Thursday, January 04, 2007

Casse-noisette...the Opera House

I forget to blog about one of our Christmas highlights... a family outing on the day after Christmas to the Grand Theatre in Bordeaux to see a matinee production of Casse-Noisette (Nutcracker).

The program was a one hour version of the regular version which had playing in Bordeaux for a couple of weeks. Perfect for kids.

We had to get there early since seating was first come first come first serve. Getting in line in France is something like getting in line in Mexico, mostly people are nice but there are enough passive agressive types trying to insinuate themselves into a better position that it can make for a long snails paced duels of feet shuffling, impassive stonewalling, and imperceptible (almost) elbow flaring as everyone angles toward the usher taking tickets.

We did pretty well in terms of getting position but we realized after we got inside that we didn't really know what constituted a great seat in this place. As a result, we fiddled around while the natives cherry picked. We got good seats in the lower balcony...had we been in the front row of our compartment they would have been great seats.

It was a pure delight. Tess sat on my lap and peppered me with questions...we had prepped the kids on the drive to Bordeaux, giving them the storyline, the characters. Tess was in lala land. The production itself was whimsical, there was a very entertaining camel and a dragon that flew in over the stage, pausing to glare at the audience with flaming red eyes. Everything about the production seemed top drawer, even the curtain calls which were highly entertaining in their own right...they gave ample illustration to meaning of diva.

She got to wear her brand new velvet princesse dress and I'm sure she imagined that she had entered the realm of Angelina Ballerina when the lights went off.

A few seconds after the dancers appeared onstage, both Colm and Tess made reference to the revealing nature of the men's costumes... is that his butt? is that his ....? is he naked? but that quickly passed and they became interested in other aspects of the production.

This was their first theatrical experience of this order of magnitude...needless to say it made quite an impression on Tess who cried at the end because she didn't want it to stop.

Colm on the other hand snoozed the last fifteen minutes.


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