I spent Black Friday attempting to avoid shopping. Our one foray out in the late morning gleaned no deals we couldn’t walk away from. Derek and Royna found a couple of items for her Ipad 2 and wandered around a mall for an hour while Terry and I snoozed in the Bonneville. After all that excitement, Terry and I headed back to Denton to help Rachelle transport her new Yamaha keyboard to the Abbey Underground for that evening’s performance of “All in the Family: Putting the ‘FUN’ in Dysfunctional” by the North Texas Opera on Tap performers.
I had planned that my twenty-fifth installment in my ‘Thirty Days of Thankfulness‘ would be about family vacations, but instead I feel very thankful for live music. The Abbey Underground venue provided a fantastic atmosphere to enjoy the company of friends and family, relax with your favorite beverage and appreciate the talents of local vocal performers, including my daughter (an under-graduate at UNT), graduate students, doctoral candidates, UNT faculty and Dallas Opera regulars. The selections consisted of arias, duets and ensembles from several operas, including Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte (Rachelle sang a Dorabella aria) and the Marriage of Figaro; Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck; Handel’s Serse (or Xerxes); Verdi’s MacBeth and La Traviata; Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi.
My husband noted the nice stage size and excellent sound system available for live performances. Compared to some of the places his band, WolfGuard, has performed, the Abbey Underground facilities shined. And even though we were in the basement, everything was well lit and clean and the patrons refrained from smoking (at the courteous request of the vocal performers) so we were spared the usual night club haze and miasma. The only thing that keeps me from attending more local live music venues is whether or not the club hosting the concert allows smoking. I refuse to subject my lungs to the second hand smoke.
Another aspect of live performance in a small venue that I love is the opportunity to meet performers and experience the energy often generated in the feedback from the audience to the performance. It’s live, it’s impromptu at times, and it’s definitely not Memorex, even though I did capture a couple of the numbers with my video camera. I’ll get those uploaded to YouTube later this weekend (the camera is in Denton and I’m currently at my son’s apartment in the Colony).
Opera on Tap finished off a great week and and put paid to Black Friday, bringing great opera performances to the masses congregating underground in Denton.