Wednesday, September 07, 2005

stage bias

I went to my first opera last night, the American Repertory Theatre's Carmen. This is, in fact, the only opera I have any knowledge of--and that comes principally from a vague recollection of seeing the movie one rainy afternoon in my sixth-grade Music Appreciation Class (a room filled, by the way, with people too musically-challenged or uninterested to actually play an instrument--I fall into the former category).

If musicals are the hyperactive pep squad of my professional calling (with their glassy-eyed enthusiasm and teeth-baring smiles), then operas are the varsity cheerleaders (undeniably more skilled, but nonetheless creepy).

I just have a hard time wrapping my brain around the concept of people spontaneously bursting into song... especially FRENCH SONG.

That's not to say I didn't enjoy myself. Carmen is arguably the most well-known opera in the world, and I definitely found myself familiar with a surprising number of songs. And I was genuinely surprised by the acting--at least some of it.

The show's lead and title character--Christina Baldwin--was phenomenal, as well as her sister, Jennifer Baldwin Peden, who played innocent Michaela. Don Jose, Carmen's romantic interest, seemed more in love with his own pain than with Carmen, and the rest of the cast was rounded out with passionate, incredible singers.

Logically, I know that opera and musical theatre are kissing cousins of straight theatre (if anyone can come up with the final piece of my "pep squad/varsity cheer" analogy I will be forever grateful), and maybe it's because I was rejected from the fifth grade choir and I'm bitter towards anyone with a talent for singing, but I just don't foresee a time when I view "singing theatre" as anything but an amusing and silly endeavor.

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Pep Squad

Varsity Cheer

Competition Squad

(think "Bring It On" only with less cat fighting/beautiful people and more PRESSURE and average girls)