Listening to Opera in Florence - Jo-Ann Carson

Listening to Opera in Florence

Silvia di Falco the Soprano Opera singer and David Boldrini the pianist
We strolled over the Arno River around six in search of a small ex church, Santa Monaco. Once we found it and bought tickets for the evening Opera performance we wandered around the area.  As the sun set, we had dinner on a patio in a quaint old square, salad, pizza, dessert and wine.  Not the best meal we’ve had, but the ambience was Italian and romantic.
We wandered back to the church to get good seats and enjoyed the simple beauty of the six hundred year old  building with it’s artwork.
The ceiling.
It was the perfect place to listen to my first live opera. The musicians entered the stage bringing with them a crackling feeling of excitement. The piano began and then she sang. I couldn’t believe my ears. How could such a small woman fill the whole space with her voice? She was amazing.
They opened with Mozart’s Le Nozze Di Figaro. Then she sang arias from Puccini’s La Boheme and Madama Butterfly, followed by arias from Rossini’s Don Pasqaule and Verdi Rindisi’s La Taviata. After a short intermission they continues with more arias. It was enchanting, a memory that I will always hold dear. Clearly, I need to listen to more opera.
We took this picture on our way home, crossing the Ponto Trinita looking back towards the Ponto Vecchio. We loved the reflections. But our little camera struggled to pick them up.
It was a lovely, lovely evening.

More and more frequently the edges
of me dissolve and I become
a wish to assimilate the world, including
you, if possible through the skin
like a cool plant’s tricks with oxygen…
(Margaret Atwood, “More and More”)
I have a bad habit of looking ahead. I know that my time in Italy is coming to an end and I want to absorb as much of it as I can. I watch other tourists buying trinkets and understand their desperate need to purchase a piece of the beauty that surrounds them, to take Italy with them in their suitcase. But no amount of wooden Pinocchio marionettes, Guichi designer clothing or Lemoncello, no matter how nice they are, can do it for me. Italy must become a memory.
With a full heart, I breath deeply the smells of the market, taste slowly the fresh cheese and listen to the emotional Italian language. This has been a wonderful trip, and I’m going to enjoy every last moment.