Mauricio recently surprised me with tickets to the Opera. I’ve never been, but everyone’s seen ‘Pretty Woman’…right? The movie where the small town girl goes to the Opera and it doesn’t matter that she isn’t some would say cultured, she cries because the story and the music connects to her soul and blah blah Hollywood nonsense blah. Stupidly, I had this idea that my experience could somehow be that poetic. Just magically connected and passionate about it. Well… I did not connect. I did not cry. It did not speak to my soul. It did however make me laugh, and then later put me to sleep.
The Opera is an Italian story titled Orlando Furios. It has 7 characters and lasted 3.5 hours. The premise of the Opera is that Orlando is a dangerous soldier/guy/whatever and loves a woman, we’ll call her Rose. Well Rose loves someone else, we’ll call him Gerry. Instead of Rose being an honest person about the fact that she loves Gerry, NOT Orlando, she deceives Orlando by sending him on a dangerous quest to prove his love hoping he’ll die instead of returning. Because apparently that’s a lot easier on her conscience, you know, sending someone to their death instead of simply saying “I’m just not that into you”. While Orlando is gone she of course agrees to marry Gerry….And right about here is when I started getting desperate.
The thing is, they literally sing the same few phrases over, ie “Our love is vast and shines bright like the stars of the heavens”. or “Her beauty shines light upon the world that is my soul” over…and over. Also, it was 5 female voices and only 2 male voices. All the female voices were high and sounded pretty much the same. When a man would sing it was literally a relief to my ears to hear something in a lower range. You’d think with the main character being Orlando that it would be a lot of pleasant low male voice singing, but no, Orlando was being played by a woman. A woman wearing a spandex skin colored shirt that had fake hair hot-glued onto the chest.
So here I am sitting exactly in the middle, people on both sides of me, and I’m desperate. So I start fidgeting a little bit. And then shifting the way I was sitting, scratching an imagined itch etc. Mauricio leans over to me and whispers “tranquilo!” and I shamefully still myself. By sheer willpower desperation turned into boredom which then became sleepiness…
And later, I wake up who knows how long later to see Orlando on stage, wearing a wedding dress crying and sobbing over the remains of what was the wedding celebration of his beloved Rose to Gerry….Furios Orlando looking at this point nothing resembling furious only ridiculous with that fake hair on the spandex skin shirt puffing out over the top of the wedding gown. Not ashamed to admit that at this point I did fall back asleep for a bit.
To be clear, I love musicals, and I love Andrea Bocelli (Italian Tenor). Those things combined with the Pretty Woman idea really had me thinking this was gonna be a great moment for me. Those of you who’ve been to multiple opera’s what do you think? Was it because it was too many female voices (this is the answer I’m waiting for since it makes me the least at fault)? Are they all so repetitive? Expectations too high? Or maybe I’m just not an opera person….?
***if you click this link it opens to the Frankfurt Oper website for Orlando Furios, scroll down and they’ve posted a few pictures of the performance. 🙂