Photos: Jedd Cooney
A review of Opera Australia’s La Bohème written for Oyster Magazine.
If you’d asked us what we knew about the opera last week we 100% would’ve said something about Julia Roberts’ sparkling eyes. And while our first opera experience did resemble some striking similarities to classic rom-com Pretty Woman, we now have some much more educated things to say about the art form.
Last night we rolled into Sydney Opera House for a performance of Italian opera La Bohème. That’s French for the bohemia btw, so you know this isn’t going to be any stuffy old story.
Now we’re feeling pretty worldly after our one and only opera experience, so we’re going to provide you with some tips and tricks for your next night on the town. Here goes…
Firstly, don’t do anything we did. Don’t: turn up approximately 15 seconds before the show starts and run to your seats. Do: arrive early, sip a Champers, read the show notes, chat about the last time you watched something that made you cry. This pre-game strategy will get you in the right emotional headspace. Also, don’t wear your Converses (“What was she thinking!”, they’ll write in the social pages the following day). This footwear choice will make you feel very Pretty Woman pre-makeover and, while you’ll look great, NONE of the sales assistants will help you and you’ll have to return the following week and be all, “Big mistake. Big. HUGE.”. Do: opt for a slightly fancier shoe. Just this once. Just do it, okay?
During the proceedings:
Once inside, glowing lights and a full live orchestra take you straight to a very ~opera~ place. This is a quiet place meant for deep reflection and feelings. Ride that wave. The curtain lifts onto a lush scene: walls are painted with massive waves and très bohemian types do their thing with books and paintbrushes. Then the singing starts, if you can call it that, the characters booming voices are full of expression and humour, and they draw you into the story even though you can’t understand a word.
As the performance unfolds some ladies arrive on stage and people fall in love really quickly. There’s children singing in a burlesque bar, some amazing set changes feat. snow and spinning floors, and the world’s shiniest dress. There’s lols, pashes and heartbreaking moments that’ll have you tearing up like Julia no time. In conclusion, the opera is pretty much everything you already knew from Pretty Woman but better.
Check out the full article on Oyster Magazine.