Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Opera Don't Fail Me Now

I've been a fan of the power of opera for decades. The power of what? Let me explain. Opera is an acquired taste.  Most people hate it.  That's just the way it is.

I first discovered the power of opera  when I had a roommate in college.  If I wanted to get rid of him, back then we had these things called cassette tapes. Some of mine were opera. Well, I could pop on the Barber of Seville  or some other performance and poof, my roommate would be gone in minutes. Wow.

A little later in the timeline I was dog sitting my parents golden retriever.  He was in the back seat and we were going somewhere in my car. The NPR station had Metropolitan Opera on Saturdays and on came this opera. The dog tried to climb out the open car window. I pulled him back in. It was unclear whether he just wanted to stick his head far enough out to escape the music or he was going to leap from the car--but he was not happy when I grabbed his collar and yanked him back inside. I had to turn the radio off to settle him down. Adding insult to injury, the dog was asleep on the floor when that very night I had the TV on but was actually reading something and not paying attention that some special opera from PBS was coming on.  The dog heard that and got up. He glared at me for a moment, in his mind I'd deliberately made the station play opera. He let out a huff and left the room and went to another room away from the hideous opera.

Fast forward a few years to my service in the hotel industry in Vail, Colorado. There, we had a couple of families that let their adolescent children run around the hotel all night, causing me endless grief as they trashed my lobby and made never ending noise. I was desperate to get them to go to their rooms. Then I remembered the PA system, awash in Christmas music, actually had an opera channel on it.  Three minutes later, the lobby was empty. I was a genius.

So, since my relocation to Tucson, the one drawback to living here is the huge number of bums at street corners begging for money. It gets quite old. I was stuck at a red light the other day. The local reprobate was heading for me and I even had my window down. Miraculously, the classical music station put on an opera--some German thing and I forget which one. I quickly cranked up the volume. The vagrant turned and walked away from my car. Hallelujah. Do I love opera.

No comments:

Post a Comment