Opera Rhymes With Oprah…

If only Oprah were an Opera singer!  I would live at the Opera!  So, my class… Masterpieces of Music requires me to become cultured… which also means that whilst I’m becoming cultured I cannot have wedgies or boogers hanging out the nostril spaces.  That’s just embarrassing right there.  A requirement for the class besides the reading and the listening exercises and the weekly web forum and the lectures and the articles is that I attend 4 high brow concerts throughout the semester and then do a 4-million page report on said experience.  My first required high-brow concert was this past Saturday.  I gotta tell you, I was not looking forward to it.  I’m not a big opera fan.  I’ve been to a few operas in my life… heard many an opera singer… and eh.  I don’t love it.  I think it’s the vibrato that does me in.  I’m all for vibrato, but an opera singer has like a loaded machine gun stuck down in his/her throat space.  And it’s not that I don’t admire/respect the ability it takes to be an opera singer… it’s just not my thing.  Just like wearing a kitty cat pajama top at the age of 33 may not be your thing.

Anyway, when I go to these concerts, I’m taking notes the whole time anyway, so it’s not supposed to be for fun and games!  The production was Madness, Mayhem, and Merriment:  An Evening of Gilbert and Sullivan.  Who is Gilbert and Sullivan you may ask?  Look it up yourself, schmuck… I had to Google it!  😛  They’re dudes who collaborated on something like 14 comedic operas back in the Victorian era, circa 1871 through 1896, which encapsulates the romantic and modern music eras.  Take that professor… I learned that there stuff from Wikipedia aka made up weedia.  The concert was a mish mash of Gilbert and Sullivan songs sung by 3 main vocalists and 5 additional background vocalists.  One of which may or may not have been a creeper.  No offense creeper… I’m sure you are a lovely gentleman.

It was held up on the USU campus at the performance hall, which (as Madre puts it) is acoustically brilliant!  Built so that you get the best possible sound for your moola.

As you can see, this particular concert was just swarming with audience members… SWARMING!  We are totes the culteredest in this valley!  I’m thinking my other classmates are totally slacking on the job.  Wherefore art thou, Romeo-est?  Picture that in my best operatic vocal.

Consensus?  Sadly, it did not make me fall madly in love with all things machine-gun vibrato… nor did it make me run out to buy tickets to the next available opera.  It was enjoyable enough, but I do NOT foresee downloading any songs to my iPOD exercise playlist.

Question of the Day:  Do you enjoy opera music?  Any particular favorites?  

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Opera Rhymes With Oprah…

  1. See if you can find recordings of the MET’s (as in the Metropolitan Opera) recent productions of Wagner’s the Ring Cycle. Any of the 4 are good but I especially enjoyed, Walküre, Die because Ride of the Valkyries is AWESOME! (and you will totally recognize it. Google it.)

    I don’t blame you for not enjoying Gilbert and Sullivan that much… they wrote the worst women’s roles ever ( check out the Pirates of Penzance (their most famous work) for proof of this).

    I assume they are not counting Rock Operas… if they do count them the assignment would be more familiar…Tommy, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat and Jesus Christ Super Star are probably the most well known Rock Operas.

    For Standard operas try Carmen (which you would also recognize a song or two from), Porgy and Bess, Madam Butterfly and Don Giovanni. I really like both Don Giovanni and Porgy and Bess. Candide and the Marriage of Figaro will also contain recognizable songs that you will probably recognize from old cartoons.

    • Thanks for the list of songs! I’m going to have to YouTube those suckers over the weekend! See, I never classified those rock operas as operas and I’ve seen all three. Guess I do like the opera! I do like Porgy and Bess and have seen Madam Butterfly. I guess my biggest beef is the vibrato… but I do love a lot of opera songs.

      • It’s funny I find vibrato more tolerable in male singers than female… when I hear a woman lay it on, I always think they are compensating for something… with men I think it adds a richness… I’m such a contradiction.

  2. Avster

    No, I don’t enjoy opera music for the same reason you don’t. The vibrato just gets to me… plus… half the time what they’re singing is in a different language and somehow the song just loses all its meaning. 😉
    If I had to choose, I’d go for Carmen.

    Hey, I knew who Gilbert and Sullivan were. 🙂

  3. I pretty much feel the same about opera as you do. Occasionally I find an opera singer with less vibrato that I like, but it’s definitely a rarity. The lady I accompanied for in college sang opera – but I actually liked the way she sounded. Her vibrato wasn’t out of control, and holy nuts – she could hit the super high notes as soft as can be! I was impressed. I still don’t like opera – it always disappoints me when the opera does the regular non-opera musicals in the summer, but puts all of the opera-like singers in them. It kind of ruins the songs for me – the melody and emotion all get lost in that vibrato. Such a pity too, with the live orchestra and everything. I generally go to at least one every summer, but I skipped them both this year.

    • AMEN, AMEN, AMEN, AMEN to your comment about the opera company using opera singers for the musicals. I’ve been to several of the productions over the years and that is always my biggest beef! Why can’t they get broadway-type singers for the musicals!? Then there’s the whole she who shall be nameless on this blog for fear of Google search because I know her always getting the lead role. Spread the wealth!

  4. Karen

    The extend of my culture is musical theater, and definitely not opera! My dad used to make us listen to it on a black and white television. I am just not there!

  5. jen

    I feel bad for the vocalists that didn’t have an audience to sing for. Glad you went to support them.

  6. LOUISA

    Good on you!

    Question of the Day: Do you enjoy opera music? Any particular favorites?
    Not so much an opera fan. If I do watch an opera, I prefer it on Great Performances ( PBS ) where there are subtitles so you can follow along. The last one I saw was last week and it was in German. Love those subtitles though – otherwise I would be clueless. It was on late enough that it was just me and the cats watching…lol.
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/episodes/gp-at-the-met-der-ring-des-nibelungen/about-the-opera/1312/
    I think I was more fascinated by the awesome stage than the rest of it. The planks move all around to give the illusion of a forest, or a sea, or a mountain. It was really amazing. The light people can project scenes onto it and the actors can climb up them and slide down and walk across – it’s unreal!

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