With the audition done Saturday night, I got to the real treat of the weekend: Rigoletto at the Met. I cannot fully explain how exhilarating it is to walk across the plaza at Lincoln Center at night when the fountain is going and the crowds of little old ladies are walking (very slowly, and usually right in front of you) toward the Met, which is one of the most beautiful performance venues I have ever seen. It’s breathtaking. The front windows are beautiful, and the chandeliers are just unreal. They were a gift from the Austrian government, and they’re dripping with real Swarovski crystals. With all the lights on, in the main lobby with its looping starcases and red and gold decor, the chandeliers sparkle fiercely, reflecting in the windows until you see stars everywhere. It’s magical.
With the money I saved by train-ing rather than plane-ing, I sprang for a balcony ticket instead of one in the Family Circle (i.e., the nosebleed section). I’m glad I did. I could see and hear everything. And if you’ve ever been to a production at the Met, you kow how visually stunning the productions are, especially the ones in lavish period costume. Rigoletto, set in Renaissance-era Mantua, was positively sumptuous. The gowns were SO EPIC and I WANTED ONE. The ducal palace was just AHHHHH, Rigoletto’s house was the perfect balance between quaint, ramshackle and macabre, and the tavern and pier next to it were just fantastic. The singers were wonderful. If you for some reason don’t know the plot, I won’t spoil it, but let me just say it’s good. Go see it now. And the music? Psssssht girl, you know it’s good. I’m still humming “La donna e mobile.”