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A Night at the Opera – Part 2.

It’s opera season 2023, and this time we saw Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado.

We ate a light supper before getting ready.  It wouldn’t work out to eat at a restaurant, since there are not that many along the way to the theater, which was in another town.

I wore a black and white dress with a sparkling black and gold shawl.  Best Friend wore his black Beatle boots with dress pants and shirt.

The drive to the theater was easy, rain clouds hung in the distance, and we made it to the theater in about 40 minutes.  The parking lot was crowded, but we easily found a spot to park our car.  We later learned that the lot was crowded because there was also a private birthday party for “Chris” in a small conference room attached to the theater.

When the doors opened, we took our seats – orchestra left center.  We had a good vantage point of the stage, and we were excited for the opera to begin.  Especially since a gaggle of chitty chatty women were standing next to us in the aisle talking about their sons, their daughters, the beauty salon, the manicures they just got . . .

Patrons were dressed casually, and I observed it all – shorts, t-shirts, jeans, sparkling blouses, and khakis.  Something that I wish people would cut back on is dousing themselves in cologne.  It’s enough to gag an elephant.

The Mikado was enjoyable, although sometimes it was difficult to understand the spoken dialogue.  The costumes were not what I expected.  Since The Mikado takes place in a fictional location in Japan, I expected kimonos, yukatas, and traditional hairstyles.  Instead, the costumes had hints of traditional dress – shoulder pads, vague oriental designs, and the like.  Mainly, the costumes were of late nineteenth century Western style dress for both men and women.

Despite my disappointment with the costuming, the story was funny, and the songs were sung with strong, rich voices.  My favorite piece from The Mikado is “On a Tree by a River (“Willow, tit-willow”), and I have liked that song since I was little.  And . . .


We picked up a coloring book for my grandnephew that tells an abridged version of The Pirates of Penzance.

This was nearly a three-hour opera, and by the time we returned home, it was after eleven o’clock.

It was all worth a night out.

As ever,

Lady Susan Marie Molloy

●▬●©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ●▬●

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Earlier this month, we wanted to go shopping at one of our local antique shops, so Best Friend and I got ourselves together and first headed out for an early lunch.

We stopped by a little grille, nestled in a shopping mall between a seedy-looking thrift store and a storefront mission.  This grille has some of the best home cooked meals in our town, and we never had a bad meal there.

The lunch crowd was thinning out, and we were able to sit in a corner booth.  Best Friend ordered steak and eggs, and I chose a half tuna sandwich with broccoli soup.  We enjoyed our conversation about this and that, we ate our meals, and soon we were ready to head to the counter to pay our bill.

I caught a glimpse of a lady, perhaps in her late 40s-early 50s, who was at the counter paying her bill.  By the time we got there, she was gone.

Best Friend took out his debit card.

“It’s paid for,” said the cashier.

“I’m sorry,” replied Best Friend.  “What’s that?”

“Your bill is paid for by the lady who was just here.  You owe nothing.”

We both were speechless.  We were so surprised, so shocked at this, that we didn’t know what else to say, except for, “Wow.  You only read about this sort of thing in the newspapers.”

The cashier smiled.  We gave her a large tip (for she was our waitress, too), and we went on our merry way.

There are kind people in this world.

As ever,

Lady Susan Marie Molloy

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿

A Night at the Opera – Part 1.

A Night at the Opera is one of my favorite Marx Brothers movies, but that’s an essay for another time.  This essay is about a very different experience.

It is opera season, and since we are opera fans, Best Friend and I anticipate evenings at the theater with enthusiasm.  We had tickets to attend a presentation of Georges Bizet’s Carmen and for days on end, “Habanera” and “El Toreador” played repeatedly in my mind, their melodies twisting together into a singularly odd song.

Finally, the evening arrived.  We dressed up – I wore a black dress with a lacy shawl that glittered in the low evening lights.  Best Friend wore a patterned dress shirt and printed tie.  Before heading into town, we ate a light meal of sandwiches and tea.

The night air was cool, but warm enough to have the car windows open.  As we drove into town, we saw that the streets were exceptionally crowded, and it was difficult to find parking near the theater.  Nevertheless, we found a spot many blocks away.

We walked in the cool evening air.  Along the way we enjoyed nature and seeing people eating and drinking in restaurant windows.

Then we turned the corner where the theater stood.  It was a large white brick and plaster building with a tiled covered exterior entrance, built in the 1920s.  At the door, we handed our tickets to an usher, and we made our way past the crowd in the lobby.  It seemed that everyone was on the main floor buying drinks and opera themed paraphernalia.  Uninterested in drinking or buying tchotchkes, we walked up the red carpeted staircase, through the second-floor lobby, and sat in our usual seats.  This was a sold-out crowd – and what a crowd it was!

There were patrons dressed in suits and ties and long gowns and sequined handbags.  There were those who wore sport jackets and street-length dresses.  Then there were those patrons that really stood out in a way that just made us smile and admire their uniqueness.

They were the ones dressed in flapper-style dresses with fringe and beads, 1920s headbands, period sequined handbags and makeup, too. They wore 1920s style: suits, ties, slicked hair, and fedoras.  It was pleasing to see them dress in an unconventional, yet classy, manner.  And what made this all the more fun to see was that they were all people somewhere in their 20s and 30s.

Best Friend and I enjoyed Carmen, too.  It was sung in French, with projected supertitles.  The story was timeless, the orchestra was live, the singing was superb, and the costumes were magnificent.  During the intermissions (There were three!), we talked with some of the people sitting near us, sharing our thoughts on the opera.

All this made for a grand time.

And I have a new appreciation of how patrons express themselves as they dress for a night at the opera.

As ever,

Lady Susan Marie Molloy

✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿