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Tickle · the · Pear


Figaro, Films, and Fireworks

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I'm now shamelessly monopologizing a computer at the Alliance Francaise in San Francisco. Oh, the advantages of faking French!

It's been a busy few days. Well, actually Saturday and Sunday I mostly slept. I guess the action-packed week in Washington DC took more out of me than I suspected. I managed to rouse myself on Sunday to attend the final performance of "The Marriage of Figaro" at the San Francisco Opera. It was my first time, and it was...wonderful. I'd made the effort to prepare myself by reading summaries and the libretto, and to my surprise the SF Opera has supertitles, which I understand is very controversial in the opera world. In fact the program invited people to weigh in on the supertitles question. On one hand it was much easier to follow the action with the translation; on the other hand it was distracting and difficult to concentrate on aspects such as the scenery and costume design. The opera house was packed and the audience members were very diverse. Mainly retired types but also lots of families and younger people and singletons like myself. The pre-opera lecture was excellent; the speaker explained concepts such as Mozart's "lego block" style of building musical phrases and "trousers roles" (sopranos or mezzos singing roles of young men).


My friend Liz arrived on Tuesday morning. We now have matching Jessica Hagedorn hairdos so I'm sure everyone at SFO assumed we were long distance relationship lesbians. Since Liz is writing an article on Filipino-American films for a journal of Asian-American Studies she'd brought several DVDs. We watched "The Debut" and "The Flip Side". I liked "The Debut" much better although it seemed to embody a checklist of Filipino stereotypes. I especially liked the dance sequences and the depiction of immigrant family dynamics - in fact, some of the scenes hit just a little too close to home for me. I didn't enjoy "The Flip Side" as much since I didn't find any of the characters sympathetic (Liz says this is deliberate), but I did like the surprise ending.

Since the apartment I'm staying in has a wonderful view of San Francisco Bay, we were able to watch some of the fireworks display from the Berkeley and Oakland marinas. We were far away enough that the fireworks resembled colorful blossoms.

Liz left today to meet other friends and she treated me to lunch at Piperade. I'd had Spanish food before (even had tapas in Ceuta) but this was my first experience with Basque cuisine. Yum! I had the braised seafood and shellfish stew in red pepper sauce with the seasonal veggies, and ended with a classic flan.
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[User Picture]
On July 6th, 2006 09:08 am (UTC), flemmarde commented:
you're certainly living a life very different to your bf life! id that hairdo a radical departure from what you usually have? post a pic of it on you :)

i'm all for the supertitles in opera as being someone who wouldn't normally go. i suspect the purists would be just as happy if non opera buffs never went, but i think the opera companies need a wider audience to survive.
[User Picture]
On July 12th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I always bawl like a madwoman when I leave the US - I'm leaving this beautiful life behind?! Of course if I were actually living in the US I wouldn't be on holiday the whole time either.

Photos pending. :)
[User Picture]
On July 12th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC), flemmarde replied:
yes... i think it's being on holiday that is the beautiful life...

though you *do* sound like you're having a good time :)
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On July 6th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
That haircut? Seriously!?!? Wow, I don't think you'll much be taken for a Malaysian exchange student ever again!

Can't wait to see it in person.

JaneAnne
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