A very full day.  Hope I can stay awake long enough to finish this entry.

At 9AM, my son, daughter, and daughter's boyfriend came up for fathers' day breakfast.  I made blueberry pancakes, a dish I associate with my own father.  But I make them with beer instead of milk--I get the darkest, rankest beer I can find (stout is good) and substitute it for the milk with my Aunt Jemima.  My son bought a plate of molasses crisp cookies, made from his grandmother's recipe.  At 10:20, I left, leaving them to clean up the dishes.  I was going to the opera.  Aida, in San Francisco.

All though the breakfast, I wondered whether to tell my kids about Diana and me getting engaged (see previous entry!).  I didn't want to get the conversations started and then crump out to go to the opera, so decided to postpone.

Diana had never seen Aida before.  Last summer, I decided to have two opera parties--I got four extra tickets to two operas--The Magic Flute and Aida--that I thought would be good for non-opera goers.  And then I invited four people who wee not regular opera goers.  My trusty Palm hadn't figured out the day was Fathers' day, or I might had had second thoughts about the date.

I had thought my kids might see Aida with me, but my son and my daughter's boyfriend were taping an improv show this afternoon.  Bummer, since I like to attend the tapings, too!  

So the party was made up of me and Diana, Diana's mom, a church friend of Diana's, and two women who ae in my meditation group.  At one point last yea, I was in the car with these two women and the subject of opera came up--they talked about how they would like to attend sometime.  I'm sue they had totally forgotten the conversation, but lit up like light bulbs when I offered them the tickets.

What a quintessential opera Aida is!  It has everything--love, betrayal, duty, jealousy, huge spectacles, intimate moments, and a poignant double death scene at the end.  We all loved it.  I suspect ones reaction to a lot of opera will be predicted by ones reaction to Aida--it has all the wonderful silliness, and all the grand spectacle, and plenty of beast beating and passion.

And as a once and perhaps future manage, I can't help being awed by the sheer organization of the thing.  At least 200 people on stage, another 100 in the orchestra pit, and countless people backstage doing lighting, scene changes, makeup, costumes, etc.  And it comes off surprisingly close to flawlessly.  When I first began to manage, I remember coming to the opera with a special sense of awe.  Here I was dealing with five programmers who seemed unable to get a simple piece of software out the door.  And this opera thing was 100 times more complicated.  I literally think that many software people cannot conceive of organization on the level of grand opera as even being possible, much less as being regularly done every night in a theatre near you.  Check it out.

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2001 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.