Last night Petra and I took an hour and forty-minute drive to a gorgeous lake-side opera house to see "Le Nozze di Figaro," certainly one of my top two or three favorite operas of all time. The setting is beautiful and serene-- deep in the woods with the lake glimmering behind. We ate wonderful boxed dinners (chicken for me, crab cakes for Petra) and listened to a lecture from the continuo player. Then we allowed ourselves to be drawn into Mozart's Shakespearean domestic tragi-comedy. (I can't see stories of unfaithfulness as not having a dose of tragedy in them.) The opera was aurally and visually sumptuous, the singing was just about perfect, and we had the added thrill of hearing the Count's vengeance aria while enormous claps of thunder rattled the opera house.
Susanna's singing of 'Deh vieni non tardar' almost made my heart stop. So luscious, so full of desire and tenderness, and the soprano had such a gorgeous tone. It was breathtaking.
One of the things I adore about seeing plays and operas with my children is how very engaged they are in the arts themselves. We talked about the vocal production of the singing actors, and their stage presence, and the creativity of the staging. We talked about how very like "A Midsummer Night's Dream" the opera is (minus fairies and potions). But our conversation ground to a halt not long after our car pulled out of the driveway, as we encountered scary-severe weather, at the start of our 91-mile trip home. At one point, as hailstones smashed into the windshield, and we were creeping along at 11-miles per hour along a densely wooded road, I started remembering stories of people whose cars washed away in such sudden storms, or whose cars were crushed beneath trees downed by such winds.
Enough drama; we got home safe and sound, though the trip home took an hour longer than the trip there. Which means, I go to worship this morning with about 5 hours of sleep. I'm letting Petra sleep in (she heads off to a week-long youth conference tomorrow; she needs her rest!).
And yesterday was the anniversary described here. Still so grateful for this love.