If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


15 JANUARY 2017

An Evening at the Opera As One Does...

DELFT - I do not know if Delft has, or had, an opera house. It has no symphony. The big movie (film) theater does show opera; there's a schedule of "Live from the Met" performances.

These are high definition films of dramatic, strongly visual productions with widely-admired singers and an orchestra led by James Levine. The inside of America's New York Metropolitan Opera house is fantastic as is the outside. Here in Delft, my partner and I have been several times to the theater for opera and always enjoy it. We went recently to see and hear Nabucco with Placido Domingo. The man is old but did very well. The stage settings were bold. During intermission, they ran film of the crews working on the sets.


"Not quite raining, not exactly - no need to hassle with an umbrella (paraplu in Dutch). No one is sitting outside at the tables of the cafe, does not look cozy. No matter to us, we are going to the opera tonight."

One side has tables with glasses of red, white or rose wine. It also has water and juice. You may have as much as you want, and you may carry a few into the theater with you. I think that is very civilized. Most do that and use the handy cup holder for their plastic flute.

At intermission, more pleasant students circulate with trays of munchies and wrapped candy. More wine and juice are set out. The bathroom (toilet) is down the stairs, but the same escalator brings you back to the party. We refill and then go back into the theater because they are showing the workmen and sticking in interviews with the singers. The sets are meant to be spectacular. Seeing how it is done is a look at how magic is made. Add lighting and score - voila!

I like opera which comes from spending too much time hanging with a loose pack of wild Australians, during my early, formative years. My partner comes by her liking of opera from having heard it at home when she was a child. Her father was musical.

I think most of her family - brothers and sisters, sons and daughters - play at least one or two musical instruments; she does as well. On my side, I recall my mother playing the piano and us singing. Bill Bailey (won't you come home?) was her favorite.

Her talent was up to Camptown Races and a few other old songs, and we were encouraged to sing with gusto. My father was in the US Army so dragging along a piano every time we had to move ended after a few years, but no one minded.

There are some things about the opera in Delft that make it a special evening. When one has arrived and given one's coat to the pleasant student at the door, one goes via escalator to the waiting room, which has couches in nooks.

Almost all the people in the crowd are old with only some not. They are eager; its on their faces. They are excited to be here, have a glass and chat, and see and hear what can only be seen and heard in New York. Grand having it in Delft.

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved - gwileynl@gmail.com
In memory of Herb Caen