A Night at the Opera (House)

We had a good experience Wednesday night going to a performance in the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. It was a very interesting seeing Leonard Bernstein’s Mass done by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Jeremy, the boyfriend of Melissa (who we are teaching), is a student at the Conservatorium, and had a pretty major part in the production. He has a beautiful baritone voice and is studying to sing opera. It was a carefully rehearsed, professional production in the big and very beautiful concert hall.

The orchestra is on each side of the nave.

The orchestra is on each side of the nave. The chorus is behind the orchestra, behind the cross and on both sides of the hall.

Organ pipes. You can just see the organist in the lighted area.

Organ pipes. You can just see the organist in the lighted area.

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(There are apparently several different venues inside the Opera House.) The mass is so unique, with orchestra, chorus, dancing, acting, solo and group singers. The libretto includes some traditional Latin mass and modern music and lyrics that are irreverent and brash. It was as if Bernstein was making a commentary on how the world today is moving away from God. It was the most quiet and respectful audience I have ever seen.

Our seats were at the back of the hall, with just one row behind us. They gave us a really nice view of the staging of “Mass”. It was set up to look like a cathedral complete with an altar, nave and a cross above the altar.

We saw Melissa and Jeremy’s parents just before entering the concert hall and got to meet his grandparents.

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Harbor bridge.

The train to Circular Quay only took 30 minutes. That gave us time to sit on a bench and eat our packed roast beef sandwiches. It is a pretty long walk from the train station to the Opera House. Several individuals holding instrument cases hustled past us as we sat. We were facing the beautiful lighted Harbor Bridge, with the tall city buildings to our left. It is already getting dark about 5:15 here, which feels strange with the grass still green and the leaves on the trees.

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