19 July, 2007

guidebook for standing room at the opera

So far I've seen three shows in standing room seats (third tier, center) at the Opera. Tonight- Nozze. Standing. I can doooooo eeeet.
Here is my personal guide for having fun and amusing yourself in standing room seats (which, fyi, at this theater are assigned so there is no mad dash to tie a scarf around the banister where you want to stand in the next hour).

1. Wear something nice for the opera, but not so nice that people will think you actually have SEATS. ie, no prom dresses. Fashion dont's I've seen so far (and there have been OH so many):
a. The "Jasmine": think, Jasmine in Aladdin top of the dress, only in white- kind of like a clamshell bikini, linked by a metal loop (one--in the front), to a long white skirt. So essentially, backless except for one strap of the top, J-Lo wanna-be front, but on a 40 yr old woman with a bad dye job.

b. The "my grandma wore that dress as a nightie in 1973": Pale small flowers, set on a dark color, a different colored, but still dark SOCK in SANDALS that look like Jellies.

c. The "I'm wearing a ballgown to the opera because it's the opera even though it's 90 degrees and begins at 6pm and my seats are in the highest ring, last row"- self explanatory

d. The Dirndl. Self explanatory. On some girls and women it's SO cute. On some it looks like a Renaissance fair gone bad.

e. JEANS on boys with mullets, rat-tails, or a combination of both. WRONG! Not allowed!

2. Exercise at the Opera!
There are SO many things you can do while standing or leaning on the banister in your standing room platz.
Including: Butt crunches, tucking in your abs and pulsing them for a bit, practicing your pliee positions and other ballet floor work, arm strength work (when the show is not going on) while leaning your weight onto the banister like a push up against a wall, Anything you can really think of that doesn't require leg lifts and can be done in a non-disruptive dark small space about the size of a standing coffin.

3. Intermissions: they are 40 minutes long here. And they don't sell candy or chocolate! Just expensive alcohol and some sort of gooey fruit sorbet. BUT there is an evil starbucks 4 minutes away and even though that is the MOST American thing I have done here, I HAVE gone there to get cookies or wraps or fruit smoothies in the 40 minutes because I didn't get a chance to eat dinner before the 7pm Curtain and 6pm "show up for last minute tickets" starting time.

4. Make friends with the old ladies around you. They have had season tickets to the summer festival for at least the past 20 years and they are here to see their favorite baritone. They may wear a lot of stinky hair products and too much perfume, but they are hysterical when yelling at some poor guy who is trying to get by them after the lights go dark and nothing has started yet, but they still have to move three inches to let him in the row which is unacceptable to them.

5. Bet on who will get a Bravo after their aria and how long it will be. Bet on how many curtain calls the cast will take.

6. Act like you totally know crap when people around you ask where their seat or standing number is and point to another door. There is NO order except evens and odds, and each section (far right, right, middle, middle right, middle left, left, far left) has their own even or odd section and they don't follow each other in a way that makes sense at all.
So after you figure out where YOUR seat is just be amused at the others that are running in and out of doors around you.

That's all for now because I have to do my laundry and pack for Paris, and oh yea, go to the opera in an hour and a half.

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