Salome at the San Diego Opera
Salome at the San Diego Opera

The San Diego Opera kicks off its new season this weekend with Tosca by Puccini. I went to the opera for the first time in 2012 to see the gruesome show Salome (spoiler: he gets decapitated), and was completely blown away by how beautiful and powerful the singers’ voices were throughout the entire performance. Hearing them sing in Italian (don’t worry, they have subtitles) added an extra layer of awe to the experience for me. I’ve been meaning to go back for a Mariachi Opera performance (because how freaking cool does that sound?!) ever since. Something about the live orchestra and the commanding voices on stage creates a wonderfully dramatic night at the theater. I would love to see Madama Butterfly coming up in April. After that, Great Scott will be on stage in May. The San Diego Opera holds performances at the San Diego Civic Theatre downtown.

Make a night of it by grabbing dinner at French-inspired eatery Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant nearby. Dobson’s has been around forever (32 years, in fact) and is the go-to spot among business executives having a power lunch downtown. They’re known for their mussel bisque en croute, and for good reason. You have to puncture the flaky pastry crust on top to get to the bisque, and traditionally they pour sherry into the soup once you’re made a hole for it. The bisque is very rich and flavorful. I also really like the filet mignon Chez Martin that’s served with escargot and garlic sauce on top. Don’t worry about dinner distractions, because Dobson’s doesn’t have a TV in the bar area. They want people to actually talk to each other – isn’t that a novel idea?

Mussel bisque en croute at Dobson's
Mussel bisque en croute at Dobson’s