I like to think I’ve had a fair amount of experiences in life, but visiting an opera house, much less one in Rome, Italy was certainly not one I’ve had before. As soon as I got to Rome and was looking up the bajillion things there are to do and see in this city, the Opera was definitely at the top of the list. There are quite a few really famous opera houses here. I looked into a few and discovered the tickets were sold out. I was super bummed and gave up the hunt.
That was until my bestie found a smaller opera house featuring an Italian Opera I had never heard of (I’m really just not all that cultured I suppose). I learned the next day from a new friend that it was a rather famous opera. I kinda felt stupid for not knowing it, but whatever, it happens. We got tickets and planned to see it that Saturday evening.
I’m going to side track the opera for a moment. I have to talk about it because I’m so fucking in love with the damn thing….my dress! I packed absolutely zero items of clothing that could be considered something suitable for a night at the opera. I am rather tomboyish after all and well, I don’t have random dresses just lying around. The few dresses I do own I rarely ever wear because ugh, I just feel so…..boyish in them. It doesn’t matter how much makeup I wear or how high my heels are…I always just feel weird.
Anyway, so I find this dress. I had originally went on a date where I saw a really amazing comic book style printed skirt in the window when I first arrived in Rome. I didn’t go inside the store (because I didn’t want to be rude to my date who was so graciously showing me around the city) and couldn’t, for the life of me, remember what the store was called or where it was. Luckily for me, my date found the store again 2 weeks later and sent me a photo of the skirt in the window. What a nice guy, amiright?! He definitely scored extra brownie points for that one.
Go back to the store, the skirt, HIDEOUS! It was unflattering in every single way, which happens quite frequently with clothes I like on the mannequin but hate when I try on my own body. However I found this dress. It was out of my price range, but of course I tried it on and fell in love. I mean, look at this thing?!?! Basically has my name written all over it. So I justify buying it because….OPERA!!!!
Ok so I have the dress and we get ready and ton of pictures in front of the theater, while turning some heads and stopping traffic. Guess the dress looks good. Got the head turning seal of approval….awesome!
We have some dinner and the lights go down and it’s time for the show to begin. The band starts playing and already my heart is racing. I lean into the girl sitting next to me and I can’t help but tell her how excited I am to see this show. Luckily so was she so I didn’t feel like a complete noob lol.
Immediately I recognize the music. I’ve heard this before and my brain starts scrambling to place it. That’s it! I Figured it out and almost scream it out: PRETTY WOMAN!!!! This is 100% the opera they see in the early 1990’s classic film, Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts. I practically scream across to my friends and I’m sure annoyed everyone in our immediate area with my astounding accusation.
Regardless of that outburst, I am beside myself with joy because it is my number favorite movie of all time. Immediately I think back to the iconic scenes from that movie and I’m reminded of this quote:
People’s reaction to opera the first time they see it is very dramatic. They either love it or hate it. If they love it, they will always love it. If they don’t, they may learn to appreciate it, but it will never become part of their soul.Edward Lewis – Pretty Woman
If you haven’t seen this film, do yourself a favor, take the night off and watch it. If you HAVE seen this film, watch it again. But because I love my readers so much, I went ahead and found the Opera Scene clip for your viewing pleasure.
It’s pretty safe to say that I’m in the group of people who love the opera and will always love the opera. I very much felt like Vivian sitting there wide eyed enjoying everything that was happening. Even though I don’t speak a word of Italian, I felt that I could understand what was happening (of course, the show notes in the program helped as well).
Some of the songs sent chills down my spine. The elaborate costumes couples with the powerful voices really helps your transcend time and space. I forgot about the dress I had been so obsessed with hours prior. I forgot I was sitting in a foreign country millions of miles away from home. I forgot about all the struggles I had been facing recently. I was just there, in that space, experiencing something beautiful.
THAT is what life is for. Moments just like this one. So often we get sucked into the negativity of the world, keeping up with the Joneses or working like a maniac. This life is nothing if not for the experiences like this that take our breath away. What is all of our hard work for if not to have these moments.
My heart, still on the mend, could relate to the lover’s struggle. So many things get in the way of love. Sometimes its ourselves and sometimes it has to do with other people or societal norms. Even the truest forms of love can fall victim to all of these things. Without spoiling the ending or the story behind this opera, in case you haven’t seen it, there’s a lesson to be learned. I heard it and I felt it.
It reminds me again that love is worth fighting for no matter what the cost. Sometimes loving someone also means letting them go for their own good as well. It’s such a complex thing to truly grasp but in the end, I’m grateful for the loves I’ve had and the loves I’ve lost. Each and every one no matter what the outcome was. I’ve been changed and I’ve learned from all of them,.
Just like in Pretty Woman….Vivian was forever changed by this experience and others that Edward brought into her life. She was no longer willing to stay in her old ways of life. She wanted more! I’ve never related to Vivian more than I do right this second.
I didn’t have the famous “snapping of the jewelry box moment” (pictured below) but I still think this was by far one of my favorite parts of this trip.
But this opera, the re-watching of this movie reminds me of one very important thing….
“I want the fairytale” except maybe just a little bit naughtier.