May 28, 2015

20 things only an obsessed opera-lover will understand

I should really be working for Buzzfeed. I really, really should be. HEY, BUZZFEED - HIRE ME.

That oughta work. <Sits by phone>

Andrea Bocelli; not your cup of tea.
(photo by Dovywiarda)
Hmmm... well, they're probably busy right now. In the meantime, feel free to read my audition piece, a little thing I call 20 Things only an obsessed opera-lover will understand (no GIF's. Sorry; just couldn't be bothered. Do you know how long it takes to make a bunch of those?)

1.  Dropping whatever you're doing to listen every time a TV commercial using the Lakmé
duet comes on.

2.  Going nuts every time you're dining in an Italian restaurant in which the Muzak consists of opera music because you have to figure out which soprano is singing Musetta's Waltz.

3.  Checking your email inbox every morning before you get your coffee to see if there's an opera-themed alert from the New York Times.

4.  Lecturing anyone - including strangers on the street - any time you hear someone mention Andrea Bocelli in admiration.

5.  Noticing with some embarrassment that your last eighteen Facebook posts have been links to opera videos or articles.

6.  Following so many opera companies on Twitter that actually reading all their posts would require that you quit your job in order to carve out enough time.

7.  Feeling you might explode with incredulous joy because Deborah Voigt personally re-tweeted you.

8.  Feeling impatiently angry with co-workers and/or family members who fail to understand what a big deal it is that Deborah Voigt re-tweeted you.

9.  Getting teary-eyed remembering the 1960's when, as a child, you got so excited every year when Amahl and the Night Visitors came on TV at Christmastime.

10. Searching YouTube for clips when you learn that Mr. Rogers occasionally made operas for small children on "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood".

11. Sitting in the parking lot at the bank for twenty minutes on a Saturday afternoon before you go in the bank because the Met Opera's Saturday matinee radio broadcast of Norma is on and if you go in now you'll miss "Casta Diva".

12.  Gritting your teeth when you're in a serious conversation about opera and someone brings up Bugs Bunny opera cartoons.

13.  Practicing your spot-on impression of Elmer Fudd singing "Kill the Wabbit" for occasions when YOU think it's okay to bring up Bugs Bunny opera cartoons.

14.  Having mixed emotions about the opera scene in the movie Pretty Woman since on the one hand you think Julia Roberts' range of wordless emotional affects as her character becomes involved in the Traviata story is pitch-perfect, but, on the other hand, you're appalled at the pedestrian performances of the "singers" she's watching.

15. Reading every single customer review of every single DVD of the opera you want to see and becoming hopelessly confused as a result.

16.  The sheer panic and anxiety that washes over you when you're attending an HD live transmission of the Met at your local cineplex and the screen goes blank due to atmospheric conditions.

17.  The intense ire that floods your sensibilities when, at another HD transmission, two people sitting seven seats away from you converse loudly during an orchestral passage because they only pay attention when Renee Fleming is singing.

18.  The irritation that vexes you when audience members laugh inappropriately at serious lines of dramatic dialogue on the super-title screen at the opera house.

19.  Wasting hours down the rabbit-hole of YouTube, listening to so many performances of tenor arias by Massenet that you realize that 1) you missed lunch, and 2) you never want to hear that aria again. And finally,

20.  The lump in your throat that appears every single time the Countess forgives her husband's unfaithfulness in The Marriage of Figaro, less because of how beautifully it's sung than because of how perfectly Mozart nailed the psychology of her love, her disappointment, and her knowledge that he's unlikely to change.

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