I was out late last night for the first time since arriving in Reykjavik. I ventured to the Harpa Concert Hall and sat on the fourth floor on a chair that was part of one line of chairs that overlooked the stage. The opera La Boheme was beautiful. It was sung in Italian and dubbed in Icelandic. Music translates into any language, however. The lead singer received ‘BRAVO’ from the appreciative audience.
The curtain calls were as good as the story line. Actually, the sets were designed without a curtain and moved around so creatively you didn’t notice the changes.
The players began moving on stage and in the audience before everyone was even seated. Two players sat for awhile up where I was sitting.
When the opera was over, I walked down all four floors joining with hundreds of other folks. The theater was full, with a capacity of seven hundred and fifty people.
I had planned on taking a taxi back home because I didn’t want to be out late walking home.
The sky was still light blue with one star that hung over the harbor and I walked home with about one hundred other folks going the same way.
Reykjavik is known as its vibrant nightlife that comes alive around midnight; it was getting a good start by eleven o’clock.
Soon I was on my way alone, with just a few more blocks to go, and I came upon a table with folks standing around.One of the gentleman and a woman asked me if I would like a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Sure, I said and then I asked what was the purpose of standing there handing out hot drinks? They were representatives of the Hvitasunnukjrkjan church telling all who would listen about the church and their services. There would be a service on Sunday at 2 p.m. in English. It was a jubilant bunch of folks happy to spread the good news.
Back to Harpa Hall: It was a controversial issue in the city because of the economic failures of the country, but, according to what I have read about it, the hall has been credited for being one of the reasons for the quick return out of the country’s financial trouble. The hall draws big venues and big names; one of those will lose his heart to San Francisco and sing in Reykjavik and all will hear the lovely voice of Tony Bennett.
Before the opera, I ate dinner inside the gourmet restaurant situated inside the Harpa Hall. I had a dish of root vegetables. It is so hard to explain what that was, but I haven’t tasted anything that delicious for a long time, excluding the curry soup of the other day.
The waitress, a delightful, smiling young lady spoke perfect English and I had to ask where she was from. It turns out her father is the Ambassador from Uganda to Iceland, but before that, he was stationed in America, which is where she had spent most of her childhood.