I love pleasant surprises, I really do. So when my friend Stephanie called me yesterday afternoon asking if I wanted a free ticket to the San Francisco Opera that night, I was very excited. There was a bit of confusion -- I thought she said La Racine, then I thought it was La Rondine (Puccini), and it turned out to be The Rake's Progress (Stravinsky). Needless to say, I was totally surprised when I showed up. But very pleasantly so.
The opera itself wasn't really my thing. Too Faustian, not enough making sense...and I feel like there was a lot that I just flat-out didn't get. But oh well. The performers were great, and I liked the music (good thing I'm into atonal Stravinsky). The real star of the show, though, was the set. So, So, So, So, SO COOL. It had all these hydraulic parts, with parts of the floor opening up, things coming up from underneath, and just really remarkable transformation capability in general. I can't talk about it very well for some reason, maybe I'm tired, but the design was really very good.Here is an example: the swimming pool. The lights made it look like the water was rippling, and they had it set up so there was an open space (unseen by the audience) so that people could dive into it - they even had a small water splash happen whenever someone did. It was really, really fun.
And best of all? The whole night was free (shuttle from work to SF, free ticket, ride home from Steph)! Heck yes.