I wasn’t sure how thrilled my graduate advertising students would be to spend their Friday night at the Virginia Opera. It’s not as though Giuseppe Verdi is really on most of their iPod playlists. But as we got closer to last Friday’s opening, I started to get more and more emails asking for extra tickets to bring friends. I even heard from students in other classes asking if I could adopt them for a night. So on Friday, I walked into Richmond’s Landmark Theatre with 50 well-dressed VCU Brandcenter students to see Verdi’s Il Trovatore. I won’t attempt to run through the entire plot here, but the characters in the story had some big problems. “Oops! I threw the wrong baby into the fire” is not a line I’ve seen in a lot of movies.

Our crew emerged about 3 hours later. Other than an agonizingly long scene of death by suicide and some comical translations on the supertitles, it was a wonderful evening and quite a contrast from our trip to Southside Speedway.

Special thanks to opera-lover, Jeannie Baliles, for inspiring this trip and helping arrange the group tickets and, Raquel Gimenez, for the photographs above.