Dove sono?

“Where are the lovely moments of sweetness and pleasure?” This is the beginning of one of the most meltingly beautiful pieces of music ever written. Last night was the big fancy-pants opening performance of the current run of The Marriage of Figaro. Friday night usually showcases the singers with bigger names.

Tonight is among the performances that will feature younger singers on their way up. Tickets to all the remaining performances are still available, and some of them are very cheap. All of them are worth the money, because opera is the original multi-sensory experience: orchestra, voices (solo, in groups, and in choruses), costumes, lighting for mood, stage scenery, everything that can ever possibly happen in a full stage performance, although no live animals in this one.

Mozart will not disappoint, and neither will guest conductor Peter Bay. I think this will be the second go at conducting for an opera by the conductor of the Austin Symphony.

Austin Lyric Opera has given performances in spaces as diverse as the Paramount and the old Coliseum (now demolished, and traditional home of professional wrestling in Austin). UT used to charter buses to go all the way to Houston or to the State Fairgrounds in Dallas, leaving at the crack of dawn for afternoon opera performances and returning to the Villa Capri very late at night. Since 1980, we’ve had our own.

Tickets are as cheap as $15 (for the upper balcony, Monday’s performance). Every ticket is worth every penny. There’s no need for fancy dress, just a love of music. Binoculars are fun to take along. Tonight’s at 7:30, tomorrow’s at 3, and Monday’s at 7:30 again.

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