Sick of reality, give me opera

Rating: NNNNNI am slowly losing interest in reality. I am sick of "reality TV," of getting a "real job" and.


Rating: NNNNN


I am slowly losing interest in reality. I am sick of “reality TV,” of getting a “real job” and looking “real,” as it were. Give me pretense and flashiness any day of the week, baby.

Speaking of which, the Canadian Opera Company recently held its open-air concert.

Opera seems to glorify the ridiculous — a woman dresses as a man and falls in love with a man dressed as a woman who’s wiled his way into his true love’s home to work as a chambermaid.

In the end, either all costumes come off and everyone ends up with the right person, with orgiastic fervour, or everyone dies miserable and alone.

Am I the only one who sees a connection to my own life?

At the bandshell behind the York Quay Centre, musicians tune their instruments as the khaki and cashmere sweater set file into the bleachers.

The first performer is a mezzo-soprano, Alina Gurina. Aside from looking as young as Britney Spears, she has a voice like escaping doves — airborne and soaring.

She sings an aria from Semiramide.

At the end, she folds her arms across her chest, bows humbly and mouths a heartfelt “Thank you” as waves of applause wash over her.

I feel a certain connection with this woman. I, too, understand what it is to submit oneself with complete humility to the adoration of many.

The next performer, also a mezzo-soprano, will sing the famous aria “Pres des remparts de Seville” from Bizet’s Carmen. Carmen is a wilful and lusty woman. Krisztina Szabo walks onstage looking like a member of Madonna’s Girlie Show. She’s dressed in leather pants that don’t seem to have room enough for her to take a spare breath, and her black bustier allows the audience to see the amplitude of her, uh, lung capacity.

This is Carmen as Bizet would have envisioned her had he been a member of Metallica.

Myself, I’d like to belt out a heart-wrenching tune and collapse of liebestod, or love-death when a boyfriend pisses me off, but I don’t think it would have quite the same effect.

But not all opera leaves the lovesick party remorseful.

In Turandot, the cruel but beautiful Chinese princess seems to know much better. She swears off men entirely and is ready to commit mass genocide to keep it that way.

I should take a lesson.

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