Two Business Law Society Members Walk into an Opera…

Date: March 4, 2016 | Posted By: USDBLS

Although I have attended many plays and musicals, I have never had the opportunity to enjoy an opera. When my friend invited me to Tosca by Giacomo Puccini, I was excited to venture out of the law library and experience something new.

When we arrived at the San Diego Civic Theatre, I was surprised by glamorous dresses and large crowd, which leads me to emphasize the importance of arriving at least half an hour early. With tickets to be picked up, food to be consumed, flights of stairs to be climbed, and seats to be found, a few extra minutes will let you settle in before the lights turn down. Shortly preceding the performance, the General Director gave a state of the opera address, explaining the San Diego Opera’s financial condition and future productions. Multiple instances of applause punctuated his speech, which impressed upon me the audience’s enthusiasm.

From the moment that the curtains rose to reveal a magnificent church set, complete with Madonna and Corinthian columns, the opera itself was spectacular. Throughout the performance, I found the staging to be simple and effective: scenes featuring numerous singers conveyed booming choruses, not confusion. The uncluttered stage arrangements and careful lighting highlighted the main characters’ voices and costumes. As someone who only speaks English (currently!), I was initially concerned about understanding the plot, but I was relieved that the English translation was projected above the stage. As my eyes bounced from the action on stage to the Supertitles above, the orchestra and singers conveyed a vivid emotional backdrop. The sets, costumes, and music work together to provide an exquisite audiovisual experience in a theatre that has exceptional acoustics.

In sum, the San Diego Opera’s production of Tosca was accessible and exciting. With so many venues at which to spend your night, the opera is a delightful and distinct option. I hope to enjoy another performance again—perhaps Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, which will open in April!

College students should note that discounted tickets are sometimes available. More information about student discounts can be found at

Author: Kelsey Leggat, 3L Juris Doctor candidate at the University of San Diego School of Law.

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