Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Night at the Opera

One thing you might not know, dear reader, is that rhino75 for many years had pretensions - believe me, I use the word advisedly - to being a serious musician. So when an invite to a recital at the Palais Garnier - followed by champagne supper - came along, well, it would have been rude to refuse, wouldn't it? First of all, a bit of history: The Palais Garnier is the oldest of Paris's two opera houses, built under Napoléon III, and the setting for Gaston Leroux's (and thus Andrew Lloyd Webber's) "The Phantom of the Opera". There, that's that done with. More to the point, the place is a veritable riot of too much gilt and red velvet, a festival of bling, like spending the evening in P. Diddy's loo (I imagine). FAB-U-LOUS. And how many people get Marc Chagall to paint their ceiling? Naturally, we had a box, or "baignoire" (bathtub) as they're called in French. The singers were all students on the Atelier Lyrique programme and, as you'd expect, excellent. Special mention must go to tenor Joel Prieto - a beautiful voice and charisma in spades (aka kinda HOT!). If I have one gripe, it's that they rushed the Mozart and the Gounod a little, tempo-wise. (I warned you I had musical pretensions). But 'twas a wonderful evening and afterwards we wandered from room to room, sipping champagne, spotting captains of industry, nibbling delicious tidbits and feeling rather grand. Later on, I slipped away to meet a friend of mine closer to home at a party organised by GoGo Paris, a FREE English-language "What's On in Paris" guide. The sight of lots of cute French boys with "bed-head" hair dancing to Mantronix persuaded me to stay for a couple more VATs than was perhaps strictly advisable - but hey, why not? You know you would have done the same.


Babsbitchin said...

rhino, sounds simply divine. You are way out of my league musically but I do miss hobnobbing amongst the wealthy, drinking champagne, my favorite.You'd never know it rhino but I grew up in a 21 room mansion, always had nannys, gardners, housekeepers, cooks, etc. But I rebeled in the 70's, got thrown out at 14 and went and married a Pagan MC, (motorcyle club) by the name of, "The Executioner." Go figure? So, I've dined with the very wealthy as we have a big oil company that is just about gone but they invested in other things and are the umbrella organization for 7 other organizations. I've also dined with the homeless and shared cheap wine right out of the bottle. Very eclectic wouldn't you say? I do so enjoy YOUR outings though!

Reluctant Nomad said...

As usual, rhino is making us envious of his glitzy, glamorous, showbiz lifestyle!

You need to take more pictures of those boys with bad-head hair.

How do you arrange your pictures so nicely on your page? Teach me, please.

Frog with a Blog said...

I knew it Babs, there's something very chic over you.

Rob7534 said...

A night at the opera! How romantic. I didn't know the Paris opera house is so COLORFUL! I love it!

You know Rhino, Mozart didn't have the luxury of a Metrenome. I don't believe those little clicky devices were mainstream until the time of Beethoven. So tempo is subjective at worst, and traditionally aggreed upon at best.

As you were going from room to room, did you bump into the Phantom? Stumble upon his underground lair.

Rob7534 said...

By the way, do you create TABLES for the photos using the html function? I love how you always lay them out.

rhino75 said...

Rob, I AM the Phantom. Did you know there is even an underground lake, though? Rather cool. I know tempi are subjective but it was one particular accompanist who seemed to tackle everything at breakneck speed. I put it down to nerves (hers rather than mine :)).

Babsbitchin said...

rhino, I firmly believe you are the Phantom!

frog, it's been a very long time since I've been called chic, has been is more appropriate.But every dogs ass is in the sun at some point and I had very sunny days!