Night at the Opera #6: Madama Butterfly

Last night I went to the opera for the first time in quite some time.  For some reason I fell off going and I have no idea.  I went to see Madama Butterfly at the Kennedy Center.  I couldn’t get tickets to one of the regular showing so I had to go to the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist presentation.  The young artists are basically singers who are very junior in their career.

Unfortunately, I had the worst seat in the house.  I was way in the back under this overhang where I couldn’t see the supertitles.  It’s not really that bad because I know the story but sometimes you miss some nuances because you don’t have the script along with it.  I was also next to the most ghetto set of people I’ve ever seen in my life.  Usually there aren’t too many black people in the audience, but you do see some.  Black people appreciate opera too, and it was obvious in these two hood chicks.  I guess this is a lesson to me not to judge people because I would have never thought these two trashy, loud talking hoodrats would be into opera.  One lady had her shoes off and she was massaging her feet the whole show.  It was aggravating.  She was also texting.  That’s just rude.  I would go into some of her conversation (she was so loud I could not help but to overhear) but the point of this post is to talk about the show.

The show itself was mediocre, at least the first half was.  I was unimpressed by the staging.  I expected something far more elaborate.  I fear opera going is dying off and the budget for its presentation and upkeep are strained just like everything else.  Despite its simplicity I still got a deep impression of Japan and that made me very sad, especially since the conductor said a few words about the disaster and then played the Japanese national anthem.  Of course, I am not Japanese, but I grew up there.  I cannot go around saying I’m from Japan when I am obviously not Japanese, but I’m from Japan.  I spent all my childhood years there.  I get so sad just thinking about what has happened.

As mentioned before, Young Artists are those that are new in their careers, so they don’t have quite that polishing that more mature performers have.  In the beginning, the young soprano Sarah Mesko failed to move me.  She sounded shrill and breathless most of the time.  I think, though, after the first act someone must have taken her backstage and slapped her around a little bit because she sounded much stronger in the second and third act.

For those that are unfamiliar with the story of Madama Butterfly, it is a depressing tale about a woman who loves a man who doesn’t love her back.  This is an Italian opera by Giacomo Puccini who was a master at tragedies.

Beautiful Cio-Cio-san (which means Butterfly) has attracted the attentions of Pinkerton, an American lieutenant stationed in Nagasaki, Japan.  He marries her but in his mind he is already thinking that it won’t be permanent.  He needs something to amuse him while he’s in Japan.  Of course he does not tell this to Butterfly.  She’s like the typical woman, all excited about her wedding and thinks it’s gonna be happily ever after.  She prepares for her new life with her husband by renouncing her religion and vowing to become as American as possible.  She doesn’t want to be called Madama Butterfly, but Mrs. Pinkerton.  Naturally, when a woman gives up her old life someone is bound to be pissed.  Her uncle Bonze comes to the wedding and curses her for giving up the old ways in favour of this American.

Called away for duty, Pinkerton leaves Japan and is gone for three years.  Butterfly is waiting patiently like nothing serious is wrong.  In those days polite Japanese women did not work and the money Pinkerton had left her is slowly dwindling away.  Suzuki, Buttefly’s maid tells her that perhaps she should get some occupation but Butterfly just knows that Pinkerton is going to come back and save them all.  Everyone is talking behind her back.  They think that Pinkerton has deserted her.  A handsome prince begins to court Butterfly, but she refuses him.  Pinkerton’s friend Sharpless is like, “Butterfly, really, I don’t think Pinkerton is coming back.”  He reads her a letter that suggests that this is true.  Butterfly is shocked.  “He’s forgotten me?  He’s forgotten our son?”  Sharpless can’t even finish the letter because Butterfly is so depressed.

A little while later, a cannon shot announces the return of Pinkerton’s ship.  Butterfly just knows that once Pinkerton hears of his son (he left before he was born) he will return to her.  She gets all dressed up, dresses her son up and then goes to stand by the door to await him.  She stood there all afternoon, all evening and all night and into the morning waiting for him and he never showed up.  Later on, he does show up–with his new wife.  Butterfly is devastated.  Pinkerton is actually quite sorry that he has hurt Butterfly but he has a new life, and he wants to take his son with him.  Butterfly realises there is no point in trying to reason with him.  He will give the boy a better life than she ever could.  She agrees to give up her son if he will come back in 30 minutes.  While he is gone, Butterfly prepares to kill herself.  She sings to her son and tells him not to forget her.   Just as Pinkerton is coming back, Butterfly stabs herself and dies.

Like I said, Puccini is a master of tragedy.  His best operas are the ones where someone dies at the end.

I think this is the end of the season for me.  There was nothing else that I was particularly interested in seeing.  Unless I can get some cheap tickets to something else, I’ll probably wait until the 2011-2012 season before going back.

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Night at the Opera #5: Carmen

…if I can’t have you, no one can…

Carmen is a hot young gypsy woman who learns the hard way what happens when you play with a man’s heart.  She works in a cigarrette factory in mid 19th century, I want to say Spain, but I can’t remember now.

Anyway, she’s really attractive; all the men are after her and all the women want to be her.  She is the type of woman that is pretty much going to do whatever the fuck she wants, and one day her and all her friends bank another girl at the cigarrette factory.  Naturally, the owner got pissed and called the cops.  He was like, “You got to get this bitch outta here, startin’ fights and shit.” 

This is how she meets Jose, the young and shy police officer.  Jose comes to arrest her, and Carmen is like, “Look, I ain’t really tryin to go to jail, so if you let me go, I’ll do something for you.”  She sings this song, getting all seductive and Jose falls for it.  When the captain comes to take her to jail, Carmen escapes.  The captain is like, “I know you didn’t just let that hoe escape,” and Jose can’t lie so the captain puts him in jail for 2 months.

The whole time he is in jail, he is obsessed with Carmen.  He cannot stop thinking about her.  Meanwhile, this hoe has shacked up with someone else, a hot bullfighter named Escamillo.  They’re laid up while Jose is in jail going crazy over Carmen.

Two months later, he gets out and he goes to look for her.  When he finds her, Carmen is like, “Oh, hey, Jose, you’re out of jail.  That’s cool.”  He tells her that he is madly in love with her, and she tells him that he just thinks he’s in love.  They go back and forth until his captain shows up looking for Carmen.  Jose is like, “What the fuck is he doing here?”  Carmen tried to tell him.  But Jose got pissed and tried to fight the captain.  All the gypsies had to bomb on his ass, and then everybody had to go and hide because the captain threatened to put them all in jail.

So for like a couple of months, Jose and Carmen were living together, but it’s just like anything, when two people get together who really shouldn’t be together.  They were fighting all the time, screaming at each other and Carmen didn’t really want to be with him. 

So meanwhile, there’s this chick Michaela.  She was Jose’s old girlfriend, and all this time she was still in love with him, but for some reason they didn’t stay together.  She visited him in jail, and she didn’t understand why he was so obsessed with Carmen, but who was she to say anything.  Anyway, she goes to find Jose because his mother is on her deathbed and wanted him at her side. 

At the same time Escamillo came to get Carmen.  He was like, “Yeah, I got a big bullfight coming up and I want you to be there.”  Jose, naturally, got pissed because the other guy was there and they started fighting.  Everybody is screaming and carrying on and finally Carmen is like, “Enough!  Jose, it’s over.  It was cool but you got to go.” 

Jose was practically begging but Michaela came and told him about his mother.  He said to Carmen, “I have to go be with my mother but this is not over.”

Carmen was like, “Yeah, bitch, it is.”

Jose goes with Michaela to his mother’s house, and Carmen goes with Escamillo.

While he was with his mother, he kept hearing about Carmen with Escamillo and it was driving him crazy.  When the mother finally died, he was able to leave and go find her.  He finds her the night of the bullfight after Escamillo has won.  They’re having a big party and Jose finds her alone.  Once again he tells her that he is madly in love with her, and she is like, ‘You’ll get over it.’  They go back and forth, back and forth and finally Carmen tries to walk out on him.

Jose says, “Bitch, you ain’t going nowhere.”  She’s like, “Whatever.”  When she tried to leave, he pulls her back.  He says, “If I cannot have you, no one can.”  He pulls out a knife and she says, “You ain’t ’bout to stab me.”  He says, “Watch me.”  He tried to stab her but couldn’t quite go through with it.  She laughs in his face.  “See, you don’t even have the balls.”  Once again, she tries to walk away but he catches her and stabs her repeatedly, until she dies.

That’s why you can’t be messing with men’s hearts like that.  After awhile, they just go crazy.

Anyway, the story of Carmen is really good but the opera production was terrible.  For a start, it was just too damn long.  Three miserable hours with two long intermissions.  I’m not really trying to be anywhere for 4 hours.  Then I had really crappy seats.  I couldn’t see because of these tall ass Swedish people in front of me!  They kept moving around, so every time I adjusted so I could try to see, they would get in my way.  It was driving me crazy.

Then the ghetto couple behind me.  You know how back in the day when you would go to church with your parents, and there would always be the token black lady with the cheap ass wig she’s been wearing since Martin Luther King marched on Washington?  You know, the lady with a big ass pocketbook full of crap and a fur coat made of mangled animal hair?

Well that lady was sitting behind me last night.  She was eating something during the performance that smelled like old cheese.  Then during the second act, when she was done eating her breath smelled like a small animal had crawled into her mouth and gotten trapped, then died.  Every time she breathed, I wanted to gag and the lady next to me noticed it too! 

Then I was sitting in the middle of the  Columbian Druglord Wives Club.  These six wealthy ass Spanish women came, dripping in diamonds, gold and fur.  I felt like Little Orphan Annie in a hand me down leather jacket and cheap suede boots next to these women who were wearing mink and chinchilla.  But they were really, really nice. 

I’m going to have to say that other people didn’t think the performance was that great either because after the second act, nobody in my row came back.  The Columbian Druglord Wives all left, as did the Argentinan couple that was down on the end.  In the row in front of me about 4 people didn’t come back, so when the lights went down everybody was playing musical chairs.  I thought I was going to get a chance to see better but the tall ass Swedish people moved, so there went that.  At least I didn’t have to sit in front of toxic waste breath.

One reason for me not really liking Carmen is the lack of an aria for her.  She has songs with everybody, but none really on her own.  Also, the role is written for a mezzosoprano, not the really high coloratura voice which I prefer.  I also don’t like Spanish themes and the fact that the men looked like Saddam Hussein. 

It wasn’t precisely terrible, the last act, the dramatic death scene was the best, but you had to sit through all that other bullshit before it.

Ironically, though, this is the opera they suggest for people who have never been to one before.  This one and Madam Butterfly.  I think it’s because these are easy to undersatnd, even if you don’t speak Italian or French.  I don’t know.  They get a C+.

Night at the Opera #4: La Traviata

This year, since I’m only partly a penniless waif, I treated myself to season tickets to the Washington Metropolitan Opera.  I felt a little bit like City Mouse, Country Mouse now that I actually get to sit down instead of standing the entire performance like I did last year.  It’s a whole different perspective when you don’t have to stand for 3 hours.

I never really knew the entire story of La Traviata.  I had heard a couple of the instrumentals on these complilation CDs I used to buy as a teenager.  When I bought my season tickets, I couldn’t decide on a third one, so La Traviata was kind of the operator’s choice because I think she was getting tired of my wishy-washiness.

At any rate, I like to get there early so I can sit on the opera house steps and watch people.  I enjoy observing because you learn so much about the human dynamic when you sit still and say nothing.  It’s mostly older people that go to the opera anymore.  Washington Metropolitan Opera has this new thing new called Generation O, designed for young opera goers, to get young people interested.  The way it’s going now, once all these baby boomers die off, the opera might die with it.  And you can kind of tell the culture is fading away.  Opera used to be a thing where you dress up in your most glamorous couture and afterwards, treat yourself to an extravagant nightcap at the local hotspot.

These days, people show up dressed like anything:  jeans, flip flops, whatever.  Most opera houses used to have dress codes, but they want to keep the seats filled so they fell lax on the rules.  It’s just as well.  Really, when you think about it, it’s a three hour live movie.  Nobody goes to the movies in their prom dress.

The soprano left much to be desired in the first act.  Her voice was shrill and scratchy.  She did not have a clear voice.  Sometimes the string section overpowered her, and I couldn’t hear her.  The tenor was superb, his voice passionate and strong.  A well-sung opera makes you wish you were the soprano and makes you fall in love with the tenor.  I was in love with him, but she was getting on my nerves.  At one point, she was so flat that my ears hurt.

At the second act, she came out much stronger, almost as if they switched sopranos when the curtain fell.  She improved as the act wore on, and by the third act she was actually believable.  The scenery of the second act was magnificent, however.  It was like some tawdry bordello of crimson velour, but I loved it.  So scandalous.  It was over the top, but then again, everything was.  The death scene with the grim reaper prowling around in the background?  Corny and it made a few members of the audience laugh.

The story of La Traviata is about a beautiful high class woman of the night.  A young wealthy man falls madly in love with her and convinces her to leave her life of luxe prostitution to live with him in the countryside.  They do so and everything is all fun and games until his sister wants to get married to some nobleman who would choke on his porridge if he knew his bride’s brother was living in sin with a courtesan.  The young man’s father appeals to the demimondaine, begging her to let him go so that the family can regain respectability.

She agrees, but only because she is so in love with him but she makes the father promise that one day, after she is dead, that he will tell his son the truth about why she left.  She writes a letter to her lover, tells him she is leaving to go be with another man.  He’s all heartbroken and she’s devastated, meanwhile, dying of some disease (why do they all have a disease?). 

Months later, he can’t take it anymore and returns only to find her on her deathbed.  He professes his undying love for her and she tells him that she is in love with him too.  Then the father busts into the room, and realises what a grievous error he has made in keeping these two tragically romantic people apart.  She dies; he cries.  The end.

I guess I am a romantic deep down inside my bitter, black heart.  Or maybe it’s the fact that nobody ever wins in a tragic opera.  Either the woman dies, or the man dies, or they both die, but they never end up being together. 

I guess that’s the way of the world.

Night at the Opera #3: Rigoletto

Last night, I went to the Kennedy Centre to see Verdi’s Rigoletto.  I rather enjoyed the show.  Yeah, I know a lot of you guys are like… opera?  Ugh.  But for real, give it a try.  You just might like it.  I know you are like, but they are singing in another language.  If you go to a simple opera, you won’t even need to know what they are saying.  In any event, there are supertitles (subtitles at the top).  Simple operas have very simple stories.  A dummy could figure out what is going on just by watching.  There are more complex, esoteric operas that leave you feeling like, “huh…” at the end.  I haven’t graduated to those type yet.  I prefer the Italian operas.  Most of the Italian operas are tragedies; usually, there’s all this drama and someone dies.  There are comedic operas, but sense I do not have a sense of humour, I like the death scenes.

Rigoletto is a tragic Italian opera.

The Basic Story
Rigoletto is an ugly, deformed man who works for the Duke of Mantua.  The Duke of Mantua is very rich and very handsome, and he loves women.  He doesn’t care who the girl is, if it’s his best friend’s wife or his daughter, he wants to mess with them.  The Duke tells Rigoletto, I want that girl and Rigoletto goes and gets her for him.

In the beginning of the story, the Duke has seduced the daughter of a man named Monterone.  Rigoletto kidnapped the girl and brought her to the Duke.  The girl wound up killing herself and when Monterone found out, he cursed Rigoletto.

Rigoletto himself had a very beautiful daughter named Gilda.  She was a hard-headed hoe.  Because Rigoletto knew that the Duke was a horny bastard, he told Gilda that she should stay inside and never go out because it wasn’t safe.  Being a teenage girl, she did what she wanted to do.  While Rigoletto was gone, she would sneak out and go down to the church where this cute student worked.  Turns out, the student was actually the Duke in disguise.  Gilda thinks she is in love with him because he’s so handsome and he’s telling her that she is beautiful and that he’s going to marry her.  Really, he just wants to get some.

Rigoletto is pretty much the Duke’s best friend and his other friends are jealous.  They start spying on Rigoletto and they find out about his daughter, but mistakenly they think Gilda is his mistress.  They plot to kidnap her.  They trick Rigoletto into thinking they are kidnapping another girl, and this dummy winds up kidnapping his own child and giving her to the Duke.

The Duke reveals his true character by raping her and humiliating her, basically telling her that he wasn’t really trying to be in love with her or marry her ass.  She feels bad and her father rescues her.  Rigoletto now understands how he was cursed by Monterone.  Remember, the same thing happened to Monterone’s daughter.

So Rigoletto tells Gilda, “See, he never loved you.  That’s why I wanted you to stay inside.”  Gilda is all depressed and Rigoletto hires a man to kill the Duke.  The plan was to get the man’s sister to seduce him and then the man would kill, wrap him up in some sheets and Rigoletto would throw him in the river.  He tells Gilda to dress up like a boy and go to Verona.  They couldn’t live in their town anymore.

Once again, hard-headed ass Gilda finds out about the plot to kill the Duke.  For some strange reason, after he raped her, she is still in love with him.  Even though she overhears the Duke telling the man’s sister how much he loves her… just so he can get some.  Gilda is like.. should I obey my father or save my lover?

What does this hoe do?  She saves her lover.  She goes to the killer’s house and they wind up killing her instead.  She was dressed like a boy so they didn’t really recognise the difference.  They wrap her up in sheets and leave the body for Rigoletto to throw in the river.  Rigoletto picks up the body but he hears the Duke’s voice.  He’s like, “Wait a minute, I thought ya’ll killed him?”  If he’s alive, then who the fuck is this?  He opens up the sheets and finds Gilda, pretty much dead.

He starts freaking out and he’s like, “Why did you do this?” and she’s like, “Because I love him.”  Aww, so sad.  She dies.  Rigoletto goes crazy, never to be heard from again.

The end.

Naturally, I have heard this opera 50 million times.  But also, like I said there are supertitles to translate and on top of that the libretto (the story) of the opera is written in the playbill that you get before the show starts.  It’s not like you will be sitting there not having a clue what is going on.

Some people don’t like the singing, and that’s cool.  I very much enjoy operatic singing, but I also like the brilliance of an excellently crafted set.  Whoever created these sets for this particular opera… it was amazing.  The first scene when they were in the palace, all the colours were real bright.  The costumes were just great.  Then the final scene when they were at the killer’s house, the background was a real Italian city.  It had depth.  It didn’t look like a big sheet that’s been painted on.

And then the acting.  The best singers are also brilliant actors.  If the singing doesn’t stir you, the acting will.  When Gilda is singing to her maid about how she is in love with the “poor student” it is like she really is in love and you can feel it.  Then when she dies in the end and Rigoletto is all depressed, you feel bad for him.  They aren’t just standing there singing at the top of their lungs.

I don’t know.  I guess it’s just me.

I enjoyed it even though the Kool-Aid Man and the Unsinkable Molly Brown next to me were talking during the whole first act.  I had to cuss them out because they wouldn’t shut up.

I got there a little late.  Usually I arrive about 45 minutes early because I like to sit on the steps of the opera house and people watch.  Back in the day, going to the opera used to be an event.  You had to get all dressed up in evening attire.  Women would come out in their couture evening gowns and the men were usually in suits or tuxes.  Nowadays, you can come like anything.  One girl was there in jeans and her boyfriend had on flip flops.

I always dress up.  I don’t own an evening gown, but I do put on a skirt and heels.  I can’t go anywhere looking like anything.  But there are still plenty of women who dress up.  I saw a lot of beautiful cocktail dresses and evening gowns.  Some women dress up their business casual.  Most of the guys wear slacks and ties.  You can always tell money from the bums.

Of course, there are like 5 black people, mostly women.  I saw 4 black women with husbands/boyfriends/lovers of other races.  One black woman came in with  this bangin’ sequin dress and she was on the arm of rich Japanese guy.  There were no young black people.  Except  me.

I know most black people do not grow up with opera, and so they have no experience of it.  But I find a lot of black people unwilling to step out of their comfort zone and try something new.  Even if you wind up hating it, you could at least try.  Washington National Opera does this thing called Access to Opera.  The tickets are only 25, plus they offer other discounts for students and military.  So you can try it out for cheap and if you like it, buy some real seats and if you hate it, you won’t be out a lot of money.

There were plenty of minorities though, mostly Asians and Indo-Pakistanis.  Most of them were young, like 30 and under.  There were young white people, even white teenagers, and of course, plenty of old ass white people.

I am just moved by the whole set up of opera.  I do like other styles of music, but I do not think any of them can encompass passion, drama and intrigue the way an opera does.  When Whitney Houston sings a song, everyone says she has a great voice and maybe you can relate to that song, but that’s about it.  It doesn’t really stay with you.

When you meet Mimi (a girl from another opera) and you hear her sing of her love for this cute boy she just met, it’s like you fall in love too and when he breaks her heart because he’s a loser… you can get into that because we have all been there, done that.  Most of us don’t kill ourselves or die from some obscure disease, but sometimes we feel that way and in the tragic operas, all those emotions can be displayed in a way that Whitney, Beyonce, Keisha, Mariah or anybody else cannot portray.

At any rate, I’m only planning on seeing one other opera this season.  And that’s a maybe.  I might check out Elektra.  If I remember correctly, she’s a character from Greek or Roman mythology that humped her own father.  Scandalous.

This year, I could only afford the Access to Opera tickets, the $25 ones.  Last night was the first night I got to sit down.  Usually I don’t get there in time to buy the cheap tickets and wind up having to buy the Standing Room Only tickets.  Not fun to stand for like 3 hours.

Next year, I want season tickets because Washington National Opera will be performing my favourite opera TurandotMadama Butterlfy used to be my favourite, but Turandot has overcome.  The story of a beautiful, but cold-hearted bitchy princess who lures men to their death by making them fall in love with her.  The music is spectacular and it’s set in China, and you know I love everything Asian.  Some of the best arias come from Turandot. I can’t wait.  I’ll also see La Traviata and Carmen.  A black singer will play the lead role of Carmen.

I want box seats, but how about premium box seats are $225.  Oh well, but since it will be my birthday, I may just reward myself.

If anybody wants to go…. Yeah right.

Night at the Opera #2: Don Giovanni

I went to see Don Giovanni last night.  It was spectacular.  For all you people that don’t know anything about opera, you just have no idea what you’re missing. 

Sex scandals, adulterous affairs, murder, intrigue.  It’s better than TV.

Before the show, I was sitting on the opera house steps and this old lady joined me.  It’s kind of this thing, before they open the doors, everyone chills on the steps.  It’s mostly old people.  There aren’t that many young opera lovers.  I hope it doesn’t die out.  They have all these programmes trying to entice young people.

That’s what me and the old lady talked about.  She said it was fabulous that a young minority was interested in the arts.  We got to talking about the different things they have to expose people to something different.  That’s how I got into it.  I got turned onto it in school, and ever since then I’ve been a big fan.  I told her that NONE of my friends were into opera.  Either they heard it before and couldn’t stand it, or they didn’t have a clue what it was about and weren’t willing to give it a try.  That’s what irritates me most about people is that they aren’t willing to at least try something.

How can anybody not like Madame Butterfly, the story of an American philanderer who impregnates a 15-year old geisha and abandons her to raise the child alone? 

Turandot?  A vindictive, cold-hearted bitch who destroys all the men who fall in love with her? 

Don Giovanni?  A sex addict who lies to young women to get them into bed.  All the women he ever lied to plot his revenge and he eventually dies a horrible death only to burn in everlasting hell.

Yeah, yeah.  I know the singing and all that, and whatever excuse you can come up with.  To be a lover of opera, you first have to like music and not just ass-shaking rap music or electronic music.  I mean, pure talent.  The things these singers can do with their voices.  Yeah, I love Whitney and Mariah but they don’t have what some of these singers have and that is the ability to really capture an audience to the point of enchantment.  After you hear Mimi profess her undying love for Rodolfo, you want to fall in love too. 

To be a lover of opera, you have to have an imagination.  You have to really be able to understand that a story is being told.  I guess people get too wrapped up in the “they don’t sing in English” thing.  That’s limiting, but I guess it just takes a special person, and maybe that’s why only only old people enjoy it.  Young people are too lazy, and prefer to be spoon fed.  That isn’t a dig.  I like rap music and Mariah Carey and rock music that sometimes doesn’t make any sense. 

But my FAVOURITE music ever is opera, and I think my appreciation for opera and classical music has increased my love for other music.  I am just a music lover all around. 

Anyway… let me get off my soap box.

I was too late to get the $25 seats, and I wound up in the standing room only section.  Yes, you have to stand the entire time, and they are assholes if you even try to kneel down or sneak a seat. 

A woman came in a wheelchair and so one of the ushers moved the chair so she could put her wheelchair there, so I jumped in the seat but the Evil Usher came and took the seat away from me.  The guy who was standing next to me, we both tried to kneel down so we could see the supertitles and she came and made us stand up.

I call her the Evil Usher because every time I’ve been to the Kennedy, she has been there wielding her Evil Usherness around.

I did get lucky though, a couple who actually paid for seats for some reason didn’t want their seats and during the intermission, they gave me a ticket and the other to some other guy who was standing around.  What luck!  So I got to sit down for once.

Washington National Opera won’t perform again until March.  Kirov Opera is coming but they are performing works that might be too much for me.  Otello and Queen of Spades.  Not sure if I’m into that, but Rigoletto is coming in March and I will be there MAD EARLY to get the $25 tickets.  I am not playing.  Rigoletto is not my favourite opera, but the aria that Gilda sings is one of the best arias ever.  I heard a woman named Daniela Lojarro sing it once, and in the end she hits this note that is so amazingly high and so clear it makes Mariah Carey sound like a baritone.

IF ANYBODY WANTS TO GO, COME ON!  Yeah right.  I don’t want to hear the excuses, “I don’t understand,” or “I don’t like all that singing.”  Whatever.  You’re missing out.

One of these days, I am going to treat myself to box centre seats at the Met.  That shit is going to be like $300, and I am going to wear a ball gown and look like some 19th century Victorian babe on her way to the opera house.

Night at the Opera #1: La Boheme

I went to see La Boheme last night.  It was a different take on a popular story,  a more modern approach.  I really enjoyed it, even though I had to stand the whole time. 

By the time the show was over, I had been standing in the same place for about 3 hours, and my knees were stiff.  I could barely walk to my car.

But it was worth it!

Who wants to go with me next month to see Don Giovanni?  No one?  Well, hell with you all then.