Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Revisiting Rigoletto

Last night I went to a stellar performance of Rigoletto at the San Francisco Opera house. Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak was sublime with a pure soaring voice that could produce those sweet high notes even when she was slumped over dying. And what's more she looked like a sweet young girl too--slim and lovely. Remember those old opera heroines who were as wide as houses?

Rigoletto has always been special to me because it was the first opera I saw. My aunt took me to the Bristol Old Vic, thinking we were going to see The Merry Widow. But she had her dates wrong and it was Rigoletto instead. "I don't know if this is too old for you," she said, but I loved it. I cried when Gilda died and I was hooked on opera forever more.

The interesting thing is that I know what's going to happen at the end but I still want to see it again and I still cry. The same happened when I saw Romeo and Juliet in Ashland this month. I know the play by heart but I still cry.

I guess this ties in to reading the same books over and over. My husband can't understand why anybody would want to read a book more than once. I, on the other hand, visit books as old friends. There are certain comfort reads that I turn to in times of stress--the Agatha Christies of course, Jane Austen, Gerald Durrell. There are books like Possession that blew me away the first time I read it and I got even more out of it the second and third times.  I have read the Lord of the Rings over and over, still savoring every moment.

So how about you? Do you like revisiting old favorites? Do you ever tire of seeing familiar plays, reading familiar books?


  1. I'm a re-reader, too. Actually, I had to buy a new paperback-copy of The Lord of the Rings last year, because my old one fell into pieces. I must have read it about 60 times...(I also own a hardcover edition, but it's to heavy to take around.)
    Reading a book I already know and love is a way to unwind for me. Sometimes, I even pick up a book to read just one favorite scene, because I so much like its atmosphere. And knowing a book and its end has never stopped me from crying, too... :)

  2. Definitely a re-reader and my bookcases are FULL of books I've read a bajillion times. I'll re-read whole books, scenes, or just endings. Anything that warms my soul and helps me get away from the laundry and dirty dishes!

    There's movies that I watch the same way, too.