So. Yes. Friday night, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, thanks to NZ Opera. Good.
P and I started the evening with an abortive attempt to get a quick meal at Depot. This place is excellent but you need the patience of a saint or the willingness to eat at ridiculously early hour to get in. We had neither; so we ducked into Elliot Stables for some treats at Besos Latinos first. The food was a bit meh, but the caipirinhas and pisco sours? Tasty (not that I can really provide a judgment on authenticity not having made it to South America yet, P: SORT THAT OUT PLZ K THX).
We floated outside on a wave of cachaca (sp?) into the loveliest, warmest autumn evening. You would not have known it was the end of April, and it’s been like that ever since – highs of 21 or more every day, overnight lows of 17, crisp mornings, lingering (if dark) evenings. The balcony at the Aotea centre was fabulous, full of people wearing sequins waving bare arms and glasses of wine around like it was February.
It got even better – beautiful singing, gorgeous set design. I personally loved the NZSO’s accompaniment, but a lady I chatted with in the loo queue was a bit more ambivalent. Madame Butterfly herself was a consummate actress and her voice was lovely. Antoinette Halloran, in case you’re interested. A colleague of mine thought Suzuki a little pantomime-y, but I loved her voice so could forgive the acting. Gosh, I’ve never been much of an opera fan before (tried it previously and was ambivalent), but this really was lovely.
A shame that as the first strains of the melody wafted into the refurbed Aotea centre, the phone of the woman behind us rang, and rang, and rang, and then she leant over to ask us to ensure our phones were off…and then realised it was her own fault as the usher came over with a stern face. It wasn’t a generic ring tone – it was pretty bloody individual, so how she didn’t recognise it is beyond me. Cell phone etiquette: muttering about other people’s rudeness never gets old, does it? I still feel outraged nearly a week later. That’s also possibly because I’m the crotchedy sort.
The evening was also slightly marred by arriving home to discover people had been let in to fix the ceiling holes (long-ish story, demonstrably NOT MY FAULT this time, a nice change) without our permission. They left a layer of gib dust over our entire home and belongings and added further scuff marks/paint chips on the walls. Really took the shine off, I can tell you, as we squabbled over the merits of sending an email to the property manager while slightly squiffy (result: drafted it, decided to sleep on it, GOOD DECISION).
I still dreamt of cherry blossom that night, though.