Corsair_Caruso, I understand perfectly well. Though my voice is not suited for opera songs (I'm a belter what can I say
?) I love listening to it. I can still recall my first experience in an opera house. March 1992 Das Rheingold
from Wagner's Ring Cycle; I fell in love with opera then. The ouverture is marvellous and the bass - don't ask me the name I can't remember the performer I was way too young to care on top of that - just gave me goosebumps. Ever since I have something for low voices... No voice touches me more than a beautiful baritone/bass.
I don't think that opera is snobbish; I think it's mostly that it is not easily accessible. And I don't mean that people don't understand I mean that it is expensive to go to an opera performance: here in Toronto the least expensive tix are at $150. A $300 night is not in everyone's budget. It is something that is hard with the arts now; they have so little money from the government and their fundraising campaigns sometimes are not enough to cover cost so they get pricy. The price makes it snobbish rather the art itself; opera has so much to say about life and society. As you said the dominant form of entertainment but also a major form of political discourse if one cares to look beyond the superficial layer
. I tend to think that price is more the issue for live performance, whichever form it takes. I would not spend $200 to go and see a pop group and I can see why people decide not to spend $200 to go hear Puccini or Wagner. It's the same with musicals: I find it pushy to sell balcony tickets at $90 a piece.
Talking of musicals, I eventually went to see Les Miserables
about a month ago. I expected to be blown away; I wanted to be. I was disappointed; it was good but I needed it to be extraordinary. I apologize because I think I may already have said it elsewhere but I wish I would see a production that showed the Thenardiers as the evil and plain mean couple they are instead of turning them into the comic relief of an otherwise terribly sad story. They are part of the reason Les Mis
is such a tragedy because the only character that brings light to the story is Cosette. My main issue for all the characters - except Javert and Enjolras - was the complete absence of nuances... they all felt unidimensional to me in their interpretation
I was disappointed by the lady playing Fantine; no emotion in her I Dreamed A Dream
, which played way too early, just after she is being sent away from Madeleine's factory. She sang it safe, beautiful instead of the despair that should inhabit the song...
Valjean was too loud; all the effin' time. Come on! Did your singing teacher never tell you about soft and loud?
Cosette... the one challenge of that character is to be the silver lining of the story without being perky and to hit that one note
in A Heart Full of Love
; she could not even do it. On neither occasion
The redeeming elements of the play were Javert and Enjolras (the students in general); I enjoyed the fact that they really showed the fact that the students also have a sense that they fight for love. Whether it's the love of liberty or love life there is that research of happiness in society or private life. It is something that was lost in the movie that they kept here; so there really is this sense that the rioters do not want Marius to get hurt much as they want him to fight with them. And Javert was great: the conflict within was well worked out, which is a failing of many interpretations of that character. His Stars
was beautiful: the one song that made me cry in the entire show.
All in all though it was too loud all the time losing some of the softness of the story... too bad.