|necklace||–||Slate & Willow Accessories|
|lip||–||Burt’s Bees (Ruby Ripple)|
|nails||–||Essie (Rock the Runway)|
After our last visit to the Lyric Opera, covered here, we were invited back to view a performance of Eugene Onegin, one of Tchaikovsky most beloved operas. We leapt at the chance.
The great thing about attending an opera at the Lyric is that it affords you the chance to get really dressed up. You can go all the way to black tie if you want to, and how many opportunities in life do you have to do that? So this time, I decided gown up.
What do you do when you want to wear a formal gown but don’t want to spend formal gown coin? You head to Rent the Runway. I want to note that this post isn’t sponsored by them in any way. I’ve heard about RTR from several other local bloggers and a few coworkers who have tried it, and all their experiences were positive, so I decided to give it a shot.
I hopped online one morning about a week before the opera and browsed their floor-length dresses in a relatively low price range (less than $50). I was pleased at the number of options, and even more pleased at how much information was available for each garment. They provide details on how long the dress is, how stretchy/forgiving it is, and provide tons of photos of real women wearing the dress so you can see how it really looks. I find that shopping online can be difficult because clothing is always shot on the body of a size 0, six-foot-tall model, which looks nothing like how the garment will actually look on me.
Anyway, after much hemming and hawing I selected the bright dress you’re about to see. One of my favorite things about RTR so far is that they send you your chosen dress in two sizes, in case one of them doesn’t fit. So nice. I decided to browse their other offerings before checking out and I selected a deco-style necklace that would fit well with the Civic Opera House’s 1920s decor.
I rented my items for four days and they arrived right on time. They came in a rather spiffy garment bag that unzipped nicely and was hangable, as you can see. The dress fit well and seemed of good quality–not a mark on it. It was a bit wrinkled from transit, but that was my only complaint. After a quick ironing session it was good to go. The necklace came in a jewelry box like you see above. My only complaint was with the quality of the necklace. I chose it from the most inexpensive tier of jewelry they offered, and when it arrived I noticed that the sparkly silver chevrons are actually just stickers on the gold metal of the necklace. I wouldn’t have noticed this except for the fact that one of them had come slightly undone and was askew. I had to press it back into place. After I did so the necklace looked great, but I was a bit put out by the experience–it made the necklace feel rather cheap.
Other than that slight slip-up on their part–which is probably largely due to the cheapness of the jewelry I selected–my experience with RTR was great. The whole process was very streamlined. I spent around $60 total to wear a really beautiful dress for an evening.
I paired it with a bright red manicure–which didn’t match the red on the dress quite as well as I would have liked, but was a pretty enough color on its own that I didn’t mind–and the antique marbled clutch I found on Etsy last December.
Check it out. I think it all came together quite nicely.
The back detail on the dress is really what made me fall in love with it.
When we arrived my husband and I ordered a glass of (quite excellent) champagne in the lobby.
After we finished our bubbly we made our way upstairs to the Florian Opera Bistro for dinner. As per usual we were immediately impressed with the service when we arrived. We perused the menu and decided to share each of the two specials and a bottle of Chianti.
The specials–seafood and sausage chicken–were both quite good. I appreciated that while they were hearty the serving size was modest–for an Italian restaurant–which kept us both from overeating. I view this as a plus.
It left us enough room to order the cheese plate as we finished our wine and chatted before the show.
Before we entered the theater, we stopped in at The Pedersen Room on the first floor to put in a drink and dessert order for the intermission. We did this when we went to Carmen as well and enjoyed the experience so much that we wanted to do it again.
We made it to our seats in time to settle in before the curtain rose on some seriously gorgeous set dressing. The first act of the opera all takes place in this gorgeous forest scene.
The opera was delightful, comprised of several intriguing love stories, quarrels, and heartbreak. Not to disparage Carmen, but I liked this one much better. I think the main storyline of a young woman falling in love with a man and deciding to be bold and share her feelings with him really spoke to me.
I also was mesmerized by the sets and the costumes. Just look at those dresses!
Seeing Onegin really opened my eyes–I had never heard of this opera going in and I wasn’t sure what to think about it. It ended up being an amazing experience. Sometimes heading into something with a blank slate and a receptive attitude can be an amazing experience. If you’ve never seen an opera, I encourage you to try it. You might be surprised at how much you like it, as I was.
Our intermission experience was as good as we remembered it being. We ordered the apple tart and a plate of coconut macaroons. Both were delicious, but the tart was particularly good. If you’re a fan of warm apple pie, give this a shot and you won’t be disappointed.
Many thanks to the Lyric Opera for hosting us. I’m excited to see what the next season of shows will bring.