Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Aria Jukebox: Holiday Edition

Back in October, I wrote about Arizona Opera's first Aria Jukebox event (click here to read that post), in which the audience voted with tokens for which songs they wanted the singers to perform. This past Friday they held the same type of event, except that this time the songs were all themed to the holiday season.

The singers were a different group, so we had a chance to see some different styles of singing from before--as well as, of course, different styles of songs. They had the Opera Center all decked out for Christmas with a tree and lights, making for a festive First Friday. The format was quicker this time without the longer pauses in between sets and with no Q&A mixed in. Given that I can't replicate the singing here for you, what I'd like to talk about is in fact what followed the songs.

This time they gave us the option to stay afterward for a tour of the building, and a good handful of us took the opportunity to see behind the scenes. We saw some areas where they keep costumes and sets and we walked past the library and the office areas; we also got to see the rehearsal space. Along the way, we heard a little bit about how the company goes about planning and putting together productions. Especially for just a quick "if you'd like to stay for a tour at the end" type of thing, I was excited about how much we got to see and how much we learned.

Perhaps other people know more about how opera productions are put together; I knew very little. And as I'm constantly repeating on here in different contexts, I love seeing behind the scenes. Whether it's watching or viewing or hearing, getting that extra glimpse has always made things even more alive for me. So while perhaps overall I enjoyed the singing more at the first Aria Jukebox, this event still was wonderful to attend.

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