If you’re under the age of 30 and looking to explore your sophisticated side, you’ll be pleased to know that the Canadian Opera Company offers cheap tickets to all their main stage productions. A smart marketing strategy if you ask me.
Last night John and I took advantage of our age and spent a relatively affordable evening at the opera. For only $22 a ticket (albeit for nosebleed seats) we watched Tosca, a melodramatic and plodding tale of love, loss and death. The production clocked in at 2 hours and 40 minutes (with two intermissions) and was performed entirely in Italian. To make a very long story short, everyone dies.
I can’t lie and say I loved it. I wanted to love it. We both did. But I realize now, opera is like stinky cheese. It’s an acquired taste. It takes a certain level of nurturing, education and sophistication to appreciate it fully. And we just don’t have the time for that kind of commitment.
All that said, we had a fabulously opulent night. I got to wear the only dress I own and John got to show off his newly acquired windsor-knot-tying skills.
To end this post I’d like to include some suggestions we came up with last night as to how to make opera more appealing to unrefined people under 30 like ourselves:
-Less singing, more talking
Operatically singing every single sentence you utter is kind of like writing your emails exclusively in italics. It’s tolerable at first but at some point becomes very overwhelming. Balance is the key to life. Why not mix up the heavy-handed signing with some solid dialogue?
-More operas in English
Closed captioning can only do so much for foreign operas. Lines like “your eyes excite me, as does your look of loathing” may sound deeply poignant in the Italian language, but in English just sounds creepy.
-Lower the cost of wine & beer
At $10 a glass of wine and $6 a bottle of beer, even the debonaire gentleman with the purple beret couldn’t afford to loosen up last night. Trust me, he really wanted to. (see picture).