Humour

Performers: unwilling players of mind games

Performers: unwilling players of mind games

Performing in public is about imaginary stats: there are sayings that go something like how it's 10% preparation, 89% inspiration, and the final 1% a combination of panic and validation seeking. Whatever the proportions, the above factors are all in the artistic mix, balancing in a way that's at best symbiotic, and at worst a mental food chain.

Jenna Simeonov
4 weird questions for opera singers

4 weird questions for opera singers

We always wonder, since it's right there and wide open, do singers ever find themselves staring into the mouth of their duet partner? Do they become mesmerized by a waving uvula or trembling tongue? Are they conscious of having someone stare directly into their cavernous oral orifice as they holler away? Is it a bonding experience for both parties?

Jenna Simeonov
Opera lovers & their unpopular opinions

Opera lovers & their unpopular opinions

There's something to be said about voicing unpopular opinions; it's an important thing, to criticize, and it's even more important when that criticism seems to come up against opinions so widely held that they're instead deemed as facts. Just like French Baroque music is delightful and violas are less interesting than violins, Mozart is perfect, and the Earth is round, right?*

Jenna Simeonov
3 TV opera references with great meaning (maybe)

3 TV opera references with great meaning (maybe)

Is McGill reflected in those poor ladies, tricked by Albuquerque Alfonso into what seemed like a lucrative case? Or is it a more general reminder that Jimmy McGill is about as trustworthy as Alfonso himself? Like Puccini, Mozart places deception in a package that's pretty on the outside; sweet-talking, truth-bending McGill certainly makes a career doing the same thing.

Jenna Simeonov
Has everyone seen The Tinder Opera?

Has everyone seen The Tinder Opera?

Seriously, it's our current obsession. Brilliantly composed by Scott Joiner, and written/directed by Adam Taylor, Connection Lost isn't just funny "for an opera", it's goddamn hilarious, period. Brian Morales conducts a chamber ensemble and a host of opera singing Tinder dates, as one man's quest for romantic connection takes him through a lot of swiping left, and a charming amount of hopeful right-swiping.

Jenna Simeonov
Hilarious: Carl Orff's "fun, handsome goose"

Hilarious: Carl Orff's "fun, handsome goose"

Misheard lyrics, anyone? In the name of fail-safe laughter, we wanted to share with you what's perhaps the funniest versions of Orff's Carmina Burana available today. And yes, we should absolutely get that octopus some boots, and send him to North Korea.

Jenna Simeonov
The pre-show monologue

The pre-show monologue

Ok, shrug off the coat, and find your phone. Do-not-disturb setting, don't fail me now. 1 minute left! Time for an anticipatory show-related Tweet. Sir to my left, I see you eyeing my phone and drawing conclusions related to my lack of grey hair; don't you worry, though, I will not live up to your stereotype of mid-show texters. Tweet sent! Double check volume is off, and let's add airplane mode for good measure. See, sir to my left, phone is going into the purse.

Jenna Simeonov
Let's hear it for the basses

Let's hear it for the basses

It can be a tough life for those basses; not only are they rarely the title role in an opera, but they spend a huge amount of kind being skeevy, grabby old men at the party, or money-hungry meddlers, or murderous recluses. When they're not any of those things, they're penniless philosophers making much out of the meaning of donating a coat, or morally questionable cult leaders, or four different faces of the devil.

Jenna Simeonov
....AND she was an opera singer

....AND she was an opera singer

She got bored with Sérannes, and began an affair with a young woman, whose parents responded by shipping the girl off to a convent. Julie responded in turn by stealing the body of a dead nun, putting it in her lover's bed, and setting the convent on fire so they both could escape. Three months later, Julie's lover had had enough, and she went back to mum and dad. Julie had been charged for her crimes in absentia, but the authorities apparently didn't catch her because they thought she really was a man.

Jenna Simeonov
Lost history: opera's most famous premieres

Lost history: opera's most famous premieres

When a few late-night serenades ended in street brawls between amateur guitarists and the husbands of the ladies at these windows, the police gave up their bribes and banned strummed instruments played by young men after sunset.

Jenna Simeonov

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