For our Canadian readers, we head into Thanksgiving weekend (it's true, Americans!), and the deal is we have to say out loud the things for which we're thankful. We're a bunch of thankful opera lovers over here, so here's our list of gratitude, tailor-made for our fellow fans of big, loud singing.
Cassini's research is catalogued by NASA with some pretty stunning images. Giving a different kind of tribute - one that's a bit more operatic - is the one and only Robert Picard, whom you may know The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager. It's not his first time straddling the worlds of space exploration and opera; we recounted a few gems a few years back.
Whether you turn Sawney Bean himself into a booming basso profundo with a mean snarl and a taste for human flesh, or you tell the story of an anti-social family living among a mob-like community with a tendency toward exaggeration and gossip, the story is full of operatic qualities.
Perhaps they're trying to tell us something, these vacationing opera-and-music-makers. Maybe they're saying, Get out of the city, you crazy opera-house addicts, they're saying. Go sit by a lake somewhere, and build up your vitamin D for the season to come.
One singer admitted an irrational fear of finding himself standing downstage centre, unable to do anything but open and close his mouth silently and dumbly, like a carp. A conductor told me that he rarely uses a baton, for fear of letting it slip out of his hands and fly into the eyeball of his concertmaster. A certain director is afraid of accidentally preparing the wrong opera.
They're mean, mad, and even murderous: call it sexism, or call it a series of very loud Freudian slips, but the creators of opera have never been too kind to mothers. Still, Mother's Day is fast approaching; despite the generally poor representation they have in our favourite operas, these crazy mamas sure do get some great music.
Is it just us, or do strapping tenors always seem to waver on the line between charming enthusiasm and invasion of personal space? Now, this woman is being a great sport as a stranger (for all intents and purposes) touches her face. She's likely one of the many women and men who would indulge Mr. Grigòlo in an impromptu - and tactile - voice lesson.
The combination of his belching, singing, and loud drunken soliloquies is enough to wake up the grouchy Fafner, a dragon who values his sleep. Surprisingly, Falstaff's jolly demeanour diffuses the usual rage that Fafner feels upon being woken up; the dragon takes the knight up on his offer for more wine, and the two get along famously.
It's true! If you're a fan of Star Trek, you're well aware of the Klingon culture's appreciation for opera. 'u', the so-called "First authentic Klingon opera on Earth" by Eef van Breen, Kees Ligtelijn, and Marc Okrand, was put up in 2010 in The Hague to sold-out crowds.
Karaoke is pretty huge in the Philippines, and apparently the standards of performance are held to dangerously high levels. In fact between roughly 2002 and 2012, there were about six instances of karaoke-induced violence, which later became known as the "My Way Killings". Yup, as in the song "My Way", famously popularised by Frank Sinatra in the late 1960s.