Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Opera -- at a Movie Theater!

As part of my effort to have new experiences to help my creativity as a writer, I attended an opera not too long ago -- in a movie theater.  

Placido Domingo

A theater in the area has operas beamed into it live from places like The Met.  I attended a performance of Iphigenie en Tauride, which has the same source as one of my stories (More on that below.)  

Although I've seen bits of operas on TV before, that cannot compare to seeing it on a big screen with a theater-sized sound system.  It's astonishing to realize the performers are singing live onstage with no microphones.  Placido Domingo played the male lead, and his duet with another male singer left me stunned with the beauty of it.  Susan Graham played the female lead.  They announced ahead of time that she had a cold, but she sounded magnificent throughout -- including some rather long pieces!  

This particular opera is baroque, which surprised me because of the simplicity of the lines.  In the intermission, they explained this was a transitional piece, which explained the lack of ornateness.

Susan Graham

The source material is Iphigenia in Tauris, written by Euripides.  When I read this Greek play, I realized it could be a marvelous story.  A young woman has been spirited away by a goddess to a foreign land, where she is expected to sacrifice any strangers who wander into that land.  Meanwhile, her brother, who assumes her to be dead, has wandered into her land after many adventures.  What will happen?  

Much of the play was in the form of talking heads -- the characters discussing what had happened to them.  But I could start from the beginning and tell the story in sequence.  My historical fantasy manuscript Virgin Unknown is the result.  I'll share an excerpt later this week.  

Back to the opera:  This live beaming might be a way of saving this art form, which seems to be declining.  Pay 20+ dollars for great camera views in a nearby theater, rather than paying substantially more and travelling a good distance for the event.  And don't worry, they have subtitles in English (this particular opera was in French).  I was definitely the youngest person there, but who knows what the future holds?  

1 comment:

Lynda R Young said...

This tech is wonderful. I recently paid a nominal amount to "visit" a conference that was broadcast live. I saved on travel costs and like you said got great camera angles and didn't have to worry about crowds either.


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