Monday, March 26, 2007

A day at the opera

On Saturday we went all highbrow and took in the live broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera at the Regal Stonecrest movie theater. That day's offering was "The Barber of Seville," which was perfect for me -- I already knew the music from one of the greatest short films in history.

As a guy who watches way too much sports (especially during the NCAA tournament), I could not recommend the opera more highly. It's ESPN Classic with violins.

The opera itself is the musical version of the NBA slam dunk contest. One insanely talented star takes a solo, then there's some shuffling around, then another insanely talented star tries to top it. The plot is just there to mark time between the solos. I kept expecting the screen to show judges' scores after every aria -- "Well, the soprano gets a 9.5 for expression, but only an 8 for technical skill..."

They even do the intermission like a halftime show -- previews of upcoming shows, backstage interviews with the stars. (The opera is set in Spain, sung in Italian, and the guy who played Figaro was from Sweden. It's a small world.)

But my main overall impression was this: Outsized characters, big conflicts, tight-fitting costumes and lots of yelling.

Now it all makes sense.

Opera is the high-class version of professional wrestling.

Too bad Ric Flair can't sing. Then again, I doubt Pavarotti could get out of the figure-four leglock.

One last thing: I counted at least seven times when cell phones went off in the theater. If we'd actually been at the Met, I suspect ushers would have calmly removed the offenders from the audience and quietly thrown them down the back stairs.

But can that many people be that forgetful? And if you're not a doctor, or if your daughter is not on a date at that very moment with a member of a biker gang, is there any reason to keep your cell phone on in the theater? I had no idea there were so many important people in this town.


Anonymous said...

Glad you liked it, Tommy! I've seen an opera there ("The Last Emperor") and there was something cool about watching an opera in sweats. I also think we get a better deal than the people who are actually at the Met. What a view!

Anonymous said...

I worked for Opera Carolina for 5 seasons as an electrician and actually have juggled in a couple of productions. I always made the connection between opera and wrestling. I referred to wrestling as "Blue Collar Opera". Funny that you made the same connection. Love your writing. Keep it up... Steve

Anonymous said...

Maybe gang ordered hit. Shot from behind. No murder weapon. Others involved. Come-on. There is info out there you either don't have or can't report.