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Opera al fresco – A Night with the Symphony

July 15, 2011

While all the cool kids were crowding Pioneer Park at the first night of the Twilight Concert Series, I opted for a less-crowded, relaxing evening. Husband and I went to the Opera al fresco presented by the Utah Symphony and the Utah Lyric Opera at the Gallivan Center. For freeeeeeeeeee!

There’s something refreshing and communal about outdoor concerts, particularly when the weather is perfect (no small feat for Utah), with just a slight breeze and ample shade. Turnout seemed pretty good. The rows of chairs were filled but people happily opted for the classic blanket-on-the-grass situation. Beer, wine, cheese and crackers were sold to add to the fancy, cultural feel, which created a fun juxtaposition with those who were munching out of fast food bags. It was definitely an ecclectic, genuine mix of attendees; couples cuddling, children dancing, people fervently bobbing their heads to the downbeat. As for me, I could hardly tear my eyes away from the strings. The way the bows jump in perfect harmony (pun fully intended) is hypnotizing. And I couldn’t help but grin like an idiot with every crescendo. I just love it!

The Utah Lyric Opera has some beautifully talented voices. But if I’m being totally and completely honest, I was a little disappointed that they dominated the evening. Three-fourths of the concert was opera exerpts and, for me, it’s hard to really get in to an opera without backstory, context, set and costumes. Even though the symphony was what I was really excited to see, it was still a wonderful evening. Much better than my experience with the over-crowded Twilight Concerts. But to each his own.

(Like this photo? I promised my husband I wouldn’t post it on my blog. It’s like he doesn’t know me at all!)

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