We saw Cinderella. I thought this would prove helpful - I already knew this story so it would make it easier to follow along in Italian. Also on my side was my experience with Spanish, which parallels Italian so if someone were to drop a, “si!” or a, “no!” I would totally know what they were saying and have a leg up on everyone else. (Did I just say I’m trying to get “a leg up” on a mezzanine full of elementary schoolers? Not to worry, getting a life is on my list of things to do after seeing an opera so I can get to that next.) As it was, however, a gentleman came on stage to make some clarifications before the show began.
“In this particular interpretation, there will not be a stepmother, but a stepfather.”
Whatever, I can roll with that.
“And instead of a fairy godmother there will be a dude in a grey suit with no personality who doesn’t even sing ‘Bippidy-Boppidy-Boo’.” (Or something like that.)
No fairy godmother? What’s next, no glass slipper?
“And instead of a glass slipper the Prince will have to find Cinderella by trying to match a bracelet.”
This was getting out of hand.
The emcee further explained that at the time this opera was written it was considered scandalous for a woman to show her ankles, so they used a bracelet. Right then and there I vowed that if I ever mastered time travel my first order of business would be taking Lady Gaga to the opera in Italy in 1817. Just for kicks.
Alas, I did not love this experience. It’s not that the singers weren’t talented, it’s just that their chests were heaving with so much exertion that I kept waiting for a lung to fly out of someone’s mouth and hit me in the face and I had a hard time getting excited about that. Adding to my disappointment, Cinderella and the Prince never even indulged in a reasonable kiss – they just stood there holding hands across from each other and belted out words like “bellisima” and “amore” while spit flew everywhere. Is that any way to tell your soul mate you love them? Like the Italians say, “No!” (Now I’m just showing off.)
At any rate, I concluded that the opera and I were not meant to be together. It’s okay if you don’t agree with me, but if you DO disagree I suspect you also have more books than the library of congress, wear tweed on the weekends and smoke a lot of cigars. Am I wrong? No matter, at least I’ve crossed it off my list. But if I ever have to choose a do-over, I’m picking the photo op on the camel – hands down.