VIDEO: Opera Fan(atic)s: "Part of my New York."

by Mary Hammann, violist

Passionate about living in New York and passionate about the arts, Lisa Speransky is an Opera Fan(atic). She’s always loved avant-garde theater and Shakespeare; Opera lured her because it includes theater, music, and dance. According to Lisa, every aspect of the multi-sensory experience of opera at the Met is “at the top of its game.” She appreciates the eclectic and well-balanced season that keeps her excited, opera after opera.

Lisa Speransky in her Hugo Boss gown at opening night

Lisa Speransky in her Hugo Boss gown at opening night

Growing up in New York, she sang in the Dicapo Opera Chorus, but admits performing wasn’t for her. Instead, she describes herself as “huge on staging,” and feels that the staging at the Met is some of the best in the world.

Her favorites? “Everything Mozart, Traviata, and Bohème. But thanks to [the Met’s] rush tickets, I was able to go a lot and discover operas I otherwise would not have gravitated towards, like Don Carlo. I’d never seen any Wagner, either, then I went to see Die Walküre with Deborah Voigt – I’ll remember that forever.”

A few years back, hoping to see Lucia di Lammermoor with Anna Netrebko, Lisa took off half a day at work. She endured a five-hour wait in the bitter cold during her first foray on the rush ticket line, which was made much more pleasant by the company. “An Argentinean bass struck up a conversation, his voice booming; someone got hot coffee for a bunch of us; someone else brought back chocolate that we all shared.” Over the years, some of the original line has remained friends and “we keep branching out.” They each introduce more friends to opera. “I have a whole group of opera friends now.” Lisa’s fascination has blossomed into full-blown passion.

As a serial entrepreneur, running her own New York-based companies while working in marketing for international businesses, Lisa has little time to stand on long lines. Now she buys full-priced tickets. “When you go a lot to the Met, you learn where you like to sit and who you like to hear. I have a thing for the male voice. And I always like to put on a nice dress.”

Lisa particularly loves the magic of opening night. This year she went with a group of old rush ticket friends, plus a new friend whom she met on last season’s opening night.

“The excitement at the Met is contagious. It’s a feeling that stays with me and gets me through the week. The Met Opera feels like one of those New York spots that has become my home. It’s part of my New York.”

Lisa Speransky and her ever-growing circle of opera friends

Lisa Speransky and her ever-growing circle of opera friends