Humour

What are your irrational stage fears?

What are your irrational stage fears?

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.

Jenna Simeonov
5 opera mothers from hell

5 opera mothers from hell

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.

Jenna Simeonov
Vittorio Grigòlo, impromptu voice teacher

Vittorio Grigòlo, impromptu voice teacher

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.

Jenna Simeonov
5 opera crossovers we're dying to see

5 opera crossovers we're dying to see

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.

Jenna Simeonov
There's a new Klingon opera in the works

There's a new Klingon opera in the works

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.

Jenna Simeonov
Opera fans have nothing on the "My Way Killings"

Opera fans have nothing on the "My Way Killings"

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.

Jenna Simeonov
Narcoleptic supernumerary in demand as dead body of Buoso Donati

Narcoleptic supernumerary in demand as dead body of Buoso Donati

A narcoleptic supernumerary has earned great praise for his portrayal of the dead body of Buoso Donati in Puccini's "Gianni Schicchi", now in-demand as Buoso-du-jour.

Jenna Simeonov
Conductor's score appears to have been opened prior to first rehearsal

Conductor's score appears to have been opened prior to first rehearsal

Breaking news: spine on conductor’s score shows signs of having been opened before the first rehearsal, says source sitting nearby. Currently unclear if the score has been borrowed from a friend.

Jenna Simeonov
Stage management shocked as everyone brings own pencil to rehearsal

Stage management shocked as everyone brings own pencil to rehearsal

Breaking: everyone brings their own pencil to rehearsal, leaving stage management stunned.

Jenna Simeonov
Broken harpsichord replaced mid-show by crappy piano & sheet of paper

Broken harpsichord replaced mid-show by crappy piano & sheet of paper

After mid-performance harpsichord malfunction, stage management saves the day with crappy piano and large piece of scrap paper.

Jenna Simeonov

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