I wasn’t there, but believe me, it’s the first thing all my colleagues told me about the next day when I got to work: on Tuesday evening’s performance of Verdi’s Aida at the Metropolitan Opera, sitting on the very front row of the theater was none other than Hideki Matsui!
Apparently his seat location kept his presence at the opera somewhat low-key except for a few young autograph hounds. However, with the orchestra players’ vantage point looking squarely into his face, he was apparently shown no mercy by my colleagues at the two intermissions and was pestered by hangers-on and autograph seekers from within the orchestra pit.
Although everyone who was there said that it was a really neat thing to see him in person ("He is so BIG!"), a couple of friends that remember said, "Yeah, but it was NOTHIN’ like when John Olerud came to the MET to see Wozzeck"!!
I’m sorry I missed seeing the Yankees outfielder (even if I’m decidedly NOT a Yankee fan!), and it got me to thinking: with the Mets finished with their season why not issue our guys each an invitation to come to the opera?
I figure some of them are back in the Dominican or Puerto Rico other points south by now, but there are probably others who are still here in our fair city who might enjoy taking advantage of some of the countless cultural offerings–including opera–that are either unavailable in the summertime or that they simply do not have time to take advantage of during the baseball season.
So, I figured I could use this forum to issue an informal invitation to any Mets players or staff members looking to expand their horizons in the off-season, but then it suddenly came to me that I could go one better than that. Why not extend the invitation to them to come to the MET and appear ONSTAGE??!!
In case they or any other New York area readers of this blog have not heard, the MET has issued a casting call for supers, or extras, for the Prokofiev opera War and Peace–based on the Tolstoy novel of the same title–to be done later this year and had a casting call last week and will hold another on October 27th for extras to portray soldiers in Napoleon’s army.
Granted, I doubt any of the players would have the desire to enter into such an enterprise for the fame and fortune considering all that has come their way already (although the MET does pay $20 per act for being a super.) But what a great gift that would be to us fans–despondent at not having seen our boys in the post-season–to see them in November and December!
- Albeit in a far different venue.
- And, sorry to say, one can’t get hot dogs and beer nor even EAT during an opera. Pity that.
- However, the seats are a whole lot more comfortable!
- And one will not get drenched by rain.
- However, one will also not catch a souvenir foul ball either.
Sasha Semin, the "marching captain" for the production, put audtionees through their paces, as you can see here.
But, I figure you can high-step with the best of ’em what with all of the warm-ups the Mets trainers put you guys through.
How about the opportunity of living out the fantasy of being in Napoleon’s army without the reality of that military campaign’s bloodshed, primitive weaponry, starvation, disease, and the bitter chill of a Russian winter?
And let’s certainly not forget about the COSTUMES!!
How classy is the uniform of the French Infantry circa 1812??
And perhaps a little
might not be such a bad things for some Mets players.
Considering some of the rumors of lack of discipline within the Mets’ ranks and the fights that broke out toward the end of the season, the lack of hustle observed in not running out ground balls, etc., maybe a return to a little "basic training" might not hurt a few of those guys. Ya think?
Maybe a bit of "boot camp" before Spring Training–that and observing those young, hungry, fired-up Rockies playing hard in the World Series–would serve as the "kick in the pants" a few of the Mets players supposedly lacking motivation near the end of this past season could use.
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