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Opening Night at Versailles

The Opera House fills with excited audience members

The first thing I notice is that the architecture of the opera house, though beautiful when empty, can not be understood until 850 people are in their seats. I look over the boxes and see couples engaged in conversations, while others are looking here and there. An over stimulated child is being hushed by a smiling proud parent who has brought this 10 year old to the opera for the first time. The beautiful room has become the frame for an excited and enthused living audience. All the musicians recognize the brilliance and success of this 1770 hall where we are about to revive a 1762 opera. #

Set for Act 3 of Le Roi et le fermier

Intermission is over and we play the third and final act. It too feels good. And then the audience begins to clap. As Ryan leaves the pit, Claire leads us in the final tune to accompany the bowing on stage and we notice that as we play this pretty vaudeville, the applause becomes louder and louder soon gelling into a unified rhythm of clapping. Then feet start stamping. The audience doesn’t want the bowing to stop and more important, they tell us that something wonderful has happened for them over the last 2 hours in this perfect room and with Opera Lafayette. Even from the pit I can see that on stage, bowing, Ryan is moved to tears. And at the end of this first evening, we feel worthy of the palace that has welcomed us. #


  1. Eiji Miki says:

    I can feel the tear of joy shed by Ryan and Opera Lafeyette musicians. Bravo!

  2. From one who was lucky enough to be there, you perfectly capture the mood, the setting, and the experience! You’re so right: after knocking around the theater for a day or two of rehearsals and getting accustomed to the ridiculous splendor of the place, it was a completely different thing to enter the hall and find it full-to-capacity of excited patrons. Only then did it all really make sense.

    Bravi tutti. It was magical!

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