Canada US Gold Game on one channel and Turandot from the Metropolitan Opera on the other
The big event yesterday was Canada’s win over the US in the final day, final game showdown between two countries who are more friends than rivals.
In order to create a Team Canada, players have to come home from the US teams they play on.
The game was great hockey with lots of nail-biting moments, fast skating and the kind of clean hockey that used to exist in the NHL.
Tired of waiting for the start I was browsing the channels and found the Metropolitan Opera’s 2009 performance of Turandot by Puccini on PBS.
I was hooked and heard from the next room “Aren’t you watching the hockey game?”
It’s not one of my favorite opera’s for musicality. However, it does have the popular aria Nessum Dorma which was Pavarotti’s signature piece. He’d been signing the aria for decades but it was his Three Tenors performance to celebrate the World Cup win in Rome 1990 that introduced the world to the song and Pavarotti.
The production and set design for Turandot was by Italian director Franco Zeffirelli, famous for his gorgeous and flamboyant style. I’d actually seen the same performance with Canadian Richard Margison on December 13, 1997 at the Met in NYC which is pretty awesome for me.
It was my one and only performance at the Avery Fisher Theatre and it was nothing but the best. The second act opens with shimmering silver which opens to reveal a resplendent set of gold and brown. The PBS HD show was awesome but the live performance had something extra, an excitement in the audience and cast.
Before the 3rd act started, I switched back to the hockey game which still hadn’t started. Bank to Act 3 opens with Calif singing Nessum Dorma
Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma!
Tu pure, o, Principessa,
nella tua fredda stanza,
guardi le stelle
Nobody shall sleep!Nobody shall sleep!
Even you, o Princess,
in your cold room,
watch the stars, (it’s more poetic in Italian)
As soon as the notes faded away, I switched back and the game was in progress. Seconds later Canada scored the first goal to take the lead 1-0.
Opera would have to wait for another day. The game was on and it was exciting.
In the final seconds of the third period, the US scored with the goalie out! Oh no, sudden death overtime.
Cliff hangers are hard on the finger nails but young Crosby, who is from Cole Harbour on the eastern shore outside Halifax, put ‘er in and the home town wins.
I felt bad for the US. They seemed dejected. That’s hockey. Winners and losers.
The irony is that Crosby (3 goals /3 assists) will return home to his Pittsburgh Penguins spot as team captain along with Silver Medalist Brooks Orpik, who went scoreless through the Winter Olympics. Evgeni Malkin (3/3) and Sergei Gonchar (1/0) will return to the Penguins from the Russian team. That’s the crazy nature of international hockey.
For me, hockey and curling were the only things that redeemed the Olympics from being a silly series of 5/100ths of a second contests. Curling has drama.
Hockey, now that’s a game.