Who knew I’d like the Cod ? My first three events in Omaha were all marked by fantastic questions and conversations with loyal patrons and opera lovers. But the Wine Seller’s Dinner was a unique and fantastic event. Four reasonably priced wines complemented by four courses designed specifically for the occasion by four local chefs ! And Le Voltaire came up with a “Black Cod on an Onion Medley Confit served over truffle Polenta” which was paired with a Bridalwood Viognier. I would never have ordered this at the restaurant because I am not a fish fan — but I would rush to embrace this meal again ANYTIME !
But my fish also makes me think about some of our audience’s aversion to Opera. Get it in front of them and they might actually love it at first bite, but the hard part is getting them over the threshold. So, it was really rewarding that so many folks attended the Dr Atomic lecture prior to the Filmstreams broadcast — folks that wanted a leg up to understand the complex John Adams/Peter Sellars opera. Proof positive that Omaha is an adventurous and erudite society that is willing to take the risk on contemporary opera from a safe distance.
Likewise, the Puccini 101 class was filled to capacity. Such a well-known composer amongst those of us in the profession, but again, realizing the folks here wanted a bit more information to go with their experiences with these classic works. I was glad to introduce some music we don’t hear very often and to help frame a context for who Puccini was as we head into this 150th Birthday year and ultimately La Boheme. Hopefully those patrons who attended these events can be ambassadors for the opera to the “newcomers” — helping a few more local folks to try the cod !