Cincinnati Opera: Otello

Some days, I'm the luckiest girl alive.

I scored these tickets through my Enjoy the Arts subscription. I've had nothing but praise for this program; I earned my subscription price back with my first purchase, so tickets to Otello were essentially free.

"Would you like to see Toy Story 3 tonight? Or maybe go to the mother-flippin' opera?"

And the breathtaking Music Hall is now-- literally?-- in my backyard. We walked; it took maybe three minutes. Goodbye, anxiety over parking! Farewell, leaving an hour ahead of the event! Hello, an almost-too-short walk from my new home! (Also ran into our neighbor there. Hi John!)

I'd been to a few touring productions of operas in college-- tons of great acts come through Miami and students can get a great discount-- but I don't believe I'd ever been to the Cincinnati Opera. I grew up listening to my mom talk about the great arts in Cincinnati, including our much-lauded ballet and opera, but this was my first chance to partake.

I wasn't aware that the opera offers an educational preamble an hour before the show; I devoured that, and I'm so glad they open that to ticket-holders!

The show itself, I really liked. I learned in the preamble that our Otello was sick-- he's used to singing in Italy, and had an allergic reaction to our... wait for it... extreme air conditioning. That was a bit distracting, what with the coughing and snot-wiping he tried to hide during his performance. (Maybe not everyone could tell? Hello, fifth row!) However, I'd be an idiot not to tell you that his voice was astounding, and that's what we were really all there for, wasn't it?

Our Otello wasn't what I would have expected. Otello is a dashing war general with a passionate love life, yes? But Dan and I agreed that the Otello standing before us was more of the stereotypical "Italian opera singer" type... a rotund, red-faced Pavarotti, where I expected... hm, not sure. Not a white guy, that's for sure. (Moor of Venice?) I tried, but I also couldn't really pick up on the love connection between Otello and Dezzi. There was no spark there, especially not one worth stabbin' over.

But at the end of the day we're there to hear some world-famous arias, right? Isn't that why we see Verdi's version over the local high school's rendition? The singing did not disappoint, allergies and all. I'm not sure I could have asked for a better Cincinnati Opera initiation-- and if I weren't going to be out of town, I'd absolutely hit up La Boheme.

Cincinnati Opera:

Newport Helicopter Tours

Usually we blog about things we've done or are doing - this time it's about something we'd like to do. In the last couple weeks I've been watching these helicopter tours depart and arrive from their new landing pad near the Newport Levee.

From their website:
Stratus Helicopters is NOW OPEN at our new tour location in Newport, KY on Riverboat Row just west of BB Riverboats and directly across the river from the Great American Ballpark where the Cincinnati Red's play. Hours of operation will be Thursday thru Sunday 10am to 10pm (weather permitting) unless there is a schedule Red's home game and then no flights will be permitted for 1 hour before till 1 hour after the ball game due to FAA Regulations. Walk ups are welcome and are first-come-first-serve. Reservations may only be made for tours longer than 6 minutes. Tours starting at just $25 per person!
Sounds pretty good to me - has anyone taken these tours? I'm curious how long of a ride you get for $25 as their tours that depart from Lunken start at $70 for a six minute tour and go up from there quite quickly.

We're a bit tied up with visitors and vacations the next few weeks, but we plan on taking one of these tours sometime soon and will post when we do (hopefully with some really cool photos). If you've been please leave us a comment and let us know how it was!