White Dog was going through my collection of shawls and scarves. "I know you always do black on opening night but given the opera it would seem trite. This one," she said holding out a lovely patterned abstract weave in tones of grey. Like ash and sort of spectral."
It is opening night at the Santa Fe Opera and the Little White Dog of My Heart knows that it was ALL about the outfit. Well, that AND the tailgate picnic.
This Opening Night is Mozart's Don Giovanni, the story of fate catching up and demanding payment for a life spent in meanness and arrogance.
Earlier in the week, the White Dog Army sat with me to put together the menu for the season debut. They have a vested interest as they are the recipients of "clean up" bites...leftovers that we bring home and share when we arrive home very late. They nosh as we regale them with stories of the crowd, the music, the singers, and other tail gaters. It is a matter of pride that OUR picnic be appropriate to the theme...and imaginative as well as gourmet delicious.
So it was decided that we would begin with proscuitto roses nestled into a bed of cheeses and dotted with roasted peppers and red olives. "Don't eat all of the ham," Pearl said, "it is one of my favorites." A Tuscan bread, mozzarella and mini-meatball salad was rich with pureed tomatoes, garlic, and basil. (Just to make sure there would be no disappointed pups at 1am I stashed extra meatballs in the fridge).
The entree was a summer vegetable pasta salad topped with salmon and drizzled with a citrus honey almond oil. Blueberry glazed panna cota left us ready to head in to see what new construction had been completed.
Mozart's operas are always very long. I joke with White Dog that he could have used an editor like she is..."Look Wolfgang, your librettist already has repeated that line six times and now Leporello is repeating what Donna Anna sang just to make sure he got it...too much! And cut some of the trilling!" She sagely nods and says "That is probably why they don't allow pups in the opera house; we'd be howling!"
Because the Santa Fe Opera is open air with an open backed stage, the operas do not begin until sunset (8:30 tonight) AND there is a 25-minute intermission which stretches into more like 40...so the opera would not even end until 11:45pm and the drive home is a bit over an hour. I warned the WDA before we left that we would be gone for a LONG time.
White Dog insisted we pack some almond shortbread cookies for apres-Opera. "You will be hungry and it is a long dark ride home. Dad will appreciate the sugar boost."
Together, we helped Puff set comfortably settled and loaded her up on pain medicine so we were confident that she would sleep restfully. Zsofia promised to attend her. The others planned to nap so they would be wide awake and ready to enjoy the repast when we retruned.
"Oh joy," Steve muttered. "We will be spent and they will be ready to turn on the party lights!"