This week I saw an opera at the Metropolitan Opera house – an ambition I thought I was unlikely to realise . My cousin and his wife were visiting New York and managed to get an extra ticket for me to see Norma. Gerald and I are both fond of Bellini and this one is his favourite. After six weeks spent over my books with Downton Abbey as my relaxation, I was needing some craic, so I scrubbed up and hopped in a taxi to our rendezvous at the fountains in front of the Met. It was good to see them after a year and we were exhilarated to be meeting in New York instead of our usual opera spot, the Swansea Grand But first we had to eat at a bustling Italian restaurant. Gerald is a bon viveur and immediately ordered a bottle of Prosecco – music to my ears after six virtually wine-free weeks – and it flowed from then on. The food was excellent and came in portions slightly larger than you hoped for, which is the best scenario.
When it was time we drifted over to the opera house and took our seats. Norma was superb and I heard Gerald’s delighted baritone “Brava! ” ring out after her faultless execution of Casta Diva. Opera is not everyone’s idea of a good night out but the sense of communion in a packed theatre knowing that everyone is enjoying a great performance can be life-enhancing. A colleague had loaned me his patron card so we hobnobbed with the in crowd at the interval. It was a memorable evening and we all hugged each other goodbye pledging to do another one when we could.