There is a saying in-the-rooms that goes as follows :

If you hang around the barber shop long enough sooner-or-later you are going to get a haircut.

Ulaanbaatar has an absolutely magnificent Opera House.

I have posted many photos of it in prior Posts. In order to have this Post stand-on-its-own I will show you views of the Ulaanbaatar Opera House from Chinggis Khaan Square and from areas that surround this enormous square in the heart of downtown Ulaanbaatar.

As you can see below .. the Opera House is pink!

I will begin with several views of the Opera House as it is seen from a distance. This photo shows it as viewed from the South side of Peace Avenue. Chinggis Khaan Square is (not visible) to the left in the below photo.DSCN8792[1]

In the above photo if you pan to your left you will see the below view of Chinggis Kaan Square.
DSCN8266[1]Chinggis Khaan Square to the left above and below.

The Opera House as seen from Chinggis Khaan Square.DSCN4448[1]

“Excuse me Cap, may I interrupt you here?” ..

“Of course ‘Zilla. No problem.” ..

“At the top of the post you said and I quote you : ‘There is a saying in-the-rooms that goes as follows : If you hang around the barber shop long enough, sooner-or-later you are going to get a haircut.’

(1) What does this saying mean and ..

(2) What has it got to do with the Ulaanbaatar Opera House?” ..

“It never fails ‘Zilla! Another great ‘Zilla-question!”

(1) If you continue to hang around a bar sooner-or-later you are going to pick-up-a-drink.

(2) This applies to the Ulaanbaatar Opera House as follows. Lately my number one primary location to meet members who are going to take me to a meeting to speak has been at the Opera House. Because I have been speaking at quite a few meetings, I have been going to the Opera House a lot. So in a very real sense-of-the-word I have been hanging around the Opera House.”

Now you are going to see what happened to me because I have been hanging around the Opera House.

I wait on the curb between the lions for my driver to pick-me-up.

Now stay-with-me ‘Zilla!

God’s Truth ‘Zilla. Last Sunday I was going to speak at a meeting. I got to the Opera House early to be sure that my driver did not have to circle-around-the-block which is very difficult because of the traffic. Because I was about 20-minutes early, to pass-some-time, I looked around the Opera House.

Had I not been hanging-around the Opera House the below series of events would never have happened.

In this instance nothing negative (such as hanging out at a bar and picking-up a drink) happened. It would be a good thing to hang-out at meetings. It would be a good thing to hang-out at your local athletic club. ‘Hanging-out’ does not have to be a negative thing ‘Zilla. Go hang-out at the arena and watch the Kings or the Reigns skate.

“Hum-m-m?  What is that door over there with a red sign above it with a bulletin board or something beside it?” DSCN8647[1]

“I think that I will walk over and check-it-out.”DSCN8642[1]It’s a ticket office.
DSCN8646[1]With a schedule of up-coming events.

Oh My!   Will you just look at that! MADAM BUTTERFLY next weekend! SWAN LAKE the 24th! CARMEN the 30th!”

“This is unbelievable! ” 

“I have some time to spare! I am going to go inside and check this out!”DSCN8643[1]

“Do you speak English?” ..

“May I see a seating chart?” ..

“Have you a center seat in the front row of the balcony for MADAM BUTTERFLY next Saturday the 9th?”

Will this do Sir? A center seat in the front row of the balcony for next Saturday’s performance of MADAM BUTTERFLY.”DSCN8716[1]“You .. have .. got .. to .. be .. kidding .. me! ” ..

“I may put my head down and weep with gratitude!”

There is a saying : “If you have to ask the price you can’t afford it!”

“I .. will .. take .. it ..!” ..

“That will be 15,000 / US $ 7.36. Here is your ticket. Enjoy the performance Sir.”
DSCN8696[1]Above .. year 2016 .. 4th month .. 9th day .. 17oo hours ..

Below .. Balcony Section D .. Row D-1 .. Seat 15 ..

Can you imagine! I requested my number one seat choice and I got it. Front row balcony .. Looking down .. No one in front of me. Front and center. For seven US $ and thirty six cents.

I was at the opera house so that I could be picked up and driven to a meeting.  If there had been no meeting .. There would have been no opera .. maybe ever. I just happened to be very early. Usually my drivers are earlier than I am so I have never had to wait at all. Last Sunday I was so early that I had time to look-around.

For this reason I am going to include the meeting into this Post.

The opera is a good thing. The opera is pleasurable.

Now I am going to ‘ratchet-things-up’ into another dimension!

You and your understatements Captain! .. Why not tell them to ‘fasten their seat belts’ Captain? .. Oh committee in my head do you ever shut-up?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“I need to get back out front so that I can meet my ride and get to the meeting!”

We are at the meeting location ..DSCN8492[1]
DSCN8491[1]Down the steps .. Left through the door ..
DSCN8490[1]The house is full. Everyone is waiting for you. We have a seat for you up front.DSCN8493[1]

“I need to make a quick trip to the bathroom.”

“No problem. Go through the door on the other side and then go left. Watch your head.”

I thought to myself .. “What do the ladies do?” DSCN8521[1]Then I saw exactly what the ladies do. The ladies climb up there and squat.

“Watch your head! Some of the pipes can be very hot.”
DSCN8525[1]Time to stand and deliver Captain!

“Thank you so much for inviting me here to your meeting. It is an honor and a pleasure to be here. I first came to Ulaanbaatar last July 16th to 19th with a group of seven members to host a weekend conference. All of the other members left Ulaanbaatar on July the 20th. I remained. I really enjoy being here. I have adopted a Mongolian name. ХААН БААТАР .. “

The two-hour meeting ran overtime. We began at 4pm and left at 7:30pm.

Beginning with the venue itself .. It was  i n t e n s e ..

It was  v e r y   i n t e n s e ..

Without exception every meeting that I have been to since last July 2015 has been intense .. yes very intense.

“Man-O-Manischewitz .. After that meeting I could eat-a-horse!”

What a day Sunday April the 3rd was. I got my ticket to see MADAM BUTTERFLY. I chaired a very long intense meeting. I had a nice dinner.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Today is Saturday the 9th of April 2016. Here we go loop de loop .. Here we go loop de li ..

Those who drive their automobile to the opera can park in Chinggis Khaan Square. Parking availability seems to be quite adequate.DSCN8702[1]
DSCN8703[1]You just know that I had to squeeze in The Blue Sky Hotel and Tower.

“Yes! I hear you Blue Sky! I agree with you Blue Sky. You don’t DO being squeezed in as an after thought do you?”DSCN8758[1]

The time has come to go inside the Ulaanbaater Opera House.

You enter the ticket office lobby ..

Then you enter the house lobby.

Looking left ..DSCN8706[1]

Looking directly ahead. In each of these photos you can see the stairs leading up to the balcony ..DSCN8705[1]

Looking right ..DSCN8707[1]

Up we go to the balcony ..DSCN8708[1]

We are now up in the balcony.

For lack of a better word there is a Ring of Honor displaying many framed photographs of individuals.DSCN8710[1]The white entry doors into The House may be seen in the above photo to the left and to the right.

I am looking at the beautiful balcony lobby. The above Ring of Honor is to my back.

Looking past the piano you see above.DSCN8747[1]The Ring of Honor from the above balcony lobby.DSCN8742[1]

A beautiful mural. Do you see the Ring of Honor in the background to the right.DSCN8740[1]The mural on the other side of the balcony lobby.DSCN8743[1]

Walk across to the curtains on the far side of the balcony lobby.DSCN8746[1]

Pull them aside and snap the below photos of Chinggis Khaan Square as seen from the second floor of the Opera House .

DSCN8741[1]The time has come the Walrus said for us to enter The House.

Here is my seat. 1st row balcony front-and-center.

Looking to my left at house left.

Looking to my right at house right.DSCN8718[1]

Below I am looking back at my seat from house left. I am sitting in front of the couple you see below.DSCN8720[1]Looking back at my seat from house right.

Photos of the Orchestra Pit ..

The first two photos below show the Orchestra Pit as seen from my seat ..DSCN8728[1]
DSCN8734[1]The following two photos look down from house right.DSCN8723[1]

I am very impressed with the facilities. Top notch first drawer.
DSCN8727[1]Looking down from house left.DSCN8719[1]

Several photos showing the house as it was filling.DSCN8725[1]

“Look up Captain! Look up!”DSCN8730[1]

“The performance is scheduled to begin at 5:00pm. It is time to sit and relax. Look the program over.”

I know the story. I don’t like the story. The story is gut-wrenching sad. Do you like the story of poor MADAM BUTTERFLY?

When I bought my ticket I KNEW that I was leaving at the intermission.

“Oh Good God! Now you tell us Captain! Why on earth did you even go to MADAM BUTTERFLY?”

I went to see the Opera House!

I went to see ‘The Ulaanbaatar Opera Scene’ ..

I went to experience ‘The Venue and the Action’ ..

I went because .. It’s What I Do!

The performance began at 5:04pm.

As is normal .. As is always the case .. No photography is allowed. Such signs are posted in theaters every where. It is also stated in theater programs everywhere.

Like many (if not most) people I push the envelope. Accordingly I did my utmost to snap a few photos. This entire Post is better because of the three photos below. Without them I feel that the Post would really be missing that special ‘something’. DSCN8735[1]The language of the opera is Italian.

This has never ever happened to me. I found it interesting. I took the above three photos spread out over perhaps twenty minutes. Each time I looked carefully for ushers. As I was setting up to shoot a fourth photo a pencil thin, blinking, red-laser light was beamed precisely at my camera. I put my camera down. I waited awhile. I tried again. Same result. I put my camera away for good. No words were spoken. I did not look back at any usher. I sure got-the-message.

It is now intermission time. The below photos were taken in the downstairs main lobby.
DSCN8752[1]There .. was .. a .. lot .. of .. alcohol .. served .. and .. imbibed .. wine and the hard-stuff .. no one was unruly ..
DSCN8755[1]The below area served the non-drinkers .. compare above with below .. Hum-m-m ..

Even as I was buying my ticket I had my plan. I was going to leave at / or just after the intermission. There was no possible way that I was going to see the second part of MADAM BUTTERFLY.

I even KNEW that I was ..

(1) Going to go to one of my favorite restaurants downtown and

(2) I was going to eat at Millie’s and

(3) I was going to call Patti to visit and then say good-night to her.

I worked my plan to perfection.

The air was nice! So too was the scenery.

It’s about a fifteen maybe twenty-minute walk from the Opera House over to Millie’s.
DSCN8322[1]MY favorite table was ready-and-waiting for me.DSCN8350[1]“Hi Daniel My Main Man!”DSCN8579[1]“This evening I will have the chicken burritos please.”DSCN8776[1]I swear to God that I just began to cough looking at the salsa.
DSCN8778[1]“Yes indeed Daniel I will have a piece of your chocolate cake this evening.”
DSCN8786[1]Below are the remains of the top and the end of the cake. Read: Basically Only Chocolate Icing!DSCN8789[1]“What else is new Captain?”DSCN8790[1]

Yes indeed .. A promise made to myself is a debt unpaid. I called Patti and we had a nice visit and good-night. It was about 1:50am in Anchorage Alaska.

Time to catch a Number 1 back to my apartment. I love .. I just love the new articulated-configuration buses here in Ulaanbaatar! I am also loving daylight savings time.

I even got a seat!

I thought to myself .. “What an absolutely perfect outstanding day this has been. How could it have possibly been any better!”

“Argggh .. Well hello there my friend.” 

“On my perfect day?” .. “Is this a joke God?” .. “It is NOT April Fools’Day God!”

“Wash urr name and whereufrom?”
DSCN8804[1]“Have you been drinking!”

“Oh For God’s Sakes Captain .. Talk about one of your sillier rhetorical questions!”..

“Do you mind if I snap another photo of you my good man?”DSCN8795[1]“How nice! You have a friend. You have a buddy with you!” .. “Have the two of you been drinking together?”
DSCN8806[1]You have all classes of drunks here in Ulaanbaatar. Some of them are really mean and ill-of-spirit. These drunks are dangerous. These drunks are in fact are very dangerous.
DSCN8802[1]Then once-in-awhile .. From time-to-time .. You run-into some good friendly call them silly-drunks.DSCN8794[1]By the time it came for me to get off the bus the entire populace of our section was smiling and appreciative of how .. For just this one time .. I was handling the situation. DSCN8799[1]

“Yep! A perfect day!”

“What’s that you say God?” .. “You are very proud of how I handled myself?” .. “Awesome .. Totally Awesome God!”

With Joy .. 

Captain ХААНБААТАР (Kan Baatar) ..

5 thoughts on “APR 9, 16 .. THE OPERA .. MADAM BUTTERFLY

  1. Patti

    Great pictures of the Opera House, outside and inside. It’s pink exterior certainly stands out. Nice that you were early to meet your ride and ventured inside to see their schedule. I do not know the Madam Butterfly story so will have to google it to see why you left at intermission. Was amazed to see the parking on the square … having been there, walked the square, I would never have imagined them allowing cars to park there! Good utilization of wide-open space though! Your burritos look appetizing. Your salsa looks SPICY. The plate of chocolate frosting looks, ummmmm, sweet!! This was a much easier post to follow than the Cyrillic alphabet lesson. Smiles and love, Patti

    1. cap chastain

      The cyrillic alphabet was WORK and how. Going to the Opera was certainly a much different experience that the constant looking at Mongolian names while riding the buses and walking and trying to sound them out. I knew you would enjoy this Post so right up front the title clearly said what was coming. Great use of the South end of Chinggis Khaan Square for automobile parking. I was amazed. Oh man alive was the salsa spicy. I DID get a second and much larger dish of it however. Much Love .. Cap ..

  2. z

    Sunday, April 10, 2016 – 1:00 pm

    Hi Cap,

    A really great post! It is really pleasant on how you take all the pictures from the beginning, i.e. on the square and walk your way into the Opera house! And naturally all the photos inside the Opera! Neat on how the ushers use laser pens to keep you honest regarding taking photos. You really tell a great story by your photos and narratives, it is just like you are there getting ready to buy a ticket and see (and do see a performance)! Super nifty!!

    Although I would be interested in knowing your definition of “intense” when you refer to your over 2 hour meeting? I certainly understand all the work that goes into the translation involved and that must be a real effort! Since you go into so many details in all your posts I thought it would be interesting to know some of the details and effort that you go into for the meetings as I believe it does take a lot of effort on your part and of course of the translator?

    Hockey wise, the regular season is over save for a couple of games today. Unfortunately the “Kings” lost last night even though they had a 3 goal lead early on!!?? Hence they did not win the Pacific Division title outright! The Ducks play the Capitals today and if they lose the Kings will win the title. If the Ducks win, they will win the title and the Kings will be in 2nd place.

    On the plus side Detroit is in the playoffs, but the Bruins are not! There have been a lot of close games in the past week to see who gets in the playoffs – very exciting! Our local Reigns won the western title and the playoffs for the Calder Cup will start in about 10 days.

    All your photos of the various meals you are having look very appetizing! Also very nifty!!


  3. cap chastain

    I went to Dictionary.com ..

    Intense .. Noun: showing great strength, strong feeling, or tension, acute, strong or vehement, extreme, very great, as in strength, keenness, severity, or the like.

    Not a sound in the room. No one is smiling or kidding around. Everyone leaning forward on the edge of their chairs straining to be sure they hear every word. Many taking written notes. The feeling of .. “My very life depends on getting this right.”

    In the U.S. 98% of all meetings are one (1) hour duration. A two (2) hour meeting is unheard of. Let alone a meeting going three and one-half hours. That is intense. Discussing suicide and really serious life issues is intense.

    So pleased you like the way I attempt to slowly walk .. a step at a time .. to where I am taking you in a Post. Just wait till you see my next Post.

    Thanks ‘Zilla. We can DO the hockey by e-mail. So nice to have you along here.

  4. Shaddy Peters

    I’m so glad you got to experience the opera house. That had to be a very special adventure.

    I had to admit it but I know nothing about Madam Butterfly. I’ve heard of it of course but that’s it!! I better get with the “program.”


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