You don’t need a full production to have spectacular costumes. And the Met sure has a lot to pick from in the costume shop. Some of the female singers that night got to splurge and wear big, sparkly, colorful costumes for this performance. The ones that stood out were Elina Garanča (Dalila), Joyce Di Donato (Semiramide), Diana Damrau (Violetta) and Anna Netrebko (Cio-Cio-San). Anna sung the most stunning Un bel dì and looked very much at home in her gorgeous kimono. She even came out in it after the performance to take photos on the red stairs with her fans and have them admire it from up close. She later changed in her custom-made Zac Posen gown for the after party.

The performance ended around 11 pm, with the glorious Act II finale of Aida. Ma, the night was far from being over! The entire cast came on stage for bows. It was completely surreal to have all these stars standing one next to the other. It was wonderful to see their level of excitement match the audience’s. Everyone in the house was on cloud nine. There was a mutual feeling of having made and having witnessed opera history for everyone involved. The view of this entire scene from Box 5 was epic, one of those moments you know you need to cherish and keep with you forever.

As the audience started exiting towards the entrance lobby, many were surprised, myself included, to see the performers come out that way as well, instead of through the stage door. This gave us the chance to talk with them and take photos, which Sandra and I were unsurprisingly all about. We talked to Elina Garanča and after complimenting her and her voice she noted “Well, the gift is given, you can’t do anything about that. The rest is work”. Which, is in fact very true and we agree with her. Sandra then headed to the after party, while I stayed in the lobby to talk to Susan Quittmeyer, who was there to support her husband, bass-baritone James Morris. Then, I got to speak to Diana Damrau, one of the performers I admire the most and had been wanting to meet for many years. Fun fact: one night, earlier in the season, we bumped into each other before a performance of Werther and she gave me a big smile. Well, this night I got a hug, a smile and a compliment. Diana is so wonderful, on and off the stage.

The after party was a big celebration, mostly for the performers to relax and enjoy the incredible feat that was performing on the 50th Anniversary Gala. The overall feeling after this night was that events like these need to take place more often. We truly hope we don’t have to wait another 25 or 50 years! In the meantime, we will be on the hunt for more opera galas, wherever they may be happening… Berlin?! Stay tuned!