They Said You Was High Class
The first Friday in this new year, I was in Chicago at an opera with my wife. I had never been to an opera before, hadn’t even really heard that much opera music. I’m not a huge fan of listening to things I don’t understand. Yes, the music can be beautiful and soaring and difficult to sing and yada yada yada, but if I don’t know what they’re singing, it’s more frustrating than enjoyable. The music by itself would be great, but as soon as you start singing words I don’t understand, well, who likes listening to people talk if you can’t understand them? That’s not a racist thing, it’s a frustration thing. They’re thinking the same about your talking, most likely!
You’ll be happy to know, though, that opera has figured out that most Americans are in the same boat I am. They now (at least, at this opera house) use a small screen at the top of the proscenium arch to show English subtitles. Perfect! A friend of mine did that in college years (and years and years) ago for his Senior recital, and it was a good idea then, too.
We saw Mozart’s The Magic Flute, which is a pretty famous opera, I guess. It was famous enough that I’d heard of it before, so that’s something. It’s all in German, which is not the most … beautiful language. Sorry, Germans! There just seems to be a lot of extra throat-clearing going on there! Anyway, with subtitles to follow, I found the opera to be quite enjoyable. We were waaaaaaaaaaaay up in the top balcony, not many rows from the back of the theater. That actually made the subtitles easier to follow, and we could still see the whole stage. I really enjoyed the staging and the scenery, as well as the trapdoors in the floor. You could pretty much tell when someone was about to fall through a trapdoor, but it was still neat.
Then, in the further Classy Adventures of MadMup, this past Saturday I went to a concert put on by our local Bach Chorale. My wife has been singing with them for four years now. I’ve been to four concerts. The best one was when they presented The Messiah in full, but my favorite was the Broadway music concert which was also a dinner. The concert this past weekend was all in German and Latin, and I didn’t have a program, so I wasn’t sure what they were saying. It sounded nice, but subtitles would have enhanced my enjoyment.
I know I’m supposed to have an appreciation for “high culture,” and I sort of do, it just isn’t what I would choose if I were left to my own devices. A good Batman movie would give me way more enjoyment than Die Fledermaus would. I know that makes me a hound dog, and I’m sorry.
I ain’t never caught a rabbit, either.