La Traviata

The Metropolitan Opera at Central Park on Tuesday, August 22.

Sean wasn’t feeling well, so I went to the park alone. By myself, I only needed space to spread a single towel, so I shamelessly snaked my way to a small patch of unoccupied grass relatively close to the stage on the north end of the Great Lawn. Even from there, I could barely see the performers, but it didn’t matter. I spent most of La Traviata with my eyes closed, blissfully soaking in the music together with the cool night air.

The Metropolitan Opera’s parks concerts are unstaged, so they give one the opportunity to focus solely on the music. Verdi holds up to the scrutiny effortlessly. The vocal lines are interesting, not always moving in the direction I expect, and the orchestration is beautiful. The opening Preludio — with quiet yet ardent whispers from the violins — captured my attention immediately by not demanding it.