The Florida Grand Opera does an OUTSTANDING job of trying to introduce opera to those who wouldn’t ordinarily consider it as entertainment. Some of it is done through the Random Act of Culture series, where they actually take the opera out of the performance house and into the community. In the past, opera performances have sprung up in Ikea, on Lincoln Road, at the Miami Airport, and even in the shoe department at Macy’s.
Recently, FGO introduced Tweet Seats–complimentary seating available for those who will actively tweet about the performance. I experienced this first hand a few weeks back, during a performance of La Traviata. My son and I arrived at the stage door about an hour before the performance–in addition to seeing the opera, we got a backstage tour. We met the actors, saw them getting made up and rehearsing backstage and even got to go up on the stage before the production. It was a view seldom afforded to the public–who gets to see the Arsht Center from the stage????
Then, we were shown to our seats and the show started. While it was a bit awkward at first, I soon was able to both tweet and watch at the same time. It probably helped that I knew the story beforehand, as La Traviata is very popular opera. It’s the story of a high class courtesan who find true love, but is forced to turn away from it. In the end, she dies. While I understand NONE of the Italian singing, I do feel all the emotion in the songs. There are captions, as well.
I applaud FGO for implementing the Tweet Seats program. Would I go again? Probably, but I enjoy opera. Should you go? Definitely–I’m all about doing something that one has never done before. It builds character.