Picker is a New Yorker, and he has a friend Ruth who came out from the East Coast for the first performance. Apparently they visited during the intermission, and I saw them together as he escorted her to her seat in the orchestra.
That would be after Ruth's
(Oh, the opera? My review will be published at Chicago Classical Review tomorrow, but for now I'll just say get tickets now because they will fly out of the box office once the reviews are out.)