The Opera


Yeah, shut up. So, I went to the opera. That doesn’t make me a Sally. It doesn’t mean I’m going to skip town with my pilates instructor or go out and buy a VW Beetle. I don’t all of a sudden have posters of Julie Andrews on my wall or have an urge to drink white wine spritzers and chow down toast points.

Fine, so I liked it. I liked the singing and the pirates and the women in the bright skirts. I liked all that shit. I was boogying in my seat. I was ready to chuck it all, take voice lessons, balloon up to 350 pounds, grow a scraggly beard and dedicate my life to bellowing in French to a bunch of people holding those little binoculars.

Okay, let’s not go overboard here. I went to see Carmen at the New York City Opera. It’s kind of the equivalent of ordering pad Thai, buying a Honda Accord, or rooting for Tiger Woods. It’s the easiest opera to swallow. It’s the beginner’s beginning. It’s a sucker’s bet.

carmen ticket

How could I resist the theme from The Bad News Bears? You know, the one they play as the BNB start to win–that rousing, soaring anthem? Turns out it’s actually about a toreador. Who knew? Then there’s that other song that has been bastardized by every commercial on Earth. In fact, Pepsi is using it for their latest Beyonce ad.

Honestly, I felt a little bit like a fraud, as the translation scrolled above the stage. It felt like opera for dummies, or the kid’s religious services where they played guitar and sung about the battle of Jericho, while the adults were in a different chapel reading the real stuff. Apparently the NYCO is the ghetto opera in NYC, while the Met is the place where the true patrons take in their culture. In fact, like the low-rent opera that it is (if there is really such a thing), a fight broke out in the upper decks right in the middle of act one. This guy stood up and started screaming at someone. The whole house turned around to check it out. It was pretty weird, really. It was as if we went for a night of culture and an Eagles game broke out.

So, if you see me on the street, please don’t take my lunch money.