Monday night a large group went to see The Barber of Seville (Gioachino Rossini) at the Vienna State Opera. Please bear with me as I try to put into words this experience.
It began with a line out the side of the opera house, a thirty minute wait, and three euro. Not three euro to check coats, mind you, but three euro for the (standing room only) ticket. To help put this into perspective, I bought a delicious, but plain frankfurter from a street vendor for 2,50 euro. The opera lasted far longer, and I felt much better after the Rossini than after the hot dog.
In the main hall of the Wiener Staatsoper, I stood directly center in the third (and last) row of the uppermost gallery. Regardless, I had an excellent view of the stage and the orchestra. This is no tiny pit orchestra. This is the Vienna Philharmonic, and there was no mistaking their pinnicle of orchestral superiority within the first few notes of the Overture. The music rang in the hall and filled me up with any and all emotions. Only music, played this way, can evoke and explain that feeling.
The Barber of Seville is a comedy about love and trickery. I could hardly tell I was standing for three hours. Time just flew away in laughter, suspense, and melody. So, if your ever in Vienna, bring three euro, and try to decide whether you want to use it to buy a frankfurter or an opera presented by some of the world's finest musicians.