For those in LA….if you can get tickets to Il Postino — the opera version of the movie — GO! Incredibly beautiful, lump in your throat score. [Placido] Domingo at 70 (!) still has it & then some. The two leads are boths tenors — why no one has ever written duets for this combination is beyond me....
Friend of FaN, Howard Leder, posts this last Sunday, but I don’t see it until last Friday. I go to the LA Opera page, and see that there are only two weekends left on the production.”
I forward the link to my husband with a note that says, “I really want to see this. Do you think we can get your mom to babysit?” All three of us, he, my MIL, and myself are in the same room when I send this. CH gets the email, checks the dates, says out loud, “The last week of that opera is sold out.” Then he looks at his mom and says, “Can you take care of Betty tomorrow? We want to see this opera that starts at 2…”
She agrees, he buys the tickets, and for the first time in a long while we are doing something spontaneous on a weekend.
Which is kind of strange, because I had just spontaneously moved up my brunch date with Kelly, after reading this, so I now have two spontaneous things planned for the same Saturday.
On Saturday, there is a lot to do. I usually dress up for the opera, but today I throw on jeans, a 32 CANDLES t-shirt, and my “Yeah, this is what I’m wearing. And what.” stare.
We take Brian to the groomers for a full work-up at the Best Little Cathouse in Pasadena. We’re told to pick him up by six pm.
We then go to weigh in at Weight Watchers. Upon returning from our Solvang vacay I’ve gained 4 ounces, my first setback since starting the program. The lady behind the counter is very nice. She gives me a pamphlet. They seem to have some kind of media for every occasion at Weight Watchers.
At brunch downtown, Kelly and I are friends. We touch on this, but mostly we talk about the revelation of Brian, the death of Tulip, the nature of happiness, and not waiting for perfect. It’s the most philosophical conversation we’ve had in a while. We make each other promises, we hug, and I’m happy that we know each other. Blogumns for another day.
I should have used the bathroom at the restaurant, I really have to go by the time I get to the LA Opera’s parking garage. It takes FOREVER to park. The Opera shares a garage with two other theaters and everybody seems to be doing a matinee at that moment. It takes me almost 30 minutes to park and hike in to the venue. I am joined by a wiry cello player in the elevator. That’s kind of cool.
CH is not there yet. I hope that he’s given himself enough time to get to the DCP and park. I rush to the outside bathroom structure, which is over by the other two theaters, and when I come out, there is a man, sitting at the table, relaxing. He looks like Placido Domingo, only 20 years older and 50 pounds heavier than the banner picture that hangs outside the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion. (I will find out later when he comes out on stage that this is he, and I will wonder if I myself will refuse to get a new headshot after a certain age and weight gain. I hope I’ll be able to celebrate my age in a way that many actors cannot for whatever reason.)
When I get back to the DCP, I find CH has just gotten there. Of course he left himself enough time. He’s CH.
We are pretty much the only ones wearing jeans at the opera. I’m certainly the only woman doing so. It makes me feel both bold and out of place. But as is becoming increasingly common now that I’m in my thirties, I don’t wish that I had done anything different.
The first two acts of IL POSTINO are gorgeous in every way. Amazing blue-based production design, compelling story, incredible singing and acting by both Domingo as Pablo Neruda and the young guy who’s got next as the title character. Howard did not oversell this opera.
During intermission, CH is worried about getting back in time to pick up Brian. He’s wondering whether he should just leave before Act III to ensure he gets there in time. This turns into a bit of an argument. CH is the kind of person who always gets places on time. I’m the kind of person who always means to get to places on time. CH is responsible. He said he’d be there by six. I am practical. At the most he’ll be about 15 minutes late, it’s not like they leave exactly at six. CH is guilty. Yeah, but what if they do? Brian could get stuck there overnight. Also he doesn’t want worrying about time to impede his enjoyment of the rest of the opera. I’m impatient. I tell him that I’ll go pick up Brian, since I’m totally okay with being a little late and he is not.
He reluctantly agrees to come back in for Act III, but there is definitely a bit of a sulk in the air. I think about how good qualities turn into bad qualities and vice versa from moment to moment in a marriage, and I wonder if I should have just let him go. I find leaving during intermission to be a loathsome act, but t’s hard to force someone’s continued enjoyment of a thing. On the other hand, opera tickets ain’t cheap, even if they charge a fee for late pick-up it will still cost less than Act III of IL POSTINO.
Act III starts off sulky as if to mirror our emotions, but then gets glorious again. There is a scene of such heightened emotion that we join hands, reminded that we are lucky to have found each other, to know each other, to continue to have each other as we go forth in this world.
It is only 4:45 by the time the opera ends. Plenty of time to get Brian. We walk to our cars holding hands and talking about how much we enjoyed the opera, what we loved about it, the heartbreaking-yet-uplitting end, which we had forgotten in the many years since we had seen the movie it was based on. “It made me fall in love with writing all over again,” I told him. And he said, “I’m glad.”
Because I am a happy wife, I resist the urge to say, “See aren’t you happy that you listened to me and stayed?”
Because I am a happy writer, I promise myself that I will write all about this. Later.