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I thought the potion was real because of the sudden reversal in their behaviour after they drink it. I suppose that could also be that thinking they were going to die they wanted to get their feelings off their chests.

Seen the opera twice,first time I thought it was overly long, kind of boring and full of large drab and grey looking people being very shouty/loud. Second time was a concert performance of the opera (BBC prom), no sets or costumes which meant I could just focus on the opera which I think helped. I actually liked it second time round it wasn't particularly emotionally engaging but it made me think (I have no idea about what, it was 2 years ago) it was definitely interesting and thought producing. Anyway I was bumbling along thinking this is nice and then Wham! Liebestod. The entire opera was leading up to that moment it was the perfect culmination, I felt I was physically riding on this wave of music, absolutely beautiful.

I can see why people don't like it though, it is long and while engaging enough not enthralling till the end. I like it at any rate, looking forward to seeing it again someday.
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