Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Or As The Italians Say, "Cenerentola"

My decision to accompany my son on his field trip to the opera this week was based on two main factors; one, since this is his final year of elementary school this would probably be my last opportunity to chaperone a field trip.  To dwell excessively on this reality tends to trigger overeating so I will leave it at that.  Secondly, I have never been to an opera.  I’ve had my picture taken on a camel, dodged cars on a busy road led by a crazy Greek, danced with friends in a gay bar, and fallen asleep in a Physical Science class during a scintillating dissertation on the composition of tomatoes, but I have never been to an opera.  Good news:  I can scratch that off my list now.  More good news!  Now I never have to go again.

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.

9 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Wow, your school is very cultured! I've never been either. Unless there is some hair pulling and overall trashiness, I don't like to do cultured things.

Thelissa said...

Well now see, I can just cross that off my list too. I'm just going to consider that you went on my behalf and I didn't like it either. And since I only own a few books at best, refuse to wear tweed and certainly don't smoke, I think I'm safe that we would agree on this conclusion:).

JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

Yeah. I like to pretend...but I'm not really all that cultured. My proof? I realized I hate jazz.

Patty Ann said...

I think you need to see one that is a little more famous and a little easier on your abilities. I have seen a few, some I like and some I do not. It just depends on the music and the actors and the story. I actually prefer musicals and plays to opera, but I have gone and actually managed to enjoy it. I think it is an acquired taste.

Garden of Egan said...

I think I would agree with you.
I'm not cultured enough to like opera.
I kinda laughed when you mentioned that you were afraid someone's lung was going to heave out of their chest.
I just don't appreciate the beauty I guess.

Adele said...

Opera isn't even ON my list - yuk - (and I'm not completely unaware - have seen enough in movies/tv that I get what it's about, and really just think being there in person would do nothing to improve the experience, just the opposite - pretty sure being trapped in the room and being that close to the "action" would be a form of torture!) but hey, if you need some help with that time travel thing and Lady Gaga, I'm so in - just THINK of the laughs that would be! Love it!

Chuck said...

I don't own any tweed but I did see Cinderella on opening night and quite enjoyed myself. Maybe my experience was enhanced by the fact that my eyesight is poor enough I couldn't see any spit flying. At least it had a happy ending. There are a lot of operas that end with someone dying of tuberculosis and they sing a lot before they finally expire. Those kind of get to me.

Mom of Three said...

My first and only was on a blind date with Tim. We spent the entire time talking and had a great date. What the opera was about, I have no idea. It was nice background music to our quiet conversation though :)

Jennifer said...

I'm not a big fan of opera, but my son had to watch Phantom of the Opera for a Young Men activity and he liked it. So we watched it as a family and BONUS who knew Gerard Butler could sing! I really liked it.