As a musical theater and opera fan, it had long been one of my dreams to visit the Metropolitan Opera and see a performance by Diana Damrau, who I once had the pleasure of hearing in recital at DC’s Kennedy Center.
That dream finally came true a couple weeks ago when Stephen and I visited the Met for a Saturday night performance of Manon, staring the amazing Damrau as the title character. From the story and music to the performances and costumes, everything about this show was spectacular, and it now stands out as one of the two best operas I’ve ever seen. (The other was the Kennedy Center's The Elixir of Love, staring the sadly now-divorcing husband-and-wife duo Ailyn Perez and Stephen Costello.)
Damrau’s charming and charismatic Manon was everything I expected her to be, and even our seats, way up in the highest tier, offered a decent view and great acoustics. Though the show lasted four hours (including two intermissions), I was so caught up in the love story and phenomenal singing that I hardly even noticed the time.
After the performance ended around midnight, we walked back to the hotel in late-March snow flurries and rested up for our backstage tour the following morning. Just like the show, this tour was an opera lover’s dream come true, as we got to visit the costume and carpentry shops, singers’ dressing rooms, group rehearsal spaces and more. And while we couldn't actually walk onstage, we did get to see the crew using a huge elevator and tons of equipment to erect sets for Don Carlo, the Met’s next performance.
If you're ever in New York and would like to take this tour, visit the Metropolitan Opera Guild's website to reserve tickets. You won't be disappointed!
Finally, no visit to NYC would have been complete without a quick trip to the Museum of Natural History. I may be a grownup, but I still love me some dino bones. :)
Thanks for a great time, New York! I will definitely be back soon.