Of course, it didn’t start until 9:15 pm, but it’s finally cooled down in the evenings, and it was beautiful. Just being in the ancient Roman arena with all the anticipatory excitement was a treat. The sets and costumes of ancient Egypt were spectacular. I also loved that there were no microphones. The music, for the huge arena, holding up to 22,000, and the singing were completely natural. The pageantry was thrilling, and we knew the story, so that helped. Opera lovers, don’t stone us. We didn’t stay until the very end. It lasts for over four hours, if you count the intermissions. Oh, and the Italians really dress up for the opera. Part of the fun was looking at all the evening gowns, heels, and jewels on the patrons. Still, the women had to use the footpad, hole in the ground style toilets. Also, we loved cheering Brava, brava!
As we walked into the arena, ushers handed us birthday cake candles. Before the performance, we all lit them (Americans having to borrow lights from Europeans). The candle lighting is to commemorate a past even. Many years ago, the lights went out in the middle of a performance of Aida, and the crowd all lit candles so the show could continue.