When the folks at S. Pellegrino invited us to be their guests at the opening of the Canadian Opera Company’s La Bohème we were delighted to say yes!
La Bohème – The Greatest Love Story Ever Sung
is a story of bohemian artists struggling through a 19th century Paris winter. It is a short, sweet and tragic opera which can leave you with tears streaming down your cheeks and a resolve in your heart to hold your love tight.
Opera is always best enjoyed live and in fact it was approximately 23 years ago when Gerry and I went on our first big date to Madama Butterfly at the NAC. So not only were we excited about the evening, it was a wonderful celebration of our love story.
S. Pellegrino sponsored the opening night of La Bohème and invited us out to celebrate the opening along with the launch of S. Pellegrino’s special edition Luciano Pavarotti bottle.
The Italian tenor is featured on a series of limited edition labels on large bottles of S. Pellegrino, which are being distributed to Canada’s—and the world’s—best restaurants as a way of paying tribute to the great Pavarotti. S. Pellegrino shares the late Pavarotti’s devotion to the ideals of Italian excellence, including culture, togetherness and beauty. Like S. Pellegrino, the renowned tenor acted as a worldwide ambassador for the Italian way of living.
It’s great to see S. Pellegrino using their launch to recognize performers, promote the arts, and support the COC, especially with the recent announcement from the NYC Opera that their fundraising efforts came up short and they are closing.
Our evening started with a limo ride to The Gabardine where we met up for dinner with the other guests for the evening – Mardi, Neil, Andrew, Darryl, David, Catherine, Shelley, Jennifer, Jeff and John.
We had a lovely dinner and conversation before walking over to the COC for the show.
Settling into our seats we all did a quick wave of tweets and instagrams before we really turned off our phones.
The gentleman behind me in one of our audience selfies leaned over to remind me that if my phone rang during the performance I’d be buying a round. For the entire house! I love that rule. (And airplane mode which guaranteed I wouldn’t be footing that bill.)
The lights dimmed and the curtain raised to show us a cramped artist’s loft and the singing began.
I was flooded with memories of past operas, large scale musicals and my own years on stage as we settled in to listen to the lovers sing of poetry, beauty, art, poverty, jealousy and loss. (washed over me)
San Pellegrino’s official after party was on the 3rd floor lounge overlooking University avenue and filled with Toronto’s opera
After smiling and chatting with everyone, including a quick exchange with John Raulston Saul in the elevator we all slowly dispersed, stepping into our own limos which whisked us away home. A beautiful, if slightly ironic, way to end an evening focused on the Bohemians.
Thanks to S. Pellegrino for a wonderful evening. Like Pavarotti and the S. Pellegrino bottle inspired by him, this was a grand evening with a simple approach to life and passion.
We weren’t able to take photos during the performance, but we were able to at dinner: