I'm thinking that it's pretty tragic that it took a candle order to get me to go to the opera, but there it is... My life is quite tragic in many ways (and deliciously fabulous in others :-)). All I can say is that I regret not going sooner. Last night we went to see Opera Australia's production of Tosca and it was extra-ordinary.
Let me start at the beginning... see if you can guess whether Tilly was excited or not? Sydney Ferries provided limousine transfer door to door.
Why is it that the best photographs are never in focus?!
We had a beautiful dinner by the harbour... and then on to the opera!
I have to admit up front that while I was very excited to be seeing our candles lighting up Tosca, I was a little less sure about whether I would actually enjoy a whole opera. Sure, I love the operatic aria's. Sure, we listen to classical music at the hive. But I wasn't sure about 3 hours of opera. I'm happy to say I was wrong. I loved it. So did Tilly. Not only was it an auditory feast, but it was a visual feast. The set was astonishing. And I think I appreciated it all the more because I'd been to Opera Australia HQ and been given a quick tour through the carpentry department, metal working department, fibre glass department, costume design, sewing, painting, decorating etc etc and is was just so gratifying to see that it is all being done locally. We may be shipping in entire buildings in shipping containers from overseas, but Opera Australia are building incredible sets in Australia. GOOD. ON. YOU. OPERA. AUSTRALIA. I am tempted to go to more opera's on the basis that I'll be supporting those jobs. I'll be the one in the loges with the 'partially obscured view'... and I'll be loving every second of that partial view! Opera Australia run a behind the scenes tour on Wednesday's for $15 (that's a bargain). You can find more information on their website
Whilst it was an obvious highlight to see our candles lighting up the production, it was also a little bit distracting for this tragic soul! I think I missed about 50% of the surtitles in the first act because I was checking to see that the candles weren't dripping in the cross breezes on stage...
and then noticing how slowly they were burning and calculating that at that rate of burning they would be lasting Opera Australia for around the next decade of productions of Tosca...
and watching to make sure that despite their extraordinary length they were upright...
and trying to pick out the fake candles (yes, there are some of those too)!...
and then checking to see that Tilly was also enjoying it!!
Phew! It was exhausting. And I'm happy to report that they didn't appear to drip, that they were upright, that you could tell a real candle from a fake and that Tilly enjoyed himself!
Acts 2 and 3 were a little more
relaxing because there were no Queen B candles burning.
Look at those beautiful beeswax candles and the magnificent set they built around them
Opera Australia's TOSCA. Candles by Queen B. Photo by Prudence Upton
I'm thinking that the Australian Ballet may need to commission us next. I'm dying to see a ballet.
The ticket that I bought for Tosca (and gave away on Facebook) in the loges was $67.50 (+booking fee) which really in the general scheme of how incredible the production was, the talent, the set (and those candles) makes it an affordable investment in the Australian arts, your own edification and a great night out.
We're giving away 2 Tosca pillars in a competition in the next Opera Australia newsletter, so head on over to the website and register for the newsletter and be in the running to win.