by Steven Keely
Cocktails, animated chatter and well-performed opera arias flowed through the Basque Block's Beside Bardenay on the cold pre-winter evening of Oct. 18.
At Opera Idaho's Operatini, a pool of Boise's growing, dedicated opera connoisseurs greeted one another, excited by the evening’s attractions.
Visiting vocal artists and local talent performed to a medium-sized enthusiastic and appreciative audience. Loud applause and occasional shouts gave momentum from the first of the 10 arias, "La Donna è Mobile" from Verdi’s Rigoletto, through the last, Puccini’s Manon Lescaut.
Taking a cue from Opera Idaho’s coming production of Verdi's Falstaff, mixologist Brian Livesay of Matador created a special martini called Da Fallo.
Livesay spoke about how he was inspired to make his liquid interpretation of the Falstaff lyric, "Da fallo nasce fallo e allor" (one sin leads to another). His recipe was a judicious, jewel-like mix of cognac, Chambord, cabernet sauvignon and lime.
“It’s dark, it’s mysterious and it’s got a clouded soul,” he said.
After the singing ended and conversations lowered, several comments of congratulations were made to the Operatini organizers. The evening was a pleasant prelude to the Falstaff performance, which will take place Friday, Oct. 26, and Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Egyptian Theatre.