Posts

Showing posts from September, 2015

Imagine If You Will...

Imagine if you will a bedridden girl, dying of tuberculosis. Her short breathy phrases are continually interrupted by fits of coughing. She is small, frail, and a two-hundred pound soprano. The orchestra surges, and she launches into a five-minute aria, seemingly unaware of the fact that her lungs ought to be filled with dust by now.

This is the sort of thing we take for granted in opera, and when your primary mode of storytelling is singing your lungs out in a foreign language, there's a lot you have to take for granted. The moment you step into an opera house, have to suspend your disbelief just enough to believe that a whole village of people can sing the same thing at the same time, that they can all launch into spontaneous dance, that they all share the exact same opinion about the leading players, that the leading players can waste ten minutes soliloquizing in song while the chorus just stands there and listens, and on and on and on and on and on. Our fifty-year old Pavarott…