Sunday, October 9, 2011

Go! Mommy Go!

The 34th annual Chicago marathon was today; it was bright and sunny, the turning trees sparkling in a gentle breeze, and, alas poor runners, warm. Moses Mosop, of Kenya, won in a stunning two hours five minutes and 37 seconds; the first woman to cross the finish line was not far behind: Russian  Liliya Shobukhova ran 26.2 miles in two hours eighteen minutes and 20 seconds. Athleticism like that really excites my admiration. And by "like that" I mean anyone who can run, trot, walk or crawl, 26.2 miles in a single stretch at all.

In Chicago, all roads to the center of the city, where the marathon is run, are blocked off for hours and hours. I hadn't noticed the coincident date when I bought a  ticket to my first matinee in Lyric Opera's 2011-12 season, Jacque Offenbach's Tales of Hoffmann. The opera house is one block from Franklin Street, an appreciable stretch of the course of the marathon. Although Lyric avowed that the street closures surrounding the house would have been removed by the city a good two hours before the curtain was to rise, and they were, farther away from the house, between it and my route up Lake Shore Drive, plenty of real estate was still totally inaccessible by car. So I had to go all around Robin Hood's barn to get to the my favorite opera parking garage (also on Franklin), but it worked out in the end. This car was parked there along with the opera fans'. Go Mommy!!

Oh, and the performance was fantastic too. You may not think you're familiar with the music of Tales of Hoffman, but you are. Click and listen through the snippets of music!  And speaking of athleticism, this was a performance very demanding of the cast (and very entertaining to watch). I can hardly imagine projecting one's beautiful singing voice to an audience of 3,500 people and dancing vigorously (and gracefully) around the stage at the same time. 

Lots of aerobic capacity around this city today!

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