I’ll start with a disclaimer: aside from as a child, I’ve had very limited exposure to opera. I thought the Opera Wine and Dine event would be an enjoyable point of access to something new. I was right.
Hosted by the Castlereagh Boutique Hotel, the dining hall was a sumptuous cream affair, with clean, olive-green accents, and frothy chandeliers. We were greeted with champagne at the door, and had canapés and wine waiting for us at our table. After some bubbles and more canapés, the actors came out for Act I.
The four singers performed Doctor Miracle by Bizet, a comical operetta featuring a love-struck daughter, a sassy, gold-digging step mother, a scheming boyfriend, and an unusual omelette. The performance was in english, so the audience could follow the plot, and the actors made excellent use of the space, moving through the dinner tables to extend their ‘stage’. The standout moment for me was when the infamous omelette was brought on stage, heralded by glorious four-part harmonies. Pretty much how I feel towards my own breakfast foods.
Main course and dessert were served in the intermission, before the actors returned to perform a series of songs related to France — either from French operas, with the word ‘Paris’ in the title, or a good old fashioned champagne drinking song (and champagne is from France, so it fits the theme, right?). The singers interacted with the audience and were by turns earnest, sassy, cheeky, and coy.
Overall, a thorough, cultured evening of good food and lighthearted operatic entertainment. Produced by Opera Bites, the Opera Wine and Dine series is designed to bring boutique opera to a wider audience. Whether you’re an opera aficionado who wants something a little different, or you’re uninitiated and want to know what it’s all about, definitely check out one of their shows.
Liv S. is a creature of warm weather and negronis. Her interests include breakfast, trying new things, and triple utterances. Follow her frolics on @callmememphisjones.
Visit the Opera Bites website to find out about their upcoming shows.