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Post Three Opera Anecdotes
Created by John Eipper on 03/28/17 7:53 AM

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Three Opera Anecdotes (John Heelan, -UK, 03/28/17 7:53 am)

WAISworld's conversation on opera reminds me of three amusing opera events I witnessed when I was working and had to entertain customers at these cultural offerings.

The first two happened during a Scottish Opera's performance of "Tosca" many years ago. The rather rotund Tosca and her would-be rapist (Scarpia) collapsed on a somewhat rickety bed during the rape scene that in turn collapsed under the combined weight of the two singers. The audience chuckled, ruining the ambience of the scene. Even worse later, when Tosca hurls herself to her death from the ramparts of Castel San Angelo, somebody must have over-inflated the safety cushion on which she was supposed to land. From our viewpoint on the theatre balcony, we watched her bounce on the cushion to reappear above the ramparts two or three times before finally disappearing from sight with a sigh. By that time, the audience was in stitches with laughter.

Christmas was always greeted by my wife with the moan "We not having to watch the @%#& "Nutcracker" again this year are we?" It was only the delightful company of our guests (and long-term friends) that made it bearable for the nth time.

JE comments:  This one jarred my memory that WAIS did an opera "unit" in 2012.  John Heelan's "Tosca" experience should be replayed every five years or so:


I quipped this wisdom back then, and I think it's worth an encore:  "A bad performance turns a comedy into a tragedy, and as John Heelan's experience illustrates, a tragedy into a comedy."

How about this question:  Are politics in 2017 a tragedy...or a comedy?

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