Humour

Hilarity: stereotypes from choir

Hilarity: stereotypes from choir

We laughed out loud at Cassie Kutev's YouTube video, where she "interviews" select members of a choir, from Soprano I to Bass II. Our favourite quotable quote from the "Tap...water? I want sparkling. I'm a diva. We sparkle."

Jenna Simeonov
Hilarity: how good are your gargling skills?

Hilarity: how good are your gargling skills?

Honestly, can't you just picture her practicing this at home? Our bet is that many of you are now off to test your gargle-singing skills.

Jenna Simeonov
Hypothetical operas: The 2016 Presidential Election

Hypothetical operas: The 2016 Presidential Election

Trump would be a buffo bass role, clearly. Blustering, bumbling and woofy, his lines would be meaningless patter in the style of Rossini. His lines would overlap those of all other characters', interrupting in that charming way, and rambling on long after anything of possible meaning had been said.

Jenna Simeonov
5 ways to make watching an opera at home even more fun

5 ways to make watching an opera at home even more fun

We won't come right out and say this is an opera drinking game, but we have devised a little way to make watching opera (in the comfort of your home, without distracting other ticket buyers, please!) a more social, even competitive, activity. Our points system can be worth whatever currency you so desire; but we're not opposed to a point equalling hearty gulps of your preferred beverage...

Jenna Simeonov
Taking a bow: curtain calls for your voice type

Taking a bow: curtain calls for your voice type

Bosom first, she glides across the stage like Morticia from The Addams Family. At centre stage, one hand presses in between her breasts, the other gracefully clutching at her skirts in preparation. One foot invisibly steps upstage under metres of fabric, and the leading lady descends into a curtsy so deep it could convince you that she's actually only a bust, perched upon a hydraulic office chair hidden beneath her tulle.

Jenna Simeonov
Gems: the mega mashup

Gems: the mega mashup

Grant Woolard has created what's probably the greatest mashup yet of classical music tunes. He combined 57 melodies, by 33 composers from J.S. Bach to Satie, into 6 minutes of genius that we can't stop watching. Also, we now feel strongly that there should exist gag editions of these scores, notated entirely of little pictures of the composers' heads.

Jenna Simeonov
5 pop(ish) songs & their operatic equivalents

5 pop(ish) songs & their operatic equivalents

That's why it's fairly easy, and even ridiculously hilarious, to find some modern-day equivalents to some of opera's best characters, in the form of pop songs. It's endlessly amusing to imagine Cherubino singing the Beastie Boys' "Girls", or to draw a clear line between Carmen and the Pussycat Dolls song, "Dont' Cha".

Jenna Simeonov
John Cage à la death metal

John Cage à la death metal

We love everything about this video. Austrian death metal band Dead Territory has recorded John Cage's 4'33", and it's a great mix of respectful and funny (is it supposed to be funny? Maybe that's part of the aleatory). Kudos to these guys for staying true to their own style, for honouring the piece's three movements, and for sheer commitment.

Jenna Simeonov
6 animals who love opera more than penguins

6 animals who love opera more than penguins

If you haven't yet heard, there's a certain waddle of penguins (apparently it's "waddle", not "flock"!) in Antarctica that get totally freaked out by the sound of a tenor:

Jenna Simeonov
Problems we didn't know we had: surtitles

Problems we didn't know we had: surtitles

Sustained sound is different from regular speech, and there's a reason why composers take an opera libretto and divide it into recitatives, arias, ensembles, etc. This text is different than that text, and the music delivers this message loudly. But with those blasé slides popping up in the surtitle box, it's like the the titles themselves are bored, and contemptuous of any textual subtleties woven by a composer into their opera.

Jenna Simeonov

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