Since there was very little fault to be found with "The Magic Flute" which I went to see the other night, I'll shift my focus to my longtime pal and opera companion Deborah.
When she noisily dropped her program during a particularly quiet onstage moment, I'm sure poor Deb was filled with dread over how I might react. She needn't have worried. While I normally would consider this a punishable offence, it was countered by my delight at her exquisite startle reaction, one that rivalled anything Joyce DeWitt ever did on Three's Company. For about a second and a half, she was all flailing arms and jerking chicken head followed by the perfect wince.
This is a quirk of Deborah's that fascinates me. Someone can simply clink a glass or drop a knife in a restaurant and she startles and a look crosses her face as though she's been smacked in the back of the head by a large book. Why I continue to delight in what may well be a neurological disorder is not for me to say although you may have an idea or two.
It puts me in mind of a Catherine Tate sketch that I don't have the heart to forward to Deborah.
Thankfully, I'd eaten before heading to the opera last night and so felt no obligation to hang around for egg rolls.
If you'd told Pat, Henry, Richard or Mao that one day, their meeting would be the subject of an opera (Nixon In China), they might have called the whole thing off. I'm more a fan of saying "I have season tickets" than of any modern opera I've seen and this production did nothing to change my mind.
Don't get me wrong, I thought it charming that a number of audience members wore red as though to match the stage and the music was brilliant and insistent although not incredibly operatic. Straw hats off to you John Adams. As much as I enjoyed the music, it seemed at war with the performers who had a tough time singing the required 2 or 3 metaphors a minute at us.
Also in competition for my attention were the twelve television sets on stage broadcasting variations of actual footage from Nixon's trip to China while the performers were put through their paces. Throw in a somewhat out of sync and rather lengthy Tai Chi demonstration by the chorus and all I could think about was when I first saw the name Mao Tse Tung in (news)print as a child, I thought it was probably pronounced Mayo TeeSee Tongue.
I didn't feel too much like a crook leaving at halftime but wish I'd stayed long enough to see if the Intermission clocked in at eighteen and a half minutes.
Next week is "The Magic Flute" which I think is a porn so that ought to be awesome!