La Rondine, Royal Opera House, July 5

Liked the opening night, loved the second performance. It had that extra touch of everything. I always said that the more performances, the better they get. Act III is the one. It was so intense, so emotional that I was totally into it. That last note is the saddest good bye ever. Usually the tenor gets the last note (you know... La Boheme, Madama Butterfly, Manon). Now it's soprano's turn. She's not dying, but she's not happy either. I felt like all the three acts prepared this last note. Not only the swallow flies across the sea to find her freedom, but I can finally breathe. The moment in itself is beautiful. None of the official photos captured it. There are a few orchestra notes in between the end of the duet and the last note. In this time Angela comes towards the center of the stage, the background lightning slowly dims and when she sings that note there's only one spotlight on her. And it's over, again. But it was a delight, I lived every moment and took every sound with me.

I knew the production from the 2009 MET broadcast. But it's different and way better to see it live. It's colorful, beautiful sets and lightning and the entire cast turned the notes from the score in an elegant story that led all of us from laughter to tears. Does it matter that this is Puccini's less known work? Not at all. It was brought to life with so much passion and dedication.

Just to answer some questions I've been asked these days, for me opera is beauty, pleasure, great music. I want to be captured and kept there for three hours, to be part of the plot, be happy or suffer with the characters. That's why I'm concentrating on emotions (and also hear every note and filter it through my own experience as a listener) rather than hunting for mistakes. Apparently most of the reviewers focused on the precision of the voices, forgetting to enjoy the music. I read everything written on the topic. Opera is a subjective topic. Ten people listen to the same aria but hear ten different things. Why put a mark on an opera or on a person after one performance only? This time the opinion of the opera goers is more relevant.

I know one thing. I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to listen to Angela's one of a kind voice and witness her inner fire and commitment in portraying such a difficult character. Not once, but twice. And I took so much energy to keep me going on for the next two weeks. Brava Angela! Brava! Brava!

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