Our Peek into New York City’s Arts Elite

8 04 2010

One evening this past winter, Jay and I went to see Il Trittico (a fantastic show!) at the Metropolitan Opera.  We got the tickets last-minute, as my grandma couldn’t use her seats and called us an hour before the show to offer them to us.  We make a point of being open to conversing with others and being willing to befriend anyone. We have met the most interesting people that way, and our night at the opera was no exception as we shared our box with a wonderful and very interesting couple by the names of Kerry and Batya.

As we chatted with Kerry and Batya, we realized the tremendous amount that we had in common with them – an adventurous outlook on life, a passion for the arts and a real interest in outdoor exploration and RVing among other things. To top it off, we later found out that Batya grew up in the same hometown as my mother and even babysat for her a few times!

At one point during the second opera of Il Trittico, Batya began to cry.  She later shared with us that we were seeing her role – her solo– being performed.  Batya, Kerry and their entire family are artists, and Batya had performed in lead roles at the Met for nearly thirty years until her recent retirement.  (Kerry and Batya met at Julliard, where Kerry was the first person to ever receive a Doctorate in Voice.)  The performance takes on a whole new light when you are sitting next to someone who really appreciates the talent on the stage and knows the piece through and through.  At the end of the night we exchanged contact information and promised that we would stay in touch.

Last week we received a very special invitation to be their guests at a cabaret performance by their starlet daughter Sheera, at Feinstein’s.  For those of you who don’t know (and I didn’t), Feinstein’s is on the Upper East side of Manhattan and is like the Met for cabaret.  Feinstein’s has a very posh setting and while I don’t always love ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous’ type of social engagements, it was a very friendly and warm environment that felt quite inviting.

Sheera was a wonderful soulful singer and her brother Adam both accompanied her on the piano and arranged the entire program.  No one from this family is a slacker. Adam is the conductor for the Broadway show Jersey Boys and previously was the conductor for Wicked!  At the start of the night, Adam mentioned that his friend from Chicago would be joining us.  When she surfaced about twenty minutes later, I realized that he had been referring to a lead actress in the Broadway show Chicago – not the city.  And names that you might see on a college or theater auditorium – like the Tisch family for example – were in the audience alongside us.

Jay and I enjoyed the company, the date night and even the Feinstein’s Passover menu.  (Yes, they served matzah and butter instead of bread.)  We plan to spend some more time with this musical family for a camping trip in June.  But all in all, the evening was a fantastically fun peek into the inner sanctums of New York City’s arts elite.

posted by amybetho

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2 responses

9 04 2010
Adrienne

Wow, good for you for being open to talking to people you don’t know. I have always struggled with that. But after hearing your story, it makes me realize that it is definitely worth it! Sounds like you have met some amazing people.

11 04 2010
amybetho

@Adrienne: It’s definitely a challenge, but once you get over the stigma of talking to people without having “a reason”, you open yourself up to the world in such an incredible way and it’s totally worthwhile. I figure if you can do it in NYC, you can do it anywhere right?

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