I recently attended the Wagner opera Gotterdammerung (German for Goddamn That's Long or Twilight of the Gods depending on who you're going to believe)!
Clocking in at 5.5 hours long, I was kind of expecting t-shirts to be available at the intermission saying I SURVIVED ACT ONE! and so on. As preparation for the big show, I took the day off work. I mean really, how can one be expected to sleepwalk through 7.25 hours of general work avoidance and then a full blown opera?
I would have to say first that I can't wait until next season when the new opera house is complete. My untrained ears can never tell if it's a weak singing performance or if it's the acoustics at the Hummingbird Centre but fairly regularly there's someone standing front and centre singing full tilt and you can't hear them over the orchestra.
The orchestra itself is absolutely excellent by the way and most of the singers seem to be more pedigreed than my dog and so I'll blame the venue as it wasn't meant for opera to begin with. There, complaint number one out of the way.
Complaint number two I may have mentioned in an earlier post (Silence of the Lammermoors). Stop fucking ultra-updating everything! This opera was never meant to be set in a modern office. Park your horse sir? What's that? Your sword is doubling as your horse? Confused? Exactly. Bright red computer monitors, huge desks, suits and ties, not a helmet with horns anywhere! Ass bastards.
I also didn't see thematic links in the set or staging from the rest of the Ring Cycle already presented. That may have well been because I was too busy designing t-shirts in my mind.
I'm sure the whole Canadian Opera Company will be heartbroken by my naysaying but perhaps rather than have so many 'giving opportunity' schmoozing hoo-haw events, they should speak to some of their regular and lowly patrons like the ones paying to fill the seats once in a while?
To their credit, they did think of one thing I'd never have dreamed up: they offered a boxed meal for sale during intermission. A boxed meal. Can you think of anything funnier than tuxedoed gents and diamond dripping dolls chawing on turkey wraps out of plastic take out containers? Well, so can I but it was a sight just the same.
With the other Ring flings I've had I've enjoyed them well beyond my expectations. This one I was really looking forward to and I have to say, it let me down.
Insert final pithy remark and curtain.