Well, it was almost like being there. We were really at the live feed? (Shot live at the Palais Garnier in High Definition and Full Surround Sound — July/ 2008) at the Empire Theatre, Square One in Mississauga.
In many ways it was better than being in the actual audience in Paris.
1. The price was a little less, although pricey enough for this "event" $20.00 for seniors. Ever since I've signed up for CARP and the Zoomer magazine, I'm getting a feeling of early senior 'entitlement'. When I asked what the senior age was, the twelve year old serving me said 65. I looked disappointed and said...oh well. She said...you didn't ask, and either did I...smart child.
2. The time is good 1 p.m. and there is also a 20 minute intermission, because you are following the exact time-line of the performance. Enough time to go to the upper washroom, which is only available to those in this specific theatre.
3. You don't have to dress up as you would if you were in Paris. You can therefore attend looking like a hobo and still feel cultured. This can also be construed as a negative, if you were wishing to see what everyone in Paris was wearing to the ballet.
4. You can eat popcorn and other silly movie junk that would otherwise be totally defendu in Paris. There is a down side to this however. I have never figured out why movie theatres decided to introduce Nacho's to their snack counter. No one and I mean NO ONE can eat Nachos silently. I find this annoying even when watching a movie, but horribly uncouth when in a high priced "event" such as this. The only way you can get through the anger is to realize and keep using your inside voice to tell yourself that there are an infinite number of those crunchy nachos and this too shall be over soon.
5. When you emerge from the theatre, the bad thing is that you are still in Mississauga, and here ends the illusion.
La Dame aux Camélias
Franz Liszt freely admitted that he could not think of Marie Duplessis, the inspiration behind Alexandre Dumas’ Dame aux camélias, without shedding a tear. Giuseppe Verdi gave her the name of Violetta Valéry and made this Traviata, or depraved woman, one of the most endearing and modern heroines in the history of opera. In turn, John Neumeier explores the urban myth and is moved by so much love, despair and solitude. Rarely has a chorographer had such a humanistic vision of his characters and sought out and found so genuine an expression of feelings. The ballet opens with the death of Marguerite Gautier and stretches back into memories of the past: from her meeting with Armand at the Théâtre des Variétés where both witness the tragic fate of Manon Lescaut without heeding its inherent warning, to love, sacrifice, separation and sublime decline.
I was in heaven with this performance. Imagine this romantic, emotional, expressive ballet with two pianos and an orchestra playing Chopin. The advantage of the huge screen is that you can really engage in the faces of the performers. During the final act I was moved to tears it was so lovely.
I plan to attend more of these events through Empire Theatres and applaud them for making this venue possible to the general public.
I see that Opus Arte has the video of the performance that we enjoyed so much, as well as a small video clip on their site. You'll have to have a Blu-Ray machine to make it function...ah technology.
Credits: Opera National De Paris
Photo: Sébastien Mathé
Photos: Opus Arte