Hi, I’m Michelle and I’m 27 and I didn’t enjoy the Opera.
I promise I am not an uncultured swine. But until this week I had never been to the Opera. And in all honesty I don’t think I’ll go again.
I went to see Pagliacci. Part of Opera North ‘The Little Greats’ series. Opera North calls these short operas with huge emotions, and there are 6 mini operas.
Ok, so I took my Mum as she had also never been to the opera and well Kevin didn’t want to go.
As the Grand Theatre has a bar, we went for a quick drink first and people watched as bar started to fill up. There was a very varied age group there, and no one thankfully in tuxedos and ball gowns (because you know that’s what the opera is in my head).
We made our way to our seats and got settled, we felt a buzz in the air and was initially excited as the orchestra started to play.
One of the actors (are they actors? Or do you call them singers? Performers maybe? I’m not sure) introduced Pagliacci in English and for a moment I forgot that the rest of the show would not be in English.
Honestly, it went a little bit down hill around 15 minutes in when I lent over to ask Mum if she knew what was going on. Spoiler alert … She didn’t. When I looked round, everyone looked like they knew what was going on, maybe they didn’t and they were blagging it?
Since Pagliacci was performed in Italian with English subtitles, for goodness sake don’t forget your glasses or you’ll be screwed. To the sides of the stage there were large tv screens that had the lyrics on. This was obviously needed, so you had a better idea of the story unfolding.
I’ve never been very good with subtitled films. (oh crap maybe I am an actual uncultured swine?) But I spend too much time reading the words and trying to match them to the foreign word, I end up missing half of what’s going on.
This is kind of what happened throughout Paglicca. I wanted to know what was happening, so spent my time reading the lyrics on screen and that meant I was missing what was on stage.
Now it wasn’t the Opera its self that I didn’t like, the acting and singing were amazing. It was short, topping out at just over an hour and definitely full of emotion, I was not bored. I was just confused.
The only way I can describe it is, when you go and see a musical and there is that 5 minuets that you lose the plot and you’ve no idea what’s going on. But then in another few minutes it all comes back and you get it again? Well that didn’t happen. For 60 out of the 75 minutes I didn’t know what was happening really. It just came together in the last few moments and I more or less got it.
It comes down to, would I go again? Probably not. I’m a little ashamed to say that we didn’t stay for the 2nd performance of the evening. We called it a night and went home and cut our losses.
Dear Opera, you were an experience but sadly not one I think I’ll be repeating again anytime soon.