This bent nail was picked up off the floor yesterday backstage of the Metropolitan Opera where I was having a private tour with my daughter, a huge red letter day for me, being an avid opera goer. You’ll find these nails lying around as they are used in the hinges that hold the sets together and they are bent so they are easier to remove. I was also told by my guide, that Luciano Pavarotti wouldn’t go on stage at the Met unless he had found one of these nails, so the stage hands would make sure that by leaving them in strategic places, he would always find one.

In walking around backstage you feel dwarfed by everything, the elevator that can hold 40 foot high scenery, the props, the holding areas either side of the stage, just walking past the cases of double basses lined up against the walls makes you feel you are in a giant’s castle, this is a mind blowing experience. The vast warren of the wardrobe department with racks upon racks of costumes is just stunning. The costumes are made from the best materials as they are expected to last twenty years, they are also exquisitely made, no tacky Velcro here.

Standing on stage looking out into the auditorium was amazing, just thinking about who had performed here gave me goosebumps. Peeking through a window in a door I saw Patricia Racette rehearsing a scene from Madama Butterfly, never in my wildest dreams had I imagined this.

Even years from now I will be talking of this visit with my heart still pounding. If a bent nail was a good talisman to Pavarotti then I am adopting this one as mine.