November 19, 2006

An afternoon at the opera.

In the lobby, waiting for "Rigoletto":

Overture Center

8 comments:

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I'm seeing a pattern.

Theo Boehm said...

So that's where those pictures came from. A pattern indeed.

Ann, I'm pleasantly surprised you went to the opera! I never thought you paid the slightest attention to that sort of thing. You've always blogged about popular music.

Rigoletto is not exactly light entertainment, and if you're not much of an opera fan, it can seem a little over the top. If you want to know Verdi, though, it's one of the essentials, along with La traviata and Aida. When you've got through those, you're ready to move on to Otello and, if you're really ready, his last work, Falstaff. A detour back through Verdi's earlier works, such as Nabucco, can be rewarding as well.

Jeez! This is turning into Theo's Guide to the Opera, but seeing as the is the first time that I'm aware of that anything to do with classical music has been posted on this blog, I've got to enthuse!

Anyway, as a composer Verdi can be fairly crude technically, but he has a tremendous feel for drama. When well-produced, there is an al fresco quality to his work. His dramas are done in bold strokes and primary colors. They can seem a little overwrought to modern audiences (Gilda! mia Gilda! è morta!.. Ah! la maledizione!!), but they are worth sticking with to discover their beauties. Aida, in particular, is one of the most satisfying of all operas. Not a profound work like Don Giovanni, but great entertainment in the best sense.

To bring this back to the usual topics around here, there are a couple of lines from the first act of Rigoletto that many a lobbyist must have asked about Members of Congress:

E quanto spendere
Per un signor dovrei?


And, of course, the Kos types are saying this about Hillary Clinton:

La donna è mobile
qual piuma al vento,
muta d'accento e di pensiero.

Ann Althouse said...

Theo: I've seen many operas, but never "Rigoletto," which I've listened to in recorded form (highlights only) many times. It's got some snazzy songs -- not to mention a wacky sex theme. Dad's really into his daughter's virginity! He doesn't want her to get into the sack with anyone, so she ends up in the sack alone. What a hilarious visual pun!

S.T. Steiner said...

Our buildings here in Germany are so old, which is at times charming, that I am not used to the new type of architecture, present in your photo.

La Traviata is great!

Theo - Interesting imagery.

Dave said...

I can't tell you how much I hate opera.

rightwingprof said...

Ah, I've been there. Several times.

Maxine Weiss said...

Tosca = Cats screaming in the night

dick said...

Dave,

Then don't!!