La Bohème

. . . . a four-mile drive to Lucie Stern theater in Palo Alto, and there I was watching

LA BOHÈME
Puccini
October 24, 2009
West Bay Opera
Palo Alto, CA

No question about it.  La Bohème is my favorite opera (at least until the next time I see Rigoletto or Carmen or Tales of Hoffman or Barber of Seville or Figaro or Mephistopheles or Tosca . . . ).

So I’m fickle.

This weekend I saw three operas in a 28-hour period.  It’s too much, but what can you do?  Saturday morning was the Met HD production of Aida, starting at 10 AM Pacific time; Saturday evening was West Bay Opera’s production of La Bohème; and Sunday I was at the La Scala HD of Maria Stuardo from 11 am to 2 pm.  Now, at 9:30 Sunday night, I am at my computer writing my impressions of the second one.

When I was a professor, I never graded on a curve.  I tried to give each student a grade based on his or her performance regardless of what other students did.  If I graded Saturday night’s West Bay Opera performance on a curve in the class of all La Bohème performances I have seen, I would have to give it a D, but on an absolute scale based on my enjoyment of it, it would get a B.  The opera itself is so wonderful that even a performance with noticeable flaws can be well worth attending.

If you want to know more about how I feel about La Bohème, particularly the last act, see my commentary of 5/17/08.

So.  An easy drive home, a dish of ice cream with peanut butter, a good night’s sleep, a leisurely breakfast with the Sunday paper, an easy daylight drive in light traffic to Campbell, and at 11 am Sunday there I was attending  . . . .  But that is another story.

Ciao – – Philip

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