A night at the opera, but not as you know it…

November 8, 2017

A night at the opera, but not as you know it…

Ah, the opera… When I think of the opera, I think of tragic songs performed with great gusto, usually in Italian or another foreign language where the general melancholy is intensely conveyed with emotional arias. And when all that is presented with jewel-incrusted costumes and wardrobe made of fine silk and embroidery, they’re sure to enhance the enchantment scene after another? For me, it feels a Jane Austen book is brought to life…

I always wanted to experience the opera live. Some years ago I was on business in London. Overworked and overdue for a night out, I searched on line and came across Rough for Opera. The name intrigued me. I read too deeply into the word Rough and contemplated dressing up. Here I was on another continent, far away from home, and I didn’t know anyone I could invite to go with. I hid my reservations and dressed up to attend the show alone.

It was in a backstreet venue called the Cockpit, a short walk from Edgware Road tube station – an interesting part of London. Edgeware is a Middle Eastern district filled with delectable Arab eateries and where Middle Eastern Migrants have called home for many years. Just walking through the district and taking in the lingering aroma of ethnic spices can easily transport one to the Middle Eastern region of the world.

Alas I had found my way, after a couple of wrong turns down a dark alleyway. Once there, I felt awkward. “Do I approach another solo attendee? Do I chat with the event organizers? Do I simply wait in line?” My nerves were shot, so I decided to get myself a drink at the bar instead. After a glass of red wine – only 5 pounds by the way – I headed for an empty seat. I made my way toward the front of the stage and spotted one by a lovely lady sitting by herself. My timid introduction to Rebecca, and I learned that I was in the company of one of the creators of a show scheduled for later on that night called, “Voicings” – a very modern opera much different in style than what I could ever imagine or had seen on television. I mentioned to her that it was my first time at the opera. “Prepare yourself to enter a magical world,” she uttered. “And so you don’t break the spell, please follow these simple rules,” she continued, further sharing her wisdom:

  • Bring lozenges in case you have a tickle in your throat – coughing is a big ‘No No’
  • Turn off your cell phone
  • Get ready to be mesmerized

And then the lights dimmed, the audience grew silent as the first act of this modern opera commenced. The spell had already been cast over me. It was about the recent viral news headline “You must give up your seat,” a haunting tale of the corporate world and its capacity to dictate the terms of their services at the mercy of its customers; and the violence over one’s determination to get what HE paid for. It was quite confronting for a first live opera experience. Although, the viewing process was much easier than anticipated since the show was in English.

Voicings began with a dramatic opening scene: A lover’s quarrel that could not be mended, a perfect depiction of a sweet relationship gone sour, and at a seeming point of no return. Obviously it illustrated infidelity and the trials and tribulations of a toxic relationship. However, I thought it interestingly touched upon the repercussions of societal pressures. It was captivating and I couldn’t wait to see where the story would lead me to next.

Next up was Radium. An all-woman cast – an unusual event for opera. I was spellbound from the get go. The story fascinated me as it unfolded before my very eyes. These gorgeous young women, on their own accord, were driven into an unglamorous working world where they ultimately died. The scenes truly spoke out. I can only describe Radium as non-aggressive tragic feminism…

Where was Epic catch then so I could have taken someone along? I truly am thankful to have met Rebecca Hurst. I shall cherish her opera wisdom and truly want to thank her for a wonderful night out.

To have a similar experience or make a memorable one of your own with someone, don’t forget to check out www.epicexperiences.co. All upcoming events held at The Cockpit will be listed on Epic Catch. Check it out today and take on the adventure. Who knows what magical experience awaits you?

Enjoy the Adventure.

Lots of love,

Meray Azar


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Edited by Tanya Cabot, author of I’d rather be gutting fish