I never seem to stop amusing myself with my own actions. I always start out in one direction and wind up completely somewhere else.
I listened to an opera last Saturday as I was mowing the lawn.
It was a beautiful Saturday here in the Midwest. Sun shining, slight breeze to cool the body, lots of stay-at-home chores waiting for attention. Especially mowing the lawn.
I often listen to the radio in headphones while I mow these never-ending “yards.” It’s usually either oldies rock n’ roll or classical.
This time I chose classical.
Turning on WPR from Madison, Wisconsin, they were just starting a live broadcast from the Met in New York City of La bohème, an opera composed by Giacomo Puccini.
Now, if you know me (or took a good guess) I really enjoy upbeat classical music, along with smooth jazz, oldies rock and roll, big band, pop tunes from the 80s, and an occasional hairband like Metallica. Opera is about as popular in my repertoire as slasher movies. Like non-existent.
But it was either listen to this hoity toity singing or listen to music with a thousand commercials. So on to La Bohème I went.
You already can guess the outcome of this story. It was beautiful.
The voices, the story, everything was so much more than I was wont to believe. The opera was sung in Italian, so the announcers explained each act before it started. I had a vague notion of the story line, seeing that Nicolas Cage and Cher went to see that opera in the movie Moonstruck.
Now, I think you have to be in a certain state of mind to enjoy something not everyone appreciates. Opera is one of those niches.
But I was a ready listener, and caught all four acts before I finished for the day. I even went inside after the first act to read the synopsis of the opera before I went to finish mowing.
Another world of Art opened to me on Saturday, one I hope to revisit again soon. We all need to give other forms of Art a chance.
After all, Richard Gere and Julia Roberts go to see Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La Traviata! in the movie Pretty Woman …