The Opera Story
A few years ago, I went to see the new (and awful) production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly at the Met.
In the end of Act 2 there is this scene in which nightfall is depicted in the music, with the stars lighting up one by one. Specifically, there's a gorgeous string pizzicato towards the end. I was in the "standing room" area, with the balcony on top of everybody's head, and the acoustics questionable. It seemed to me that either the conductor was a total a-hole and drowned the pizzicato with other instruments; or the poor acoustics were playing tricks on me. I decided to get to the bottom of it. When the intermission started, I wandered into the orchestra seats in search of an intelligent face. I found one: a middle-aged woman, pleasant-looking, tastefully dressed, with big eyes and nice wrists. I went up to her and asked her if she had actually heard the pizzicato - or had it been drowned out by the rest of the orchestra, as I suspected? She looked blankly at me for a moment. She then said that her husband would soon come back from the restroom: he knew all about such things; she, on the other hand, didn't know ... well ...
Anything. She didn't know anything. There are hundreds of thousands of people who pay good money to sit in the orchestra seats - no longer confused, just bored out of their wits. They don't know what to pay attention to; they aren't prepared. They attend opera performances for decades and still have no clue. I realized that I had to do something about that: my duty as a storyteller. Opera isn't complicated; in fact, it's the simplest art form, like, ever. It is certainly not boring.
And so I created this video story titled The Opera Story. I guarantee that if you watch it and listen carefully, you'll know all you need to know in order to enjoy opera in full. And - you'll never be bored again. Ever.
Here it is -