Our minds work in mysterious ways. My first Opera experience last Friday became more interesting because of a side-drama went on in addition to Rossini¡¯s classic opera. Bay Area Friday busy traffic, a full garage, running in the Opera hall at the last minute, a confident usher that assumed too much, plus an first time Opera-goer could actually produce another comedy in addition to the one on stage–whom Rosina will ended up marry, Dr. Bartolo or Lindoro?
Last summer during the free ¡°Opera in the Park¡± performance in Golden Gate Park, we signed up for opera tickets at a great rate – two for one. Gui filled out the form and got two pairs of ticket, one pair for her and one for me. It averaged $20 per ticket.
The tickets we ended up with were for Barber of Seville at 8pm on Jan. 9th, 2004.
Last Friday I got off work earlier than usual at 5:30pm so I could have time to fight the traffic going back to east bay, picked up mom, and then barfed down a peanut butter sandwich while continued fighting traffic going north to the City. By the time I dropped mom off at the Opera house, it was fifteen minutes before eight. I fished one ticket out of my purse and gave it to mom; told her to go straight in, don¡¯t wait for me. Gui and Matthew should¡¯ve been there already.
I thought I still had plenty of time since the Performing Arts Parking Garage was merely two blocks away. Unfortunately there was a long line of cars waiting to get in. By the time I slowly moved up the line at turtle speed, the garage put up a ¡°Garage is Full¡± sign. I had no choice but to circle around and looking for parking spaces elsewhere. Eventually I parked in the Civic Center garage. It was five minutes before eight, and the Opera house was four long blocks away. I started running in my long wool skirt, trying not to trip. It was drizzling lightly.
I dashed in the front door, all out of breath. The gentleman took my ticket told me ¡°on the left¡±. I walked in the lobby, and saw there were two entrances on the ¡°left¡±, one was stairs going up, and another was a door way on the same level. Since this was my first opera and I never fully grasped all the different classes of opera/symphony hall seats, I had no clue where ¡°Balcony¡± was supposed to be. I decided not to climb the stairs before I figured out where my final destination was. I walked toward the formally dressed ladies and gentlemen holding programs at the left door way, thinking they would send me away if I didn¡¯t belong here.
A middle-aged gentleman with a smoothly trimmed mustache greeted me, ¡°Would you need help finding your seat, Ma¡¯am?¡± ¡°Yes, please.¡± He looked at my ticket and started walking down the isle toward the front of the hall. He stopped by two empty seats on the forth row from the orchestra and gestured for me to seat. I couldn¡¯t believe my eyes, first of all, wow! $20 could buy such nice seat?! Secondly, where is Mom and where are Gui and Matthew? My confusion showed, and I frowned, ¡°Are you sure this is my seat?¡± The nice gentleman seemed a little offended that I doubted his knowledge of the theatre layout. After all, who am I to question him? He pointed the numbers on the seat, ¡°Yes, of course, G123¡±. I saw the 123 engraved on the copper plate and had to seat down to satisfy the stern looking gentleman. He placed a copy of the program in my hand, ¡°Enjoy the show!¡± and walked away. ¡°Thank you!¡± I nodded. In my mind I was screaming ¡°Jesus!! I lost my mom!¡±