I'm not sure that I have mentioned this before, but I entered a contest online last fall and actually won season tickets to the Opéra de Montréal. This has been a very lovely prize to win — something that I would probably not have been able to experience without this windfall. (Just to reassure the Opéra de Montréal, I should add that I have so enjoyed myself to date that I am very likely to go next year even without free tickets!)
This past Saturday was the Barber of Seville. It was certainly interesting to go to an opera having been familiarized with the music by that unforgettable episode of Bugs Bunny, "The Rabbit of Seville." In fact, every moment of the overture was familiar, and the section where Bugs and Elmer Fudd chase each other back and forth with ever larger knives and axes was found further into the production.
Now I should point out, for the uninitiated, that the Bugs Bunny storyline doesn't follow the original at all. I guess that will not be much of a surprise. What will be a surprise is that I found the opera to be way funnier than the cartoon. The whole audience was killing itself laughing at all the appropriate moments and the cast had excellent comic timing throughout. If I didn't know better, I would have sworn that the part of Bartolo's manservant had been played by Tim Conway.
I'm very much looking forward to my remaining two experiences this season.