Thursday, November 4, 2010

Opera House

Last Friday, my son was forced escorted me to the opera, Verdi's Aida. Actually, it was 'opera in cinema' and was showing at the KiMo Theatre downtown. The theatre was built in 1927 using Pueblo Deco, a flamboyant melding of Art Deco and Pueblo Indian culture art. The whole theater is decorated with murals, colored tiles, swastikas (Native symbol), and other  symbols. It is both amazing and beautiful.

I'd posted about going to the documentaries festival and here which is how I first found out about the opera show. I have to tell you that one of the reasons my son came with me was curiosity; not to see an opera, but to see if the place was really haunted. In 1951, a water heater exploded in the lobby, injuring several people and killing one boy. It is believed that the boy still haunts the theatre.

Over the years the theatre staff have come to realize that if the performers in a show do not leave a gift of some sort that odd things will go wrong with the show, various April Fools/practical joke sorts of things. So we keep a place for them to leave gifts; toys, pictures, doughnuts, candy, etc. ... and their shows seem to go much smoother.  from the CABQ (official city) website

Expecting it to be crowded, we sat upstairs and this is a photo I took of the view looking up to the ceiling on the sides. There are creepy buffalo skulls and red lights giving it a completely ominous aura. 

I couldn't pass up going, especially when it was free! We both enjoyed the show even more when we realized that there were subtitles to the Italian singing and lots of close ups of the actors. I embarassingly jokingly commented to my son that this was one of the few times the men were less dressed than the women. One dancing couple came out in a gold jock strap (man) and a gold bikini (woman). The hero of the story wore only an Egyptian loincloth and an ornate neck ornament. The two lead singers divas were large women. My son commented "it isn't really over when the fat lady sings, like they say, is it?"

The story:
Aida is an Ethiopian princess in love with an Egyptian warrior, Radames. She is captured and made a slave to the Egyptian princess, Amneris, who also loves Radames. Amneris's father, the Pharaoh, offers Radames his daughter's hand in marriage, but Radames loves Aida. He also loves his country, Egypt. When he realizes he has betrayed Egypt because of his love for Aida, he turns himself in, dishonored, to face his punishment, his death. He is put in a sealed tomb and discovers Aida waiting for him in the dark. How tragically romantic!!

The costumes were beautiful and the singing was awesome. We saw the La Scala production and the encore was spectacular, with roses and roses being thrown to the actors who came out again and again for their encores. Needless to say, we were very impressed.

Opera House - song: Five Years, artist: David Bowie, album: TRAFOZSATSFM


lytha said...

Cool, Aida was performed by students of my husband's school last year. See how much we have in common?

Sydney_bitless said...

WOW! I love the artwork it's so pretty with the tiling and painting.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Neat place. I'll have to watch for something other than an opera so I can go -- sorry, not my thing.

Glad you were able to go.


Fantastyk Voyager said...

Lytha, that would be very cool indeed.

Sydney, isn't it fantastic?

Dan, they also have ballet in cinema and regular theater performances too. I want to see Aladdin Jr next weekend and then the Nutcracker Ballet in December.

Breathe said...

What a great venue! I've never been there.

And haunted too? Theater people are superstitious enough, this really adds an edge.

I've seen a few operas but have never quite been enthralled. Yet I love musicals and torch singers. Maybe it's the language barrier. Even with subtitles I feel disconnected from the story. Know what I mean?

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Love the KIMO.

The kids and I will be there with our homeschool group on Thursday afternoon, to see Aladdin Jr. Can't wait!


achieve1dream said...

That place is beautiful! Wow. Glad you enjoyed the show. :)

Lori Skoog said...

Great architecture and quite an experience!