Here's a great new thing for you to try in 2015!
The Merry Widow is an operetta, which means the story and music are light-hearted and quickly paced. This production is sung in English (for operas in other languages, subtitles are provided,) the principal roles are played by two Americans; Renee Fleming and Nathan Gunn, who portray middle-aged people getting a second chance at love, and it also features a Broadway musical star, Kelli O’Hara. The staging, costumes, and sets were all created by Broadway veterans, as well. There are dancers and dancing; more than you will see in most operas, more dialogue than in a typical opera in which all or nearly all of the story is sung, and there are also plenty of laughs.
You can check fathomevents.com to find which movie theaters near you are showing The Merry Widow, either streaming live on Saturday afternoon, January 17, or as an encore the following Wednesday evening. Tickets most places are $22 and $20, and it is well worth it. You’ll see varying camera views, close-ups, behind scene staging, and interviews with the stars, as well as have a few minutes to step out between acts. After the first act finishes, the hostess will speak to a couple people, then you’ll see a countdown time (something like 10 minutes) on screen letting you know how much time is left to step out. At that time, a camera will follow backstage action. But after the countdown, there will be another interview or another peek backstage, and/or a preview for upcoming attractions before the next act begins, and then a similar pattern is followed between the second and third acts. The whole thing including intermissions should take about 2.5 hours.
This is a ten minute video with discussions on the production, sets, and costumes, and excerpts from rehearsals, and I think it will make you want to go.
And here you can watch Fleming and O’Hara sing “Silver Bells” together.