Kim and I went to the opera yesterday. It was Opera Zuid again, but this time they were performing The Barber of Sevilla. I picked Kim up from work and we took a bus to the city centre. We had originally planned to eat at the newly opened La Place. Kim, however, preferred somewhere where they would bring our food. I though that was a splendid idea so we went in search for another place to eat. We picked De Kostery but it was closing, which is weird for a place that loudly displays outside that they serve dinner… We then tried Het Feithhuis. This was a long shot as it’s quite popular and generally requires a reservation. And indeed, they had no table. So we settled on the Drie Gezusters. I’d been there before, but never to eat.
They have a pretty basic, but good, menu. I’d wanted to go for steak but then I spotted Moroccan lamb stew with sweet potato and went for that. It was very tasty. It came with a wedge of water melon, which was a nice refresher at the end. The sides we’re also good: well done fries in the skin, steamed cauliflower and broccoli and some salad. I skipped that last one for I was getting quite full. For dessert I chose a wentelteefje (aka French toast) made from suikerbrood (sugar bread) with cinnamon ice cream and whipped cream. Delicious.
After dinner we made our way to the theater on foot. Joran, our friend from work was also coming with his girlfriend. We met up at the theater. It was their first time at the Schouwburg in Groningen so we showed them some of the places to sit and where to enter to get to their seats.
The opera it self was, musically speaking, very good. The orchestra (Philharmonie Zuidnederland) played very well, and the players were great. The color of voice of the woman singing Rosina (Romie Estèves) was a bit too shrill for my tastes. Technically, though, she was very good. Both Figaro (Luthando Qave) and the Count Almaviva (Juraj Holly) were fantastic.
What I liked less was the staging. Instead of taking the story and playing it as is, the directors modernised it. In was now place in a Spa in Sevilla where the people would come to enjoy luxurious excesses and vices. This had some of the ensemble performers playing sniffing coke of a hand mirror, both supplied by Figaro. Old Doctor Bartolo lives next to this spa. And the old time soldiers become a modern cross between military and private security. This leads to Rosina singing an aria in a bikini and Figaro doing modern dance moves during his.
After the show we briefly met up with Joran again to compare experiences and say goodbye. We were in no particular rush, the train was gone anyway, but they had to leave. We then grabbed a bus back to the station where we had to wait an hour for our train. Luckily the Burger King was open so we indulged in some nuggets and a hot blondie. The train showed up early so we could wait the last fifteen minutes or so in more comfort.
Picture (credit: Joost Milde/Opera Zuid) shows Almaviva on the left in his disguise as Don Alfonso, Rosina being choke held by Doctor Bartolo and Figaro trying to restrain him.
Oeh, also, I finished the shed!