, you are just too fabulous! I just never know what you'll post next! William and I are Met tickets holders and enjoy the music so. Opening night is always my favorite. Where else can I wear a huge gown? I would love a pair of opera glasses. Another thing- it nice to see how many young people are staring to go to operas and classical concerts again!

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    1. So I shouldn't be wearing a huge gown to get my food shopping done??? Agnes you need to hit New Hope. I have seen many antique opera glasses in the shops here.

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  4. What a lovely post! I LOVE opera and for a while was a singer. I just love all your bits here, I'd say you covered it all! The ode to the opera Queens is a nice touch, I too adored Beverly Sills....will never be replaced! The glove etiquette, well, I'm still soaking it all on.....

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    1. You love all my bits here? I wasn't aware I was exposed. Meanwhile I need to have you entertain at the Casa dear.

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  5. I think the first picture in fabulous, but Im guessing you were handsome as ever! The whole glove etiquette in very interesting....I now need to go to a opera.

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  6. I can't say I ever heard much opera, but I'd give it a try. Now when do we get It's Opera Season Part 2- Later that Night? I can only imagine......

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    1. you've been to the parties so you could imagine.

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    2. You can only imagine? The drinks must have been too strong.

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  7. I am definitely a little confused, so much too take in! I like jazz myself at times. And did the Professor behave himself during the performance?

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    1. you'll notice the Mistress left out the part about being seated on the balcony getting his trombone played with.

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    2. Miss Moorecock, I left your bonus check up in the attic on the desk. * rushes off to lock the hatch behind her*

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  8. Very good advice and it all applies to going to the symphony too. My two pet peeves at the symphony are yahoos who talk during the performance or people who hum or sing along (usually with the Hallelujah Chorus during The Messiah). I didn't pay bigga bigga bucks to hear THEM.

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    1. That's a huge one! Allow with one of my gear grinders...kids who get the fidgets.

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  9. Mistress, what a charmed life. I haven't been to a opera in years. I never knew should I wear a suit or dress? Maria Callas was one of my favorites.

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  10. mwahahahahah!!! You are definitely a teaser with that cliff hanger!!!! Since my with the Philly Symphony I also enjoy the opera here in Philly and occasionally go to the Met. I usually head up by myself since I have no boyfriend, and my friends can't get into it. And the men look so dapper.

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    1. All that talent, and I'm sure good looks and you play the instrument so fine, I can't imagine. I'll have you over with Ursula for a performance!

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  11. You do know about glove etiquette so why do you only use them for the old white glove test?

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  12. A true queen Mistress, and don't forget about the jewelry wearing. As Vera Charles said to Mame regarding her loud, jingly bracelets, What the HELL have you got back there, reindeer?

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    1. No more champagne, or I shall forget myself all together.

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  13. I love the opera a couple time a season. Nothing like opening night, Simple rule, for a premier, wear black tie. For every other show, trendy jeans and nice shirt and sport coat are fine. Now how about the dirty details?


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  14. This reminds me of the times my grandmother use to take me to the opera. Although I'm sure my glove know how was most likely off.

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    1. Knowing you I'm sure more than the glove was off.

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  15. Well! Got yerself a little culture, did ya, Missy? Good fer you! Oh, and I love-love-love that pic of Beverly Sills. An absolute classic. Have fun, dear. Oh... and if I were you? I'd get a zipper put in the back of those pants that go with your fancy suit. I hear standing room only, in the back can be quite a lot of fun... especially if one's suit is tailored correctly. - Uptonking from Wonderland Burlesque

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    1. "zipper put in the back of those pants that go with your fancy suit. I hear standing room only, in the back can be quite a lot of fun... your going to be a good teacher and a bad influence I see;)

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    2. A zipper in the back of his pants? There would be a constant dick in there. Not that I WOULD KNOW.

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  16. I love going to the opera with a pair of opera glasses. You'd be amazed at what you see! Meanwhile the deer head would have been a great accessory what was the problem?

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  17. Well living in Harrisburg we have the symphony and that's about all the culture, and of course God forbid anyone dress up for anything. So we get dressed up and head to NYC or Philly. It's worth it.

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Go ahead darling, tell me something fabulous!

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