Being a member of Mr. Ronald Stewart’s Senior Ethics class has unique rewards. Mr. Stewart arranged for the entire 12th Grade to attend a dress rehearsal of Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Metropolitan Opera on November 3.
“Così fan tutte was a perfect introductory opera because it has a simple plot about deception and love,” said Associate Director of College Guidance Janet Rooney, one of the teachers who accompanied the group.
Arriving at the Metropolitan Opera House after the four-block walk from school, the students heard a staff member explain what to expect during a dress rehearsal. “It was a working dress rehearsal, in full costume and full sets,” said Mr. Stewart. “The conductor stopped the orchestra three times to explain in detail what he wanted and got the orchestra to replay those small pieces to his satisfaction.”
The Seniors, already familiar with the story of the opera, followed along with the translation subtitles in front of each seat. “It was interesting to see a performance of Così fan tutte as a work in progress,” said Michael. Colin added, “You could see how much work it takes to put on an opera.”
The York Prep group, which outnumbered all the other spectators that morning, enjoyed seats in the Grand Tier of one of the world’s foremost opera theaters.
“As someone who had never been to the opera before,” said Alexy, “I think it was a great opportunity to expose us to this type of performance and to help us get a more cultured view of the world.”