Monday, January 25, 2010

A Night At The Opera

This time I was able to hold my homicidal tendencies in check.

You'll be thrilled to know I did not have a near psychotic break at the Lyric Opera last week.

I blame Puccini's Madame Butterfly.

For a person who is already pissed that she had to pay good money to see the female lead in the opera die, Madame Butterfly was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Anyone who has seen Madame Butterfly will confirm that it's impact could be a little intense for a first timer.

I dare you to add gimpy, menstrual, single and over 40 to the mix.

I'm surprised I wasn't putting together my sniper rifle in the dress circle.

But for this Puccini opera, things went much better.

As a matter of fact, you'll also be pleased to know that despite the fact that the heroine dies at the end, I really didn't have a problem with that.

But I digress.

Last week's offering was the moving Tosca.

Tragic story. Beautiful music. All the elements you come to expect from the master.

Knowing my abhorrence for the female protagonist dying, my opera buddy warned me that it wasn't going to end well for the prima donna.

"But not in the way you expect." He said.

"Let me guess, she kills herself." I replied.

He complemented me for my perceptiveness.

"Duh." "How else is she supposed to die in an unexpected way?"

Luckily the Lyric not only has English subtitles but an awesome program that steps you through the story of the opera.

So I usually go through the program and take a look before the lights go down.

It was all pretty standard stuff.

Jealousy, political prisoners, deception, love, passion.

And lust---lots of lust.

But here's the thing that chapped my hide, Scarpia---the bad guy---toally played Tosca the heroine.

For a saucy broad like Tosca, you would think that she would know the reputation of a player like Scarpia in Rome in 1800's.

They ran in the same social circles. How difficult would it have been to pick up on what a dog he was before she listened to anything he was dropping in her ear about her boyfriend.

That Tosca was a jealous one.

Furthermore, why would you ever listen to a guy who has to announce his importance to everyone by wearing a sash AND a cape.

One or the other would have been sufficient.

That's like the rich guy who wears the bespoke suit, drives the Bentley AND flashes the Amex Centurion. One of the three is enough to let us know we clearly aren't in the same tax bracket.

So just like a guy who must wear either his money or station on his sleeve, naturally he had designs on Tosca's goods.

He threatened her boyfriend with bodily harm so she would beg him to save his life

Scarpia wanted her honey pot. He's a low life, that's what they do.

Because Tosca's jealousy boxed her in a corner (she also unknowingly led soldiers to her boyfriend's hiding place), she did what desperate people tend to do when they're in a tight spot, she acted rashly.

And when I say rashly I mean she stabbed a fool.

And when I say fool I mean Scarpia.

So the die was cast. The table had been set. We all knew how this was going to end.

The boyfriend was killed, Tosca was devastated.

Her murderous ways are discovered and she's literally cornered.

Except she wasn't going down easy.

Instead of being taken alive she does an operatic "Top of the world, Ma" and throws herself from the castle rampart.

I would too if I just got played by a guy in a sash AND a cape.

1 comment:

Sara's Mom said...

Lyletta -Beth here from LFC. Just read your blog and know that Tom M. would have loved to read this, if he were still with us. Glad to see that you've still got the same spunk.
I can't help but think you're doing a lot of good for others with less voice.
Keep it up!