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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Comics Night at the Opera: Falstaff

Posted by Ben Coleman on Wed, May 15, 2013 at 11:44 AM

  • Paul Guinan
  • This is a thing that happens in the opera.

The Portland Opera had one of their cartoonist invitationals last week, which also meant that I got to livetweet through my second consecutive opera (you can see my findings on the first one here). The production was great as usual, although due to the nature of the event this can't really count as a critical review. But I will answer a few obvious questions:

Were great grandchildren of the von Trapp family in the audience? Like from The Sound of Music? And are you saying that The Sound of Music was a real thing that happened and not just a movie like Mary Poppins?

Yes. I mean, unless Mary Poppins is real too. At this point I'm not ruling anything out. But anyway, yes, the the von Traps were there. They were very friendly and had significantly better posture than any of the assembled journalists and comics professionals. They even agreed to come by the Mercury offices and do an interview, which should show up on Blogtown sometime after I finish transcribing it.

Did fellow Mercurian Iam Karmel let the fact that he wasn't actually there prevent him from delivering some really solid opera-related Tweeting?
No he did not.

More Q&A after the jump:

This is maybe a slight exaggeration of a thing that happens
  • Terri Nelson
  • This is maybe a slight exaggeration of a thing that happens

So what's Falstaff's deal?
In modern terms, Falstaff is what I imagine would have come out of Stanley Kubrick directing an episode of Benny Hill, which, OK, maybe isn't the most current reference I've ever made, but it holds up pretty well. On the one hand, Verdi was a master of technical complexity and dark themes. On the other hand, Falstaff is the story of a goofy drunk who tries to get with half the Merry Wives of Windsor so he won't get kicked out of his favorite bar. It's a fun, trashy story that gets kinda weird at the end. I liked it a lot.

How can I get in on this sweet opera action?

I'm glad you asked, friend. Portland Opera is running a half-off deal for the Thursday and Sunday shows. Just plug in "KNIGHT" and find seats that aren't the absolute cheapest. Basically it works out to not-terrible seats in the $20 range. I imagine that's a pretty good deal, opera-wise. Ticket information here.

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