Live from The Met

Firstly, apologies for the poor quality of the image. It was touching midnight when I suddenly realised I hadn't doe my blip for today. Shock. Horror!

Once realised, however, there was absolutely no doubt what I was going to blip in a rush. I'd done my usual and had left preparations for hosting the Music Group until the last minute yet again, so it was all rather touch and go to get the house ship-shape in time. Then there was the actual hosting (a great session, with everyone on top form and some wonderful music brought along - and also notable for the fact that we decided during it that next year's trip abroad will be to Vienna, in May). We retired to the local hostelry afterwards for a drink and a bit of friendly natter, and then it was time for Ron and your truly to dash over to Swords (north county Dublin) for the first in this season's Live from The Met screenings. My Chew & Chat mate Tom has been on at me to go to these since they began a couple of years ago, but there's always been some reason why I never got round to it. This time, though, it was different, and I'm thrilled I went.

The technology is remarkable for starters: to think that we were there, sitting comfortably in our plush seats in a cinema in Dublin, watching what was happening that very moment in the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, is amazing enough, but to be watching in such amazing quality is even more amazing. It's pricey enough (25 euro for a ticket), but I have no complaints whatever about that. Most especially for this opening offering, which was Das Rheingold, the first of Wagner's Ring series, in a magnificent new production by Canadian director Robert Lepage. During the intro we were told that the intention had been to produce 'A Ring for the Twenty-First Century'. Judging from this first of the four operas, Mr Lepage has succeeded triumphantly. The staging was magnificent (reputably the most complex technically which The Met has ever put on), and the cast was exemplary. Before this, The Ring production was the one by Patrice Chéreau from the 1976 Bayreuth Festival. Even after seeing just the first of the four operas, I can confidently say that the legendary Chéreau has now been superseded.

That's why I was late blipping. A busy, busy day, and then I was on an adrenalin high when I came back from the cinema and never thought of lifting the camera until the very last moment. A dreadful photograph, but a wonderful experience.

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