So like Tristan said, it's been an eternity since any updates appeared on this site (especially from yours truly but in my defense, I was prepping for an entire LIFE SHIFT SO STEP OFF KINDLY), but apparently it's back... and I have a few tidbits to mention.
So I've been away at college for the past year, and it's an entirely different world. Completely. Different people, different social constructs, different ways of seeing the world. And so I'd like to share a bit I've learned.
First off, I know the main function of this blog is to first and foremost discuss the deep intricacies of theater and how it's viewed... but there was one I never planned on. And that... was opera.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Rotund women in horned hats and deep-voiced men singing about Figaro, right?
|This is Joyce DiDonato. She's better than you.|
(Yes, her hair is almost always flowing like that.)
So I used to be tied to the same notions as many who still consider opera to be a rather dull affair; that we'd be stuck hearing the same tunes over and over again in tired outfits by people who just didn't know when to stop. But as one who's been studying the ins and outs of opera for the past year (and who shall continue to do so in the years to come), I can say one thing: we've lost our appreciation for this art form.
Consider this: Two men are discussing life with their friend, when a hypothesis is thrown down: women will not be faithful if their men are not around. So what do they do to test it? Each leave their partners and dress up in costumes to trick the other's girl into falling in love with him. Sound like a movie plot headed for the summer of 2013?
Nope. It's Mozart's Cosí Fan Tutte.
|In the words of Miranda Sings, "So... gotcha."|
Okay, well, I guess that makes sense. What if I told you there was a story with a grand party happening, and the host, instead of merely guiding the entertainment himself, invites two completely different types of entertainers to his party and demand that they both perform at the same time? Makings of a Broadway musical?
Rather, Ariadne Auf Naxos by Richard Strauss.
|Also, they're clowns. Burlesque clowns. |
Strauss, you bucket of crazy.
Modern opera has gotten an enormous facelift. Gone are the days where you must dress in period clothes, else Puccini will come and break your face. (Puccini? La Boheme? Precursor to Rent? Okay, okay.) But it's become more and more popular to change and alter the landscape where certain operas are set. You want Semele in the 1950's, where Semele herself is Marilyn Monroe? Done. How about a production of Cosí Fan Tutte in the '20s that would make F. Scott proud? Okay. The Queen of the Night aria done... with goats?
Well, I mean...
It's an opera. ;)
But you get my point. This entire year has been an awakening for me to modern opera, and it's an exciting time to get involved. So next time someone makes a crack about horned helmets and Figaro being the only remnants of a tattered past... slap them for me. ;)
Also, remember Pirates of Penzance?
|Well. Aren't we snazzy.|
It's an opera. ;)
(For more information than I can give you about current opera shenanigans, I suggest visiting here! Buzzfeed does a very nice job of explaining what I cannot.)