Opera – And I Don’t Mean The Browser

Our good friend Mollie Fager (the executive director of The Dairy Center for the Arts) has a great rant up on the New West Network blog on “why opera rules” titled Opera: It’s Not for Wusses.  In my endless effort to avoid wussness, I’m a believer.

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    The boulder arts blog

    Opera: It’s Not for Wusses

    By Mollie Fager, 6-27-06

    sounds like poor Mollie doesn’t much like opera!

    It’s MUCH better than Mollie lets on! She’s keeping the good
    tickets for herself?

    As usual, for the best stuff, just go right to the top, no
    delay: Go for Mozart, Wagner, Puccini, and Verdi.

    Mozart: Elegant, sublime, profound insight into the human
    condition and human spirit, astoundingly effective musical
    communication, often magical. From Papageno to Sarastro and
    much more.

    Puccini: Shockingly powerful communications of universal
    emotions grabbing by the heart, the gut, lower still, from
    remarkably few musical notes. Poor, poor lovable Mimi.
    Rodolfo’s response of soaring emotions built on soaring

    Verdi: Puccini on steroids, dressed up, refined, revised,
    extended. Violetta passed through the ‘full range of

    Wagner: From the sound of a ship crashing through a storm on
    the North Sea, the elegant universal wedding march, the
    astounding building orchestration of the Tannhauser Pilgrim’s
    theme, to tender love, bombastic highs, and hellish lows of
    ‘The Ring’, much of it nicely summarized in the ‘Siegfried
    Idyll’ birthday present, an intricate ‘modern music’ version
    of love in ‘Tristan und Isolde’, and, again, the profound
    majestic dignity of the astounding building orchestration and
    development of the opening ‘ground theme’ in ‘Parsifal’.

    It’s powerful music, high among the most powerful cases of
    ‘communication, interpretation of human experience, emotion’
    we have, real crown jewels of civilization. Listen to this
    music and conclude that many of one’s own most powerful
    emotions have also been felt by others and are universal so
    that we are not alone — tough not to do so.

    But, from these and other composers of comparable
    effectiveness, take mostly just their music and do not look
    for comparable excellence in all of their thinking,
    ‘philosophy’, statements, writing, behavior, etc.!

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