A Night at the Opera

Placido is married to the director of the evening's show, La Traviata.

We went to see an opera last night at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown LA. Cameras were not allowed inside the pavillion so I took a picture of the huge banners outside. The human figure — the stylized one, not Placido Domingo — is inserted for scale.

It's Michael Crawford, not Gerard Butler.

During one of the intermissions my darkest fear was confirmed: The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion was haunted by the Opera Ghost. In its frenzied rush to buy cookies out in the lobby the audience took no notice, but luckily the secret photographer from whom I purchased the photo above did notice and captured the image of a numinous glowing figure appearing stage left. The Opera Ghost.

Well, after that little apparition you’d better believe I was unable to concentrate on the travails of poor Violetta, the heroine of Verdi’s heart-rending opera; not even as sung so prettily by soprano Elizabeth Futral.

The stylized human inserted for scale. He's not really there.Yeah, I got that Violetta was a fast lady back in the days of voluminous dresses and barons in tuxedos. Also that she fell in love with Alfredo and repented her fast life. Also that she didn’t get to enjoy true love for very long. First Alfredo’s dad persuades her to pretend she hates Alfredo so Alfredo will come back home and his little sister can marry some big shot. Next she dies of consumption. Yeah, I got all that.

But I couldn’t take my mind off those huge chandeliers hanging all over the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. I kept thinking how, even as we sat there singing along with Elizabeth Futral, the Opera Ghost could well be sawing away at the chains by which those enormous chandeliers suspended.

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