The Opera, a Camel, and a Marching Band

I’m home sick today with Bronchitis and I thought the least I could do today was post a blog. Actually, the least I could do is nothing so feel lucky that you’re getting one step above nothing. It’s like a gift.

I went to the opera yesterday afternoon. I might have been the only person there under 70. That’s what I get for going to a matinee. I felt really bad for the woman in front of me. She was like 112 years old. She had to use a cane. And, she had a hunchback that basically had her bent completely over. First, buy that woman a seat on the floor! Not the balcony where she has to climb stairs and then go down narrow, steep stairs without a handrail. What’s wrong with you.

I was a little confused when I saw the orchestra on stage and the chorus up there too. If you don’t know, Aida is a spectacle. There are large choruses with priests and priestesses of the Egyptian Gods. This had none of it. It was Aida…in concert. Ugh. I get it. It’s way cheaper to put on an opera “in concert” than to actually stage an opera. #disappointed

Here’s the thing, if you are going to be “in concert”, then be “in concert”. The singers definitely acted out their parts.

There’s a point in the opera where Radames presents his spoils of war, like you do, and…I’m not joking…they paraded animals on stage. Two camels, which I was hoping would take a huge shit on stage and teach them a lesson. An ass. A baby crocodile which might have been super adorable. A fox of some kind. An owl. And a skunk. They brought the damned zoo down. WTF?

Then, and I hadn’t even realized this would annoy me until it was staring me straight in the face. The OSU marching band had six trumpeters on stage during a scene. Now, look. I get it. I live in Columbus Ohio. I went to OSU…multiple times. My entire life is revolved around OSU but I hadn’t realized how much OSU intruding on my opera experience would bother me until they were up there on stage. I just can’t get away from it.

Having the opera be “in concert” had other implications. Since the symphony was on stage, it had a tendency to drown out the actual singers which almost seemed to defeat the purpose of the opera. I’ll tell you what though, you know who wouldn’t get drowned out. Aida. The woman cast as Aida was not playing second fiddle to anyone and it was impressive. Go get ’em.

Also, can we have a conversation. The opera is the only place where a middle aged man, with a receding hairline, a stocky build and at least six inches shorter than the lead can play the love interest that is supposed to be a young war hero. It’s all based on talent and as refreshing as that is, It’s still distracting…especially when there are no sets or costumes to help sell the fantasy. I’m just saying…

I think the lessen we learn here is to pay closer attention to the event. I’m sure it said “in concert” somewhere, I just have no idea where.

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