Sharing Our Passions: Opera, Pasta, and Friendship

Have you ever had one of those days when adventure and friendship collide? When passion and food and music are shared? Some days are spent in our dreary routines filled with mindless trudging. Other days, magical days, collect fairy dust and memories that make life more festive. Yesterday was such a day.

My dear friend Ann and I were having a conversation a couple of weeks ago about music. She is a trained opera singer and college music professor with a stunning voice. Opera is her love, her infatuation, her ultimate desire. I admitted I have never watched an entire operatic production. I worked a few traveling shows back in college when I was a crew member at our college auditorium, but I only saw and heard bits from back stage or the sound booth. Ann said I needed to really appreciate opera as an audience member. A week later she texted me with an invitation to see a Met Live in HD production of Turandot at a movie theater in a neighboring town. What? An opera at the movies? I was both confused and intrigued, so I accepted.

The Metropolitan Opera has been transmitting live productions, along with backstage interviews and scene changes, to various movie theaters for ten years now. I had no idea. We were watching Tourandot along with audience members sitting at the Met in NYC. I sat back in my comfy stadium seat and drank in all the sights and sounds of an epic fairytale set in mythical China.

I was mesmerized with this sad tale of heartache, unrequited love, and riddles. The costumes were gorgeous. The sets were massive. The voices were breathtaking. Ann patiently answered my whispered questions about subtitles and performers, but I was especially intrigued by the camera shots of the scene changes during intermission. Colossal sets were pulled across the stage as dozens of stage hands took their positions. It was a show unto itself.

As the singers took their final curtain calls, I turned to Ann and we both smiled. My friend had shared her love with me and I will forever be thankful for the experience.

Later that evening she and her husband came over for dinner, and I shared a vodka sauce with penne dish and a bourbon butterscotch pie with them. This is friendship. Sharing stories. Exchanging recipes. Walking new roads together. 

With age comes a certain knowledge of joy. My circle of friends has grown tighter. I’m pickier about those I spend my precious time with these days. My friend Ann is one of the special ones. She is a storyteller, a musician, a cook, a mother, a true friend, and a sharer of peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwiches on white bread.

How much good inside a day?

Depends on how good you live ‘em.

How much love inside a friend?

Depends on how much you give ‘em.

-Shel Silverstein, Light in the Attic

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