Friday, July 15, 2011

The Opera

My bucket list for Florence included seeing an Opera and I did! I saw Carmen! For only 10 Euro! Whoop, whoop!
It was to say the least, AMAZING. I absolutely loved it. It was a small regional company of opera singers at St. Mark's Anglican Church, a very unassuming building on the Via Maggio. I had read the newspaper at lecture in the afternoon (after our tour of the Bargello) and seen that Carmen was playing that night and said tired or not tired I AM going!
Everyone else went home and I went on my own. It was adventurous and fun. I know the city well enough to get home and feel safe enough to walk on my own.
Before the opera box office opened I went to hunt for some cheap eats and found some AWESOME pizza. Best Marghuerita I've had here so far (my default meal choice). 

Gusta Pizza just on the other side of my favorite Santa Trinita Bridge on the Via Maggio!

This place is always packed and the service is quick. The wood stove ensures that the smell is fantastic!

And the pizza...deliciouso!
Funny story. I was by myself and wanted to eat inside where they have these wine barrel tables. They wouldn't let me sit at one on my own and seated me with total strangers after asking what language I speak.
The people, who were really nice, were there for some sort of 35-year reunion. Two guys. One of whom lives in FLR. As I came to discover, the one who lives in Florence is a professor of Italian and a personal friend of Refugio, one of the staff who work on facilitating our trip in Florence. Apparently they are soccer rivals (both coaches) and he told me to tell Refugio "Hi..." for him. Mafia style if you know what I mean. Florence is such an amazingly small town!
After the amazing pizza,  I went to the theater to try to find out if there were tickets. Fingers crossed. It was a close thing, but I was allowed to sit near the altar which was at the back of where the action was taking place. The chairs were not as comfy, but the view was awesome.

Here are some pictures! Video available by demand :) 

The operas in Saint Mark's are held in the center of the nave and narrated, so I could hear everything and had the benefit of seeing the singers get ready backstage.
Not only were all of the singers good singers, but they were also good actors. After the intermission, when people had left early (why I can't imagine) I got the option to move up to one of the front row seats. Incredible. 

The Soprano


The Cast. I'm sad I didn't get a better picture of the Toreador. I have him on video though. He was fantastic!
On my way back home I shot some of my first night photos. Here is a picture of the Ponte Vecchio (the jewelry bridge) from the Ponte Santa Spirita:

And some photos of the Baptistery and the Duomo on my way home! 

The Baptistery with the Duomo in the back. To the right is one of the cafes in the Piazza that is open late.

At this time of night, the people sitting on the steps are overwhelmingly Italian. I really love that they come to sit on the steps when all the tourists have abandoned the Piazza.

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