Did you say, “Opera”?

Almost 2 months ago, we arrived in Palermo, Sicily, via Rome.  During our three days there we walked the streets. Morning, day and night!  The first night we went to the opera “Figaro” by Mozart, at the famous Theatre of Palermo. Seated in a balcony, on the 5th floor, I found myself enclosed in one of those fancy theatre boxes.  The only thing separating us, and 5 stories below, was a short railing, which barely came up to my waist, when sitting down.  My fear of heights kicked in the entire 3 hours of the evening.  I tried to be distracted by the fanfare of the opera itself.  At times the mind wandered. Subtitles in English flashed in the air, but after intermission they disappeared. We already knew enough of the story to know what would happen, and by not reading subtitles I was able to relax, take in the colors, sound and movements on stage. An opera?  What the heck!  We were in a world capitol for opera, and it would have been a missed opportunity not to go. Watching the Italian couples dressed in their fineries was almost as fascinating as the show. Overall, Palermo, today, may be remembered for its Mafia violence in the 90’s. Today, it has a relaxed atmosphere.  My sense about many people in Sicily, is that they would like to forget about the black past of the Mafia, but they are still vigilant.