My wife caught me last night...

The first time I tried it was this past weekend. My wife and Li’lChief were at the movies with one of his friends. I had three hours all to myself. There was nothing on TV, I stumpled over it, so I figured “what the Hell.”

**MrsChief ** had to take **Li’l Chief ** to buy his summer reading books for school last night, so I decided to push my luck and do it again. I drew the curtains in the living room and turned off the lights. I unplugged the phone. And settled on to the couch. I may be hooked.

I was so engrossed I didn’t even hear them pull in the driveway. It was like I was in another world.

The lights popped on at about 9:15 (It’d been an hour and 15 minutes but it seemed like ten!). I snapped my head around and saw MrsChief and my son standing in the doorway to the dining room.

“WHAT are you WATCHING?!!” my wife sheiked as she physically turned my 14-year-old boy around and bodily pushed him back into the dining room so he wouldn’t see. “Aren’t you embarrassed?!!” she screamed.

“Um, Sweetie… there wasn’t anything on… and… uh…”

“So you watch that?!!”

“Um, yeah. It’s pretty good. It’s… uh… La Boheme by Puccinni.”

“Well, I’m not watching it! I’ll be in the bedroom!!” And she huffed off slamming the bedroom door.

Yes. 'Tis true. I watched (and really liked) the opera last night.
I’d been flipping channels Sunday and as I swung past PBS I caught the famous line “Figaro! Figaro! FEE-GAH-ROH!!!” and stopped.
Five minutes later I was laughing. Ten minutes later I was impressed. By the end of the first act I was (apparently) hooked. I’m not sure how you say it in Italian, but it was The Barber of Seville. And I loved every minute of it.

Last night, I saw that PBS was airing La Boheme and I knew that was a popular opera. So I tuned in again. It was another Met production like Sunday.
And. It. Was. Awesome.
I was actually tearing up when Mimi died at the end of the second act.

So there it is. Out in the open. For all to point at and laugh at. Go ahead mock the Deadhead who likes opera.

I hope PBS airs more…

Earth people do not understand us opera fans. Carmen anyone?

I saw my first live opera, TOSCA, when I was in L.A. two weeks ago, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. LOVED IT! And next year, they’re gonna have DAS RHINEGOLD and DER WALKURE.

Yep- if I can’t make both, I’m at least making that last one (the Magic Fire music when Wotan is singing his mournful sentence on Brunnhilde really gets to me).

Carmen Biryani? :eek:

So would I, wondering what the hell they’re going to do for acts three and four… :slight_smile:
(She dies at the end of the fourth act).

Anyway, welcome.

You can watch Met operas at quite a few high end movie theatres throughout North America. My local movie house has an exceptional sound system, a huge screen and big comfy chairs, so the Met’s Live HD shows rock!

Excuse the novice, please. I thought it was Act I, scenes 1 and 2; then intermission; then Act II, scenes 1 and 2 (or 3 and 4).


Intermission is generally between acts II and III (In Boheme, at least). Boheme’s a relatively short opera, so the acts are short. There’s no reason why your division wouldn’t work, but Puccini didn’t write it that way.

Anyway, didn’t mean to make a big deal; opera can be confusing. Keep at it. You live in a pretty good place for being an opera fan. Check out some live performances; there’s really no comparison.

No big deal, I’m just learning.

So to get it straight, in opera there are no scenes just acts.

What other operas should a novice catch? Didn’t Mozart write a couple?

Are there any “comedy” operas?

ChiefScott, my great-uncle José Luis was a Baroque music specialist. He could drill a hole in your ears explaining the myriad ways in which the movement from camera music to big theaters brought over by the popularization of opera trashed, trashed I tell you, the world of vocal training.

Say Verdi and he’d just melt into a happy puddle, though :stuck_out_tongue:

For “comedy” operas, try The Merry Widow (by Franz Lehar) or The Bat (Strauss)

I guess I’m an alien in more ways than my residency.

I’m not a big opera fan, but one night one of the HD channels I flipped by was showing a performance of whichever that one is with the clown - Pagliaci? (See, told you I knew nothing).

I was captivated and couldn’t turn the channel.

Not necessarily. There’s no hard and fast rule for divisions. That’s just the breakdown for Boheme. Others are broken down into Acts and scenes. Some, like Das Rheingold are broken down into scenes with no acts (it’s technically a two and a half hour one-act opera). Really, it’s just up to how the composer chooses to divide things. If you define “Act” as “something which has an intermission after it”, then I suppose Boheme does (normally) have two acts, but if you look in a score, Puccini divided it into four. How things are broken down in actual performance is going to depend upon the director and other factors (like how much money the company has; most companies can’t afford to have their shows go too long, as the orchestra union starts charging overtime after three hours). The only way to really be sure of these things is to look at the score.

More than a couple. He wrote opera continually through his whole life. The Big Four are Le Nozze di Figaro (which is, sort of, the sequel to Barber of Seville, although Mozart set the opera thirty or so years before Rossini did his; there is another setting of Barber which predates Figaro by a couple of years; they are based on a trilogy of plays by the French playwright Pierre Beaumarchais), Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, and Die Zauberfloete (I’m too lazy to properly code my diacriticals today). Of these, the most accessible is Zauberfloete; the others feature a great deal of recitative, which turns some people off.

Tons. You already saw one (Barber of Seville). Gilbert and Sullivan is considered “light” opera or operetta, and is generally comedic. Puccini has a one-act comedy, Gianni Schicchi and Verdi has a couple, although the only one worth seeing (or listening to) is Falstaff, based on Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor (with some Henry IV thrown in). Technically, all of the Mozart I listed above is comedy, although rarely is it laugh out loud funny (especially Don Giovanni). Opera buffo (comic opera) describes a form more than it does actual content.

Wagner. Der Ring des Nibelungen. I include a satire link.

Die Fledermaus is funny; I’ve not heard it. Gilbert and Sullivan have a lot of comic opera.

Thanks for the info, fachverwirrt! And thanks for the linky. I’ll now be spending my spare time today surfing Wiki for more operatic info!

I checked the PBS website and next weekend “Great Performances at the Met” is airing four 1 act plays by Puccini. One of them is probably the comedy you alluded to.

You know mods, if’n you guys feel this thread has gotten all Cafe Society-y, you may send it there…

Just this a.m. my wife asked me if I wanted to go see Tosca.
I promptly responded “No.”
Pushing slightly she observed that someone we know will be in it.
I told her that I had recently been stricken by my apparent decreasing ability to even politely tolerate things I do not like. As I know for a fact that I do not like opera, I am unwilling to submit her or anyone else to my childish, petulant behavior were I to go.
I think she appreciated my honesty… :dubious:

My wife caught me watching Wagner’s Rings once and she was pretty upset.

Now she tolerates my rare indulgances only as long as she does not have to be in the same room.

For four short Puccini pieces I might have to “suggest” an extended visit with her mother though.

*“But most of all you’ve got to hide it from the kids. And here’s to you Mrs. Robinson, heaven holds a place for those who pray, hey hey hey.” *

Moving thread to Cafe,
That’s what I do today…

[sub]Say it to the tune of “La Donna è Mobile.” It sorta works.[/sub]

That exact same thing happened to me, only instead of an opera, it was a porn movie.