Back in the fall, CMW board member extraordinaire Jacque Russom proposed the idea of bringing a group of students to a Metropolitan Opera simulcast at the Swansea Cinema. We looked over the schedule and found a perfect fit with Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella) on May 9th. We figured Richard Strauss’ Salome and the beheading of John the Baptist could wait a few years.
We had the idea that since the opera broadcasts begin right after lunchtime, why not tailgate in the parking lot before the show with a barbecue? I picked up the goods at the grocery store the night before and Liz lent me her grill. Things were looking pretty tasty for the trip!
When I woke up on the morning of the 9th, I looked outside and saw heavy rain coming down trying to alter our plans. NOOOOO!! Well, this was not going to stop the grilling. I called out faithful bus driver Steve and asked if he might be able to bend the “No Food On The Bus!” rule. When food is involved, Steve is amenable to thinking outside the box, and he adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy as a solution.
Everyone arrived on time and we loaded onto to bus with the food and the trusty Weber grill. When the bus arrived in the parking lot, miraculously, the sun slowly poked through the cloud cover and the rain began to ebb. I fired up the grill and within twenty minutes we were munching on burgers and dogs with S'mores for dessert. With the sun eventually bursting through the clouds in a blaze of glory, we didn’t even have to eat on Steve’s bus.
After lunch, we filed into the movie theater for the opera. It was amazing! Not only was the performance terrific, the cameras put you right up on stage with the singers, in the pit with the orchestra, and backstage with the crew. Plus you get to munch on popcorn and skittles while watching the opera.
Aside from the Bug Opera, this was the first time seeing an opera for all of our students. The seed has been planted for the next generation of opera buffs. Everyone had a great time and wants to come back next year for another opera! Special thanks to Jacque and all those who helped subsidize the trip. It was an awesome day.
-Jesse Holstein, Providence String Quartet