I had the amazing opportunity to fly back to DC this weekend for Washington National Opera's 08-09 Season Opening Night festivities. The opera itself was amazing. La Traviata is an extremely popular opera. Even if you're not an opera person you would have recognized half the songs because they are used in commercials and movies so much. La Traviata is actually the opera they see in Pretty Woman. It was incredible. The story is set in mid 19th-century upper-class France, and the production stayed true to this. The sets and costumes were ornate and gorgeous, the singing was amazing, the music was powerful and moving. It was a perfect opera experience. They actually simulcasted it live to the Nationals Ballpark, so anyone could go sit on the infield and watch it live on the jumbotron for free. I'm guessing there were some opera fans born at the ballpark last night.
After the opera, I went with Lanie, my boss from this summer, to the Opening Night Gala at the Italian Embassy. It was no Opera Ball, but impressive enough. Rather than being an open-mingle type event, it was actually a sit down dinner. Between courses the opera's President, Executive Director, and General Director Placido Domingo spoke, acknowledging special guests, cast members, and others in the audience. The dinner was pretty good. I had veal for the first time, and actually kind of liked it! And, the dessert was amazing. The tables were gorgeous, but the Italian Embassy was not very impressive. Actually, it wasn't impressive at all. A little disappointing. But, overall it was an amazing night, and I felt very special to be able to jet across the country just to go to an opera and fancy party!