Wednesday, February 16, 2011

[almost ky safe] chasing butterflies

i've had midnight to dawn spine shivers courtesy of goddess, maria callas & her ilk. she saw out my evening & begins the day again. ah, if only i could sing. but through her, the fantasy breathes.

sadly i'm going to quote pretty woman. yes, the movie. forgive me but, my discovery of opera was a bit like richard gere introducing julia roberts to the wonder which is this illustrious form. we [the opera & i] became one despite justifiably always being the last off the karaoke cab rank] fused & i wept & laughed like a baby my first time. i probably didn't look as attractive as julia.
People's reactions to opera the first time they see it
is very dramatic.
They either love it or they hate it.
If they love it, they will always love it.
If they don't, they may learn to appreciate it,
but it will never become part of their soul.

the first opera i ever saw was puccini's madama butterfly. it absolutely blew my mind. all the elements i love in the threatrical form: visual beauty, a fuck-off love story, conflict, social commentary, poetic sacrifice were all there. i was always going to love aronofky's black swan as well, despite the problems with it. same reason. oh, and it's aronofsky.

nothing beats a tear-jerking tragedy which reeks of realism. i've seen poor little butterfly a handful of times since, but with a semi-decent sound system & volume pumped it's pretty good at home/work too. one can surreptitiously rock a kimono, skin prickles complete & sing to passerbyers on the street with exaggerated expression. the volume thankfully drowns out my input.

arriving home late last night fueled on forbidden vodka cocktails pushed on by my reunited bestie, i went from detox to retox in one foul swooping see-saw movement. what came next was a degustation of puccini's finest very loud for a couple of hours. sorry princess rae rae.

 tamaki miura - copyright:

youtube really is an excellent enabler of such obsessive flash-in-the-pan fetishes. what did we do before? the above version is by tamaki miura, the original soprano who puccini cast as butterfly/cio cio-san in 1904.

butterfly has become a staple for opera companies for good reason. it's probably one of the more visually & aurally accessible & utterly intoxicating operas for laypeople like myself who don't really know a tenor from a baritone. it's linear story composition with uncomplicated core themes resonates with the masses. it's simply heartachingly beautiful on every level.

if you haven't seen it, do. for those in oz, opera australia have another madama butterfly production nearing the end of the season in sydney. la boheme opens april in melbourne, then july in sydney.  i haven't seen this season's butterfly but my friends who have & wax rhetoric after breaking open their opera seal for the first time.

according to gere's edward as he confides to roberts' vivian, they will always love it.


see how i sneakily slipped this in here? now with hebrew subtitles! what's not to love?

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