Monday, February 21, 2011

Check your expectations at the door.

The show had closed, I was still reeling in my seat, and finally the lights went back up. As my friend and I started packing to leave, I felt a little apprehensive. Usually I would immediately leave to start my long, arduous trek back to campus. But tonight was different—the club 28 Degrees beckoned me.

I didn’t know what to expect. Was it going to be a dance club? Get down on the floor with Harlequin and Death? I was hoping to keep my horrifyingly embarrassing dance moves to myself, and vowed to keep myself from venturing too far away from my seat. But when I got there, the atmosphere was not what I expected.

Instead of a bumping dance party, or a coalition of highly mature and arthritic septuagenarians (the demographic traditionally thought of as the average opera patron) what I found was a group of like-minded young adults, sophisticated in taste and passionate about opera. No one was like to shirk in the corner or try and hide from the crowd. I’d made a couple friends when I was at 28 Degrees, enjoying my complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and chatting up the patronage and even the actors. I talked about the show we’d all just seen, the nightlife in Boston, favorite Disney movies, best types of eyeliner. No subject was bane to the cosmopolitan group of theater-goers. I had a great time, enjoying my talks with talented and

As I left the club, what I’d really experienced started to hit me. This was the generation of arts patrons that were going to keep the opera tradition alive. These young, driven, passionate and sophisticated people are what the opera needs. And with their help, shows like The Emperor of Atlantis can still be put on. I’m glad to have met with them and can’t wait to see them again after Aggripina.

- Sujin Shin, Brandeis University

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