Monday, November 5, 2012

Opera 101, The Basics of Carmen: Monday, November 5, 2012

On Monday, learn about Carmen at the Atlanta Opera's Opera 101 lecture.  Start the day with a shrimp and roasted red pepper omelet.  Then, give a book or two to the children's Christmas book drive at Barnes & Noble.  Then, kitchenalia shopping at Lenox.  Have a pre-Opera 101 drink at Abattoir, and then enjoy the lecture.  Finally, a coveted cheeseburger at Holeman & Finch.  A full day.

Here's what you do Monday, November 5, 2012

Maria Jose Montiel plays Carmen in the Atlanta Opera's season-opening production.
Do you like programmes as much as me when you go to a play, or the symphony, or opera?  Just a few paragraphs about what's going on and character motivation and the performance becomes so much richer.  Well, the Atlanta Opera has the ultimate programme on Monday night.  Carter Joseph, opera aficionado and Atlanta Opera Board member, will present Opera 101, a multimedia presentation on the history, background, and plot of Carmen.  

The Atlanta Opera opens its 2012-2013 season with Bizet’s classic, Carmen. Set in sultry Spain, the opera traces Don José’s ill-fated attraction to the alluring gypsy, Carmen. When Carmen casts off her ardent lover for the handsome toreador, Escamillo, José’s intense jealousy turns to vengeance and dooms the fiery romance to a tragic end. Carmen is full of sizzling opera hits, including the famous “Habañera” and the irresistible Toreador’s song.

Go and learn all you ever wanted to know about Carmen, and get yourself ready for the production on November 10, 13, 16, or 18.  Opera 101 is at the Atlanta Opera Center at 7p on Monday night. RESERVATIONS are requested. Call 404-881-8883 or email

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Here's what you do Monday,

First:  Sometimes, breakfast should start out with a key ingredient.  Today, it's roasted red peppers.  I picked some up the other day at the Kroger cold bar wondering what I would do with them.  Well, Here's what you do.  Julienne them, and add them to a shrimp and chipotle jack omelet.  Oh yeah!  

Make the omelet Julia Child style, as we always recommend.  For the omelet stuffing, wash about 1/2 pound of pelt, deveined shrimp in lemon and sauté in butter and olive oil in a hot saucier.  Add diced white onion, italian seasoning, salt and pepper.  After about 5 minutes, add about 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream and bring cream to a boil.  Then, add about 1/2 cup of chipotle jack cheese diced into 1/2 inch cubes and the julienned peppers.  When the cheese has melted, add to the center of an omelet and serve hot.  Yum!  $10 for ingredients.

Second:  Barnes & Noble Book and Toy Drive.  The Edgewood B&N is aiming to give 2000 children a book and a toy this year.  Help out with that.  From B&N:
"Every year Barnes& Noble strives to give back to its community. This year, your Edgewood Barnes & Noble is partnering with the Atlanta Children's Shelter to provide our children with a book and a toy for the holidays! Here’s how you can help: Purchase a book or a toy or a CD or a DVD in our store, let us know that you want to donate it to the Atlanta Children’s Shelter, and as a community, let’s collect 2,000 items for our children!"
What could be better?  Swing on by Edgewood and make a difference. $20.

Pippi is the best!  Pick up a copy at B&N and donate to their annual Holiday Book Drive.

Third:  Kitchenalia shopping at Lenox Mall.  Kitchenalia is a word.  It means "cooking equipment and other items found in a kitchen," according to the Free Online Dictionary.  And, it's such a good word.   Gives you a good feeling, just thinking about it.  Especially if you're a foodie/cook of any kind.  

Anyway, with Thanksgiving approaching, maybe it's time to go check out a new carving knife, or that food processor you've had your eye on.  Well, the place to start is Williams Sonoma at Lenox Mall.  Just the other day, I got a knife dock.  Know what that is?  Check out the picture below.  It's so useful!  Way better than one of those wood blocks you see most knives in.  Keeps all your knives safe and secure.  

When you're done stocking up on your kitchenalia, have lunch at Prime.  It's just down the main hall at Lenox, and they have some of the best mac & cheese in town.  Have it with a glass of cabernet.  A nice lunch indeed.  $20 per person for lunch.

Get your very own knife dock.  It's a corner stone of a good Kitchenalia collection.

Fourth:  Nap time.   It's Monday.  You're still adjusting to this whole day light savings fall back thing.  A nap is a good way to adjust.

Fourth:  A little pre-101 cocktail at Abattoir.  Abattoir has a great cast concrete bar.  Perfect for a Manhattan, or a martini.  Belly up with your iPad and do a little pre-class reading on Carmen.  Check out our previous recommendation for Abattoir, and consider having dinner there some time.  It's a good idea.  $10 per person.

Ain't nothing wrong with a pre-opera 101 drink at Abattoir...

Fifth:  Opera 101.  Register. Go.  Learn.  Free.

Finally: A late dinner at Holeman and Finch.  Go get a H&F 10p cheeseburger.  THE thing to do on a Monday night.  $20 per person with a drink.

How about a 10p cheeseburger at Holeman & Finch.  They only make 24 of them each day, and they're only available starting at 10.

Book Keeping

For two people:
  • Breakfast: $10
  • B&N: $Up to you
  • Kitchenalia: $Up to you.  Knife Dock was $35.
  • Lunch at Prime: $40
  • Nap: $Free
  • Abattoir: $20
  • Opera 101: $Free
  • Holeman & Finch: $40
Total: $110, plus what you decide to spend on kitchenalia and books.

Day Map:

View Opera101 in a larger map

Carbon Footprint:

Today's full day plan can take up to about 26 miles of driving, if your home base is midtown Atlanta.  The 26 miles equates to about 18 pounds of carbon dioxide, or the carbon sequestered by about 4 sq feet of forest.  Calculations are based on the U.S. EPA's green house gas equivalencies calculator.  

26 miles of driving
18 pounds of carbon dioxide
4 square feet of forest would be required to sequester this carbon.

Wonder why a gallon of gas (about 6 pounds) generates 20 pounds of green house gas?  Check out this article at

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