Cycloperatic Weekend Adventures in Seattle!

Well this weekend was split between various forms of filth - the literal mud of a cyclocross race after rain, followed by the pure operatic audio-visual coitus that is Carmen. And in that vein, I shall begin with my own version of the cyclo-cross parking lot striptease. As mentioned previously, what happens in the cyclocross parking lot stays ... ok, it doesn't because I have a camera. I have seen enough half to fully naked men donning team kits to think that next season I should start a blog on the People of Walmart line of things, called Mostly Nekkid Men of The 'Cross Parking Lot.

spotting the bared flesh is almost a Where's Waldo game here!

But since I am still a little shy about snapping photos of strangers changing, we'll just start with embarrassing my boyfriend:

Andrew got a new hat too!

Anyways, as in previous posts, I took a bit of a hodgepodge of photos, mostly focusing on jerseys I liked, some racing shots and of course cute dogs.

Anyways, it was messy messy "fun" etc. Andrew began the race a little behind as he was wildly attempting to remove his coat. He apparently managed to do so at some point, since we had to go find it later. Fortunately it did not take so long as to make me late for lunch with my friend Jill, after which it was off to the opera!

The drama of the opera was far more in getting somebody to go with me than in the production itself. I love Carmen, of course, although sometimes I feel like as a life long opera fan I should at least pretend not to. At least if I were to be a true afficianado (hipster). It is rather Opera 101 - a little number dripping with sexy-catchy tunes (I swear with the Andalusian elements that Bizet folds into his scores, there's an odd reminiscence of the soundtrack to Disney's Aladdin for me when I hear it!), sexy characters (gypsies, bandits, bull fighters... hello romance novel), a heavy hand of recitative, and well sexy sexiness. It is one of the best intro operas for my tastes, since it is wildly more accessible than your average Bluebeard's Castle, while not verging into the sappiness of your other big names like La Boheme (which I have to admit I am totally over).

Anyways, naturally I go to the opera with my Dad ordinarily, since he is the Season Subscriber and I have achieved a semi-permanent plus one status. But of course he is in Hawaii and probably so over Carmen having seen it like a bajillion times in his long opera-going career. Through a series of Mars/Venus conversations, I kind of thought that Andrew wanted to go and he kind of thought I wanted him to go... except not? I'm not really sure what happened. Suffice to say, my frugal depression-era mentality kind of chafes at the idea of a $150 ticket going for a a very posh nap in McCaw Hall and I sort of suspect that Andrew attends the operas he has with me mostly out of a misdirected sense of duty. After our monthly scheduling session (our lives revolve around google calendar, particularly for planning how we will split the weekends), he said sure he'd come, but then decided since I hadn't invited him on google calendar (see previous parenthetical) that I wasn't really going with him and by the time I mentioned it again, he was non-plussed. In turn of course I was non-plussed because by the time this happened, it was a week away and almost any one I could have given the ticket too was already fully booked. Also because in my brain of allegories and analysis any behavior can be extracted into infinity and now everything he had told me was now suspect and likely said for plactory purposes with no intention of following through and the entire five year plan of the trajectory of our relationship bled and sweated over was a farcical ritual and there was no future but stories and ... did I mention I am still recovering from bar stress. He of course was non-plussed at my non-plussedness as it seemed like a pretty minimal scheduling thing involving a simple choice between cycling and opera that had been fairly well resolved by a prospective "if it's ballet, ok, if it's opera, find a friend." Oh for fun. Needless to say there were some confused and irritable conversations and then the relationship survived. And I even went to the theoretically conflicting bike race that actually conflict (see photos above).

But I want you to WANT TO DO THE DISHES! 
In the meantime, I feverishly texted, emailed and called every one who seemed like (1) good company and (2) people who would actually enjoy the experience. Naturally to no avail. Molly had family plans, Ross had to work, Dan had a study group... and yes, I shamefully admit, I finally turned to THE FACEBOOK... DUN DUN DUN... I got a handful of those ambiguous maybes from various people I know by passing acquaintance and finally a definite yes from a Bellingham tanguera. As it turned out, she was the perfect choice insofar as she loved the whole experience and it was in fact her first opera. I don't think I could imagine any one else being more appreciative of the experience, and we had plenty to talk about during intermission.

Of course the course of true opera love never does run smoothly, so she got lost on her way there and had to pick up the extra ticket at the box office and watching the first act from the little close circuit tv they  have set up for late comers. This is where the sheer length of opera becomes an advantage: miss an hour and... you haven't missed much. At least, Act 2 of Carmen gives the viewer the most bang for one's buck and Act 3 is where it all gets ooey and gooey and deadly on top of sexy.

All in all, I really enjoyed the performance. Our Carmencita was a tried and true (lower registered) mezzo, which I love. Her voice had a honeyed dolor to it that you just can't find in a pure soprano. It clung to each note waxing alternately breathy and melancholic. Our Escamillo looked darned fine in a toreador's outfit. Done Jose and Micaela were exquisitely voiced. There were many steamy kisses and the dancers - as is always true at the Seattle Opera - were utterly spectacular.

Naturally to show my enthusiasm, I bolted the minute that the curtain went down in order to hot-dog out of the parking lot, run over a few pedestrians and race to the damned freeway. Can't stand Mercer traffic otherwise.

And this morning, I had a professional photographer come to take headshots, which was inevitably traumatic, as always and involved an entire morning (yes, predicting this, I got up at about 5:30 for the extra panic time) of trying on everything that I own and realizing I hate absolutely all of it and my hair is awful and my makeup can do nothing for my hideous face and... so on. But hey, I think it turned out pretty well, don't you:

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