Monday, June 23, 2008

call me an intellectual snob....

Heck, I do it all the time.

Last week a friend took me to the opera. I love the opera. This one was a French piece I had never heard live before, at a theatre I didn't even think existed anymore, and with an orchestra I had never heard before, so it was exciting and new. They pretty much had to bomb it for me not to like it.

Well, the first act started and o.m.g.

Well, the opera wasn't actually in French but translated into English. For real, people? Can the audience not just read the synopsis, follow along with the acting and then enjoy the music as it's supposed to be enjoyed?

But then it got worse. They actually abridged what I guess someone deemed the boring parts. God forbid the audience should be forced to sit through a part with a bit less action and excitement, even for a moment. The soloists talked through some made-up dialogue to advance the action.

And even more horrific... every one of the soloists spoke in his or her normal voice, with the exception of one of the men, who actually faked a French accent. A really, really bad French accent, the kind that makes six year olds laugh.

In what other place would an audience have to endure not just translation and abridgement of an important work of art, but also an insulting attempt at humour at the expense of another culture?! Argh. If I didn't believe in the dumbing of America before, I certainly do now.


Whiner Girl said...

I understand where you're coming from. I had a similar experience when I went to see Cabaret a couple of years ago. I was mortified at some of the "artistic" license that was taken in order to make it more modern. Some things just shouldn't be messed with.

complain away said...

YES. That's why Phantom of the Opera, Dirty Dancing (the musical) and Mamma Mia exist, so that other stuff doesn't have to get dumbed down. Thank you.