2001-10-18 11:13 a.m.
I went to the opera over the weekend. Dave, Ray, Andie and I saw Faust. Faust is a French opera, which means that it is not sung in English, but instead in the native language of France, Frenchish. The people that wrote the opera were pretty sensitive to the fact that nobody speaks their language, so all the dialog through the opera implemented the age–old, tried–and–true technique of repeating the same thing they already said over and over, making sure to enunciate each and every word loudly and very slowly. This is the same method that most Americans use to communicate with people who do not speak English, so you may be familiar with it. The Frenchies used this technique to explain to us that this guy sold his soul to the devil to get a girl, and that after he knocks her up that God will reign triumphant and the devil will lose. So, that was really the big problem: I sat through 148 minutes of tedious explanation just to find out something that was not all that interesting after all. I would not have minded, had they told me something I wanted to know, such as what the funny noise coming from the right side of my car is.
Faust is a long opera, so they split it up to make it "easier" to sit through. I guess that was a kind gesture on their part. But, anyway, the first act was 98 grueling minutes long. Then we enjoyed a 20 minute intermission, and then endured another 60 minutes of pain and suffering.
Opera is clearly not for the MTV generation of people who have short attention spans and enjoy their entertainment in 30–second bursts. Looking around at the other audience members confirmed this. Dave, Ray, Andie and I were clearly way too young to be there. Everyone else in the theater was about 65-75 years old. It was as if they forgot to card us at the door and check to see if we had our AARP membership cards.
I took some great photos at the opera of some of the other patrons (aka geriatric Americans), but I seem to have erased them from my camera or something, so I can not share them with the world. Sigh. Maybe next time.
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