Well, I'm most definitely jealous of that Latitude line-up.
DocBrown wrote: Neil wrote:
DocBrown wrote:"Madama Butterfly" Tuesday night. What, does NOBODY here like opera?
I think Opera is very beautiful and so expressive however, I have to admit, I have never been to one. I hope you enjoy it very much!!
Had to go back and find the original post : that show was two years ago! For anyone who has never been to the Opera, I urge you to give it a chance.
It took me a little while to accept opera for what it is. At first, I couldn't get over how ridiculous most opera plots are. Television soap operas clearly got the "opera" part in "soap opera" from the bizarre and outrageous things that happen in operas. Just last week I saw Richard Wagner's Ring Cycle, a cycle of 4 operas that contain over 15 hours of music. Due to the ambitious scale of it, it is often considered to be the crowning achievement of classical music - it is to classical music what the Sistine Chapel is to visual art. And yeah, despite a few metaphysical references, the plot is silly (a brother and sister falling in love and having children without realizing that they are siblings; a dwarf that turns into a dragon; a man who speaks to a bird and understands what it says back to him
, and so on). But if you pay close attention to the music and (especially) the singing in opera, it can be an immensely rewarding experience. And I've never felt that as much as during the Ring Cycle I saw last week. Wagner's music isn't always easy to get into. It's slow and intricate. I once read a funny comment from someone saying that in Wagner's operas, there's 30 minutes of nothing happening, and then suddenly you're woken up by a climax, only for it to be followed by another 30 minutes of not much happening. But I think that's unfair (and that's certainly not what most opera fans think). Wagner's music may not be particularly melodic, but there is a lot
going on underneath the surface. It was the first time I experienced a whole Ring Cycle performed within a week, and I fully expected that I would take a look at my watch after 3 hours or so of each opera, but I didnt. The build-up to a climax is fantastic (and worth the wait) in each of the four operas, but especially in the last one. Focusing on musical substance instead of plot - I think that's the best approach to opera for someone who is after more than spectacle.
I have a thing for soprano and mezzo-suprano voices. So when not 1 nor 2 but 8(!) of them appeared on stage to sing "Ride of the Valkyries", the most famous piece from the second opera, Die Walküre
, I was the guy who looked deliriously happy in the audience. Here
is a popular recent performance of "Ride of the Valkyries" at the Met in New York.
PS: I also saw Tindersticks and Sturgill Simpson recently. Both were excellent and worth seeing if they happen to be in your area at some point in the near future.
Let's make this a good year.