On my way back from Chicago last weekend, I was checking to make sure I had everything…phone charger, dress, and passport….check, check, and check. Only, I wasn’t heading to Windsor. I was on my way to see The Merry Widow at the Detroit Opera House with my passport (provided by Detroit Passport to the Arts) in hand.
A few of my favorite things about this passport set-up include:
1. My date to see the opera was set months ago.
2. I trust that I will be seeing a great production, thanks to those who organize the DP2A season.
3. I know I will see many friends and meet many new people.
4. I paid for my passport back in September, so the night out feels “free”, complete with an after party.
Welcome to Detroit Passport to the Arts. I was compelled to leave my family in the Chicago area to make it back in time for the fifth of six world-class performances by cultural organizations in our city. But not before eating dinner at one of Detroit’s newest dining establishments.
Okay, so embarrassing moment… I had just enough time before the opera to meet a friend last minute for dinner. I was driving; so with no (safe) access to google or yelp, and only my memory to rely on, I threw out Gold Cash Gold. For those who track marketing…thank you “word of mouth”. I walked into this gorgeous space in Corktown, and wasn’t quite sure I was in the right place. In fact, I asked the waitress where I could find the games; bowling and such. After a puzzled look, she said, “You might be thinking of Punch Bowl Social“. Ah, click! So, after my moment of confusion about where I was, and which new Detroit restaurant I was visiting, I settled in. And this is what I found:
I was so happy to have figured out where I had landed. Between the cauliflower appetizer, vegetable soup, spaetzle dish, and trout, my friend and I were loving every bite. This new restaurant, adding charm, sophistication, simplicity, authenticity, and flavor to the offerings in Corktown, had become an immediate favorite. Check them out here: Gold Cash Gold.
Then….on to the opera. I love opera, at least I do now. It can be an acquired taste to be sure. As a 20-year-old playing trumpet in the Arizona Opera Orchestra, I very quickly learned to suspend all belief when taking in operatic story lines; and instead I listened to the glorious music and marveled at the spectacular sets. 17 years later, not much has changed about the way I enjoy opera. I say this lovingly.
Passport holders (all 200 of them) were treated to one of the all-time great sopranos, Deborah Voigt, who sang the lead role of Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow. This woman is to opera what Oprah Winfrey is to soulful television. Star-power is a big deal. But, so too are incredible sets and costumes, which The Merry Widow delivered upon, and then there were spectacular singers like these folks, that made me melt in my seat:
….and dancing scenes that made us laugh, and an all-around air of culture, to remind you that you are indeed at the opera. And how again? Oh, right, Detroit Passport to the Arts, a program geared toward young professionals (45 and under) which provides an introduction to 6 cultural organizations in the Metro Detroit region. This was the fifth, and once again, a great choice.
If you’re a passport holder, your evening doesn’t end with the great art that attracted you in the first place. Your night ends with an after party. And, not just any after party. Take this one, for example:
1. It was held at Detroit’s YMCA, a great venue in and of itself, and just walking distance from MOT.
2. It’s a great opportunity to connect with friends, meet new friends, and discuss the opera.
3. In addition to drinks, dessert, and music, there were entertainers with fire in hand (whoa!)
So, remember, my day started in Chicago…and it ended in Detroit. Two incredible cities. With my passport, I experienced the opera, an awesome after party, and the bonus of a new restaurant, all within a span of 5 hours. This happens 6 times a year. Your evenings are planned for you. You get to check out six cultural organizations, you have to do nothing except buy a passport and decide where you’re going to have dinner, and you’ll encounter new friends, whether they be passport holders, or artists. Take for example…the singers from MOT that attended “the Y” Saturday to sing “Happy Birthday” to one of the chorus members…in glorious four-part harmony. Pretty amazing. Convinced yet? It’s time to join DP2A.