With all that emotion on stage, why shouldn't some spill over into the audience? Last winter a friend gave Julie Pisciotta, a fashion consultant for Garfinckel's, four tickets to the Washington Opera. Although she was not very enthusiastic about the idea, she allowed friends she had invited, Peter and Eleanor Maucher, to bring a male friend along as a blind date for her.

Pisciotta rushed in late and the date, Lt. Gen. Charles Robert Meyer, looked at his watch and asked, "Are you always this late?" Pisciotta didn't think the question deserved an answer, but just like in the movies, romance somehow developed. Pisciotta and Meyer began dating, and in October, less than a year later, they married. Maybe they were inspired by the opera they saw, "Il Matrimonio Secreto" ("The Secret Marriage"). Out and About

For the third consecutive New Year's Day, Michael Feinstein, who this year became the hottest cabaret pianist in the country, will be singing and playing for President and Nancy Reagan at the annual festivities hosted by former ambassadors Walter and Leonore Annenberg at their Rancho Mirage estate near Palm Springs, Calif. Making the Annenbergs' celebration won't be easy for Feinstein. He will start his holiday on New Year's Eve playing and singing in the Casino on the Park in New York's Essex House, and will then rush to the airport for his flight to the Annenbergs'. This year, Feinstein is donating his fee to two California State Music Department scholarship funds: the George and Ira Gershwin Scholarship Fund and the Harry Warren Foundation ...

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Mike Mansfield is in Hawaii for what the State Department describes as routine surgery. The 84-year-old Mansfield, who has been the envoy to Japan since 1977, left Tokyo on Saturday and is undergoing treatment at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. A State Department spokesman said Mansfield is expected to return to Tokyo in about two weeks. The operation will prevent the former Senate majority leader from being in Washington for the scheduled visit in two weeks of Japanese Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita. A State Department official said Mansfield wanted no information released about his medical condition ...

Everyone seems to have wishes for the New Year. Luaine Lee of Knight-Ridder Newspapers has listed a few that stretch the boundaries of reality. Among the wishes are: that Melissa Manchester settle on a look and that Madonna find a new one. And that Playboy's Hugh Hefner date someone his own age, that Barbara Walters, for once, listen to the people she interviews and that Lee Hart fall in love with a campaign worker from Boulder, Colo., and talk about it on the "Oprah Winfrey Show." Well, maybe next year, who knows? We can dream ...

After all those years in the cold of Minnesota, struggling to get Norwegians to laugh, Garrison Keillor has settled into life in New York City, and he seems to like it. The former host of National Public Radio's "A Prairie Home Companion" is even using words like "good-hearted," "generous" and "heroic" when referring to New Yorkers. He and his new wife Ulla Skaerved are trying New York, and Keillor says, "I'm very high on New York. To my mind it's a city of heroic and very humorous and very considerate people." Even Mayor Ed Koch doesn't say things like that ...