Challenge 12: La Boheme and Miss Saigon

It doesn’t really matter what it is, sit me down in front of a stage and you can almost guarantee I’ll have a good time. From live music to musicals to the ballet and poetry readings – I love it all. but until #25at25, I’d never been to the opera. I think I was scared of the idea of it, worried I wouldn’t understand or I’d find the whole thing a bit overwhelming and not necessarily in a good way. 

When my paternal Grandparents challenged me to go to the opera, I had pretty much no idea what to go and see. I asked around and eventually settled on the widely respected and loved La Boheme at the Royal Opera House back in July. I knew little of the story, but was comforted by the fact that there were surtitles to give me a better understanding of the story.

Puccini’s most famous opera depicts the heartbreaking and dramatic story of MiMi and Rodolfo – a couple captivated by their doomed romance. I was blown away. Opera is powerful, bold and unapologetic in it’s magnitude. I found the musicality of it a little hard to get used to at first as musical theatre is my first love but after a little while, I was completely engrossed. The two main characters were incredible as separate performers, but when they sang together as a duet, my spine tingled. La Boheme was the perfect introduction to opera as it was funny in parts but phenomenally moving in others and the finale was superbly emotional. I was so, so glad to have been pushed to go to the opera and I can’t wait to go and see something else soon. The Opera House in itself is an experience and I loved dressing up for a lovely London evening. Those things never get old.

I’d really hoped that we could go and catch Madame Butterfly at the opera (one day, one day) so when we were offered the opportunity to go and see a show or concert of our choice from Seatwave, I opted to finally go along and see the highly commended musical adaptation Miss Saigon. Having been hoping to get my hands on tickets since its launch earlier this year, I’d heard such great things and I couldn’t wait to settle down to follow Kim and Chris through their tumultuous relationship (as if I hadn’t put myself through enough emotion for La Boheme). Miss Saigon shared a lot of comparisons with La Boheme and I reacted very similarly to both pieces despite their differing formats. I laughed and tingled and gasped all the way through Miss Saigon, as it constantly threw big, emotive musical numbers and spectacles (THERE WAS A HELICOPTER) at the audience, leaving me both emotionally drained and mesmerised by the wonder of the theatre.

I think it’s official – I just love seeing a show, no matter what’s on in front of me. And I think the next time I go, I’ll go and see something with fewer starcrossed, doomed lovers.

*Seatwave offered me tickets to go and review a show but this didn’t change my opinion of Miss Saigon. You should go and see it too. It’s killer.

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