Just got back from watching The Met Live in HD at our local Cinemark theater. This time the opera was Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida. One of the most well-known operas of all time. I wrote a short article about why I love to go and today it proved to be equally enjoyable. I think this is the best I have seen because of the stage design and the performance by all the artists but mostly because of Anna Netrebko who played the part of Aida. For some reason, when I leave the theater after these opera performances, it feels as if I’d been in a faraway place.
The Met’s stage blows my mind! Today during the intermission, set designer Gianni Quaranta explained how they used all of the theater’s seven hydraulic elevators for this opera. I believe he said this is not a common occurrence but an exceptional opportunity that presents itself in Verdi’s opera Aida. He talked about the new mechanics such as the stage’s wagon system and how much stage design has improved throughout the years. I was impressed to hear that 6,000 oil pumps are used to operate all this equipment. Maybe one day I will have the opportunity to be in NYC for a behind the scenes tour of the Met.
The most challenging thing for some spectators could be the length of these productions. Today there were two intermissions due to the demands of the stage design so the show lasted four hours. During the break I went out to the hallway to walk around and warm up – immobility makes you feel colder so walking helps. During the 2nd intermission, we bought a glass of red wine and took it into the theater. It is during the intermission that cameras are set backstage and we get to watch all the activity. This is when the actors are interviewed and when you hear about upcoming operas and about many interesting facts related to operas at the Met. If you haven’t experienced this, I hope you consider it soon.