Last night I went to see La Traviata at Teatro Nacional Sucre in Quito, Ecuador. I have seen this opera before, and Verdi is easily my favorite composer. Any chance I get I will try to see a Verdi opera. Well we showed up at 8:00 pm with the expectation that it would start on time. Nothing in Ecuador starts on time, but when we came to this same theatre for the Cuban National Symphony, everything started right on time. Well the clock crept closer and closer to 8:30 we started to get a little annoyed. We had work the next day.
Then we notice a whisper humming through the cloud, that was clicked followed by the flanking of two machine gun guards on each side of the balcony. President Raphael Correa was at the opera with his lovely wife, and a women identified to me as his mother. There was clearly political ramifications to the visit, as the opera was co-produced by the Korean Ambassador and had 3 very brilliant Korean Opera stars it. One does not get to revel in the fact they are attending an opera in a small theatre with a head of state. Pretty kewl indeed.
The opera itself was very impressive. Maybe my standards have went down a bit, since I have been here (Sorry Ecuador), but I enjoyed it a lot. There is nothing to write about the set design, it was something comparable to a high school musical production, which made us really focus on the music. Soo Jin Moon was the soprano who played Violeta, and she was nothing less than incredible. I absolutely loved her performance. She has been gifted with a set of lungs that rattled the rafters. Her final breath was one of those operatic moments that I will never forget. It was heart wrenching and breath taking in same moment. I will gladly pay to see this opera diva perform any time. It was really nice to get a dose of live opera, because it has been so long since I have been to one. I wish it would have been something I had not seen in the past, but how many native English speakers can say they have seen a Korean produced opera in Quito, with Spanish subtitles.