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#a219 :: L.A. Opera tickets

September 20, 2008

ENLARGEI was really excited about this production. No, I mean really, exuberantly, irrational-fan-boy excited.

I had failed to get tickets in time, and by the time I went for them they were nosebleed-expensive. Then my dear friend (and client), Yael offered me a pair in exchange for some work that needed doing, saying that we’d probably enjoy it far more than she.

Why, yes we would – snap snap – and suddenly we were off to the opp-uh-rah.

It was a fantastic production, the greatest care taken in all things – the score, the set, the singing, all top-notch. It was perfect – but for one fatal, deal-breaking flaw: composer Howard Shore, one of my fan-boy crushes in the soundtrack realm – had thought it best if the melodies on all the arias, solos, duets, choruses – in fact, the melody of the entire piece – were sung atonally.

Maybe he was mimicking the decay of science gone wrong, or the souring of bad love or, hell, the tortured singing of the fly but … two solid hours of intentionally off-key music pretty much erases all the other pleasures from one’s head.

Certainly not time wasted, just – in light of the dramatic potential of the piece (Hwang’s libretto was quite good), the star power behind it, and the promise held out from the moment I learned this production would happen -I suppose I expected there to be a little actual music in the music.

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