I Puritani

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Friday I got student tickets for the Lyric Opera Chicago’s production of I Puritani. Written by Vincente Bellini, I Peritani is the story of Elvira, a young girl in love with Arturo, but whose father promised a soldier named Riccardo that he could marry his daughter. Understandably, Elvira is beside herself.

However, she soon learns her father’s reconsidered and will permit her to marry Arturo. It all sounds grand, except to Riccardo, who’s now jealously plotting against his rival. Unaware of Riccardo’s response, Elvira is on Cloud 9 and preparing for her wedding.

The story takes place in the 17th century England when the Royalists are at war with the Puritans. The disposed queen, Enrichetta has been captured and brought to the castle where the opera takes place. She’s able to hang out wherever she likes for some reason. As she’s sitting in a courtyard, Elvira sees her and decides the best way to see how her veil looks is to put it on this other woman she doesn’t know. Queen Enrichetta dazzles in the veil. For some reason, Elvira leaves the queen forgetting the veil. What ensues is a case of mistaken identity when Arturo promises to help Queen Enrichetta escape. He’s seen by Riccardo, who plots to show Elvira her fiancé “cheating on her” with the queen.

The music and singing was heavenly. During the first intermission, college night attendees could attend a Q & A session with a woman who works with technical aspects of the production. This was informative, but I’d prefer it if they speaker prepared about 5 minutes of a talk and then opened the floor to questions. As I don’t know opera well, I am not able to think up questions.

Before Act II began, a man announced that the singer playing Elvira had taken ill and the understudy took over. She did a fine job, on par with the star, to my unsophisticated ear.

For the second intermission, the curtain was up and a stage manager narrated what the 50+ professionals were doing to transform the set. That was fascinating to see.

The opera lasts 3 hours and 35 minutes and since I either get the 10:35 pm train or I have to wait till 12:15 am, I wouldn’t get home till 1 am, which I wasn’t in the mood for such a late night so I left after the second intermission. I’ll have to find a DVD of this opera to see the ending. While the story is quite contrived, the singing, music, costumes and set made I Purtani excellent.

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Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday Header : 406 17 February 2018

Down under it’s warm and people can swim outdoors. Here are some images from the past who show us swimming way back when. If you would like to see more responses to this prompt, visit the links on Sepia Saturday.

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Mrs. Whitehead’s Life Saving Team, 1906, Australia National Maritime Museum

Tea break at the Holborn Oasis - an outdoor swimming pool in London, 1955

Tea Time at the Pool, London, 1955

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Pier Club Mom, Surfers, 1932

Cee’s Which Way Challenge

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An alleyway in Melbourne

On Friday’s Cee challenges bloggers to post photos that depict ways, paths, roads, taken and not.

Here’s an alleyway in Melbourne filled with public art.

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Word of the Week

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esprit de l’escalier: wit of the staircase : repartee thought of only too late, on the way home

I learned this on Ash Wednesday during the prayer ceremony I attended. This French phrase is a pithy expression to capture that feeling of suddenly thinking of the perfect response after a conversation is finished and you’re probably back home ruminating on what transpired.

The priest used the phrase in terms of the story between Jesus and the rich, young man who followed all the commandments but turned away from Jesus because he didn’t want to give up all his belongings. In some ways that isn’t a perfect fit, but this phrase sure is useful.

This is the second, or bonus word of the week. I loved two discoveries and didn’t want to possibly forget this phrase. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sweet

 

Even when I’m fasting, like today, my eyes love to indulge.

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1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Wednesday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Just a few wonderful posts:

 

Fisticuffs?

At the Writers’ Theater Saturday, I was astounded. During the intermission an older couple went out into the lobby. They had put their coats on the empty seats beside them. While they were gone a middle aged couple, who’d seen empty seats besides their friends came, moved the first couple’s seats and made themselves comfortable planning to stay in their new seats.

The old man returns and is furious when he sees the new couple and their coats placed on his chair. He lays into the middle aged man, whose wife starts shouting at him.

“How would you like it if someone threw your coats around?”

Cool it. Your coats’ are fine.

“Are those your seats?”

“No, we were up in the obstructed view area. These seats were empty.”

“You can’t sit there. Those aren’t your seats.”

And on and on. As the argument escalated the middle aged wife got loud and was swearing. The old man swore back and insulted the seat stealing husband saying that he knew who wore the pants in that guy’s family. The husband just turned his head.

Everyone was staring. My friend, who knew the middle aged couple because their kids went to the same high school. The ushers didn’t intervene. They seemed to be afraid of the fighters. While both sides threatened to call in the ushers, neither did. In time the old man’s wife came back, and everyone calmed down.

I was just shocked that neither side would back down or apologize. I can’t get over the insults and swearing in public with strangers. How odd.