Sunday, May 1st, 2011 – Slow morning, slept in, hot and muggy Amazon weather. Finally motivated and went for a stroll to see some national landmarks, but they were all closed – I’d forgotten it was Sunday. Back at Hostel Manaus I visited with the women who would be attending the Opera tonight, and then headed out into the city of Manaus once again, to explore.
Found a huge Sunday Street Market, ate some delicious market food, met up with the women later on, and had a pre-Opera meal at the Africa House on the Teatro Opera Plaza. Within another hour we were standing in line for the Opera. Most people were dressed up quite nicely, heels, dresses, jewelry, suits…it was quite impressive to see that hundreds of years after the Opera house had been built, it was still drawing sell-out crowds.
Once inside, the Teatro (theatre) itself was stunning. Chandeliers and gold gilt paint, large murals and highly polished wooden floors. What a building! It was well-maintained and clean as a whistle.
The performance of “Dialogues Des Carmelites” was well performed, and the story was moving.
But more than the opera itself, the entire theatre and it’s architecture, lighting, sound, seating – it was an overwhelming experience of elegance and history to behold in an area of Brazil that was so known for wild Amazonians with long bows and arrows and wild boar tusks slicing sideways through their nostrils. An amazing contrast of differences. After the performance we walked in the moonlight through the dark streets back to Hostel Manaus, lost in thought. Tomorrow was departure day for the Amazon Jungle Tour, and the bus was departing early.