Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Fallen Woman

This past weekend I caught Verdi’s La Traviata (The Fallen Woman). I bought tickets back in December as a gift for a fellow grad student here in Boston, and I picked up a recorded performance with FriedOreo in Chicago over New Years and had been listening to it since then. I don’t pretend to have any authoritative knowledge of the genre; I went with dual aims of entertainment and learning more about the art form. The only other Verdi opera I had attended was Aida in Philly.

I went in braced for vocal acrobatics and tragedy-tinged commentary on love. I ended up being more impressed by its depiction of Parisian party society (the opera had the hedonism of a Perfectionists concert!) and the enhanced catchiness of the melodies performed live. Many of the female lead’s most powerful numbers were delivered at parties while her character was heroically drunk, which had the unexpected effect (at least for me) of lending an under-the-influence-rock-star rawness and intensity to the songs. For much of the show I felt like I should have been standing in a sweaty t-shirt close to the stage shouting lyrics instead of in a box yards from the stage.


At 10:32 PM, Blogger FriedOreo said...

First, it's good to hear from you, Andontay.

Glad you had such an interesting experience. How does La Traviata compare to Aida?

A fallen woman once asked: "Won't you cheat on your boyfriend... for me?"

At 5:03 PM, Blogger Mugshot said...

Andontay, it's great to have your contribution. That last sentence really says something about the ridiculous distance between different kinds of "cultural" outings. I always wear a T-shirt and jeans to orchestra concerts (see, I'm a rebel), and would rather clap between movements than wait for the end of a 1.5-hour-long Mahler symphony, because it is artistic constipation to have to cramp yourself in a box and sit all proper-like the whole time. That really stunts the audience's potential for real (authentic, FriedOreo?) emotional involvement.


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