Many moons ago, as a Comms chick at our nation's most iconic performing arts centre, I had the opportunity to work with some like-minded, big-thinking, collaborative colleagues.
Some of these colleagues passionately love working in the arts sector, so much so that they consider it a vocation, and wouldn't trade it for the higher paying corporate sector for quids.
Sydney Festival, Sydney Symphony, Sydney Film Festival, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Theatre Company, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Opera Australia... many friends are still working in these venerable institutions, almost a decade on.
And in this way we became the recipients of tickets to the media preview of Madama Butterfly on Sydney Harbour.
Arriving at the Botanic Gardens at dusk, armed with a fully charged phone (to tweet, Facebook and Instagram during the performance, as requested) and bolstered by a few glasses of the silly stuff, thus began one of the most romantic and heart wrenching opera performances Sydney has had the opportunity to enjoy.
As The Opera Blog states, the composer Puccini himself - some of the world’s most famous operas: La bohème, Tosca, Turandot - once said his success as an opera composer was due to putting “great sorrows in little souls”, and he wasn’t wrong.
Here are a few happy snaps from the evening, which clearly, does not compare to the actual experience of sitting with a dear friend on the harbour at sunset, glass of bubbles in hand, listening to exquisite opera.
For incredible (read: far more professional) shots of the performance, a video trailer, artist interviews, a cheat sheet to the moving story, oh, and tickets, get thee to the Opera Australia Madama Butterfly page.