Some would say a good NBA basketball team works in harmony, much like the way musicians and singers must come together to create a good opera. Per the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Bulls seem to find more than just a metaphor between the two things.
Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic are regulars at Chicago’s Lyric Opera House, and Pau is particularly entranced. Once, when his paying job caused him to miss one performance, the Lyric Opera taped the performance and sent it to him. His favorite operas? “Carmen,” “La Traviata” and “Tosca,” the latter of which he has seen three times. He also has Mozart and Chopin recordings on his phone, too.
Last fall, Mirotic and Gasol went to see separate recitals by Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin. Gasol introduced himself as a Chicago Bull after the concert, and, predictably, Kissin didn’t have any clue who he was, other than a very tall man who likes classical piano music.
For Gasol, it’s an escape from the every-day grind of an NBA season, as he learned to love Opera during his time with the Lakers. “Especially during the season,” he said. “It takes my mind off basketball.”
“I’m a big supporter of arts and culture,” Gasol said. “I think they’re traditions that we need to continue to pass on to younger generations.” Gasol is also a friend with legendary tenor Placido Domingo, who, for the record, did recognize him.
There is only one issue for Gasol during the sometimes four-hour long performances: his height is a slight impediment. “I’m always twisting to a side and sliding down in my seat so my head can be lower and they can see better,” he said. He usually sits in a box to make sure he’s not blocking the view of any unlucky patrons.
You can call the Bulls many things but please don’t say they’re not graceful.