Category: Weirdness

Why I am at the Opera Tonight

(La Boheme is my example this evening, because it is the first opera I ever loved)

1. Because I love La Boheme.

2. Because I’ve been a subscriber for thirty years.

3. Because my girlfriend just broke up with me, and La Boheme always makes me cry, and I need a good cry.

4. Because I’d given up on productions of La Boheme after seeing five dull ones, but I hear this one is really something.

5. Because my favourite singer is in it.

6. Because my friend from music school is in it.

7. Because I think it will impress my date if I take her someplace where she’ll feel slightly intimidated.

8. Because my date loves the opera and I need him to think I love it too.

9. Because I am obsessed with Phantom of the Opera and would love to see a real live opera.

10. Because I was saying to Ginny the other day, isn’t it silly that we live three blocks away from the opera house and we’ve never been?

11. Because I’m obsessed with opera and see everything I can, whether it’s a student production of The Magic Flute or The Ring Cycle set in colonial Hong Kong.

12. Because I could never sit through any of that modern trash but I just love Puccini.

13. Because I’m trying to convert my friend to opera and I think this will be the perfect “foist.”

14. Because my 10-year-old nephew is singing that line about wanting the toy trumpet.

15. Because my company got some comp tickets and it’s the perfect place to take that new client.

16. Because I desperately want somewhere to wear my new silk dress.

17. Because I work for the opera company and am taking full advantage of the free and cheap tickets.

18. Because I work for the opera company and attend out of a sense of obligation.

19. Because I work for the opera company and it’s better to see the show than twiddle my thumbs for an hour between the pre-show and the intermission.

20. Because my opera-loving friend assures me I’ll like this one, really, the music is very pretty and romantic and it’s a classic love story and it’s short. And she came to see my boyfriend’s band play so I owe her one.

21. Because I’m in the city for the very first time and try to go to the opera in as many cities as I can, in order to educate myself.

22. Because I think this young singer might be on her way to a good career if she plays her cards right, and I want to see how she handles this role.

23. Because I want to see this very-famous-but-getting-long-in-the-tooth singer before he retires.

24. Because since leaving University I feel like I’m getting dull and boring, and want to keep my cultural appreciation skills sharp. I used to read Spenser, dammit! I’ve got to prove I’m still capable of enjoying something other than Real Housewives!

25. Because I think it’s important to support the arts.

26. Because I think it’s important to support this tiny opera company, even if their standards aren’t as high as the big organizations.

27. Because I’ve only ever been to the opera at my mediocre regional company, and traveled to the big city just to get a taste of what great singing sounds like.

28. Because I think my kid will benefit from being exposed to it.

29. Because my kid has suddenly gone opera-mad and has been begging me for months to take her.

30. Because I wanted the chance to see the inside of this building.

31. Because all my friends will be there.

32. Because someone I really want to meet will be there (I think I’ve even figured out what section she’ll be sitting in).

33. Because I just turned 29 and realized I’ll only be able to get the cheap tickets for one more year.

34. Because I”m in music school and need to beef up on my knowledge to keep up with my classmates.

35. Because I’m in school and have a desperate crush on the professor who organizes the departmental tickets and I want to impress him with my cultural literacy.

36. Because the paper gave it a good review and the photos they ran looked pretty.

37. Because the director has a very interesting concept and I want to see how it plays out.

38. Because “che gelida manina” is on my CD of “20 most romantic opera arias.”

38. Because no matter how many times I hear “che gelida manina,” it still thrills me.

39. Because I think “che gelida manina” is overrated but I love “donde lieta.”

40. Because I just started taking singing lessons and my teacher suggested it might be a good “aspirational” outing.

41. Because my friend had an emergency and was giving away her tickets, and I thought, what the hell, why not.

42. Because it’s a stop on my five-city, ten-night opera tour, and though I really do prefer Wagner, you can’t help what winds up in the package.

43. Because I’m bent on seeing every single performance by my diva assoluta (and hopefully work my way into her good graces). I save money by buying standing room and afterwards I wait for her by the stage door.

44. Because there’s a dearth of good musical theatre to go to, and someone said Sweeney Todd was kind of like opera, and I love Sweeney Todd so it seemed worth a shot.

45. Because usually I go to the ballet but their season doesn’t start for another month, and I wanted a night out.

46. Because my girlfriend’s irritating brother is staying with us and I desperately needed a reason to get out of the house.

47. Because last time I saw this production someone was unwrapping a cough candy during Musetta’s Waltz, which I wanted to hear more than anything. This time I bought a box seat.

48. Because I need somewhere to go with my secret lover and I know I won’t run into anyone we know at the opera.

49. Because I was walking past the rush line this morning and felt that anything with that long of a line must be worth going to, so I thought “why not be spontaneous” and got in the line myself.

50. Because I would rather be at the opera than anywhere else.

Sometimes Blogs Lead to Good Things

So, back in January, I finally started an opera blog after many years of thinking about it. I was a bit insecure about this endeavour, and wasn’t quite sure how I’d fit into the online opera world, but went ahead with it anyway. I wasn’t really sure what would come of it, but I thought at least it would lead me to learn interesting things. My first post ever was about an Opera 101 event hosted by the Canadian Opera Company.

Then I wrote a post about Opera Atelier and that led to volunteering for them and making some new and wonderful opera friends. I encountered other interesting bloggers. I felt like writing All Time Coloratura was making my life better in some very direct ways.

Then, when the Canadian Opera Company announced a job opening for a Social and Interactive Media Coordinator, I took the plunge and applied, thinking that even if I didn’t get hired it would be a chance to meet people at the COC and perhaps raise my own profile. Last week they offered me the job. My work will involve maintaining a blog, managing the COC’s presence on various social networks, and cultivating relationships with other people in the online opera community.

It’s possible, I suppose, that I could have been hired without the blog, but I’m sure that it would have been considerably more difficult to make my case without being able to point to All Time Coloratura. So, thank you to everyone who stopped by, linked to me, left a comment, or encouraged me to keep writing. I honestly feel as though I’ve become part of a real community.

I start working for the COC a couple of weeks from now. I intend to keep blogging here, in a non-official capacity. Some aspects of the blog may need to change given the change in my circumstances – particularly the coverage of COC productions – but I hope you all keep reading. And, if you have any thoughts on how an opera company can engage its audience online in a way that’s warm, exciting, and innovative, please get in touch with me (alltimecoloratura at gmail)! Actually, get in touch with me even if it’s just to introduce yourself. Talking about opera on the internet will soon be what I get up in the morning to do.

Lady Gaga Costumes Reinterpreted as Opera Costumes

Lady Gaga’s music doesn’t always do it for me; but her visual style is fascinating, in a very theatrical and imaginative way. Once, a photo of her made me think of the Queen of the Night and, after wishing that opera costumes would dip into the crazy a little more often, I started matching up her costumes with opera characters in my head. So, what did I come up with?

Lady Gaga in a Bubble costume - looks like a Rhinemaiden!

This one, featuring bubbles, blondeness, and suggestive nudity, looks like an underwater being – specifically, a Rhinemaiden – to me. Perhaps Alberich at the beginning of Rhinegold could try to pop the bubbles?

Lady Gaga as the Queen of the Night?

This is the costume that made me think of the Queen of the Night, though there are no obvious stars or moons involved. I think it’s those slightly visually jarring metallic panels that does it.

Hoof shoes = the devil?

The hoof shoes and massive sparkle here suggest some kind of devilish figure or witch. The sparkles take on a bit of a scaly tone in a certain view – how about Jezibaba, the sea-witch from Rusalka?