We love opera. But let’s get one thing clear: not all opera. We’ve seen productions that were so boring, people who had just been brought out of ten-year comas would ask to take a nap.
We’ve also seen operas so slow that we found ourselves thinking Mr. Lloyd Webber was onto something. If only a chandelier would come crashing down into the audience, we’d be saved from the tedium in time for last call. Sure, people might die in the process, but that’s what they call “collateral damage” in the opera world.
Thankfully, we can honestly say we’ve never seen a Fort Worth Opera production that would make any off-stage tragedy fantasies cross our minds. And this season will be no different, we’re confident.
Our favorite part of the FWO is the festival format, which allows fans to see a trio of operas in a single weekend. During intermissions, we like to ask the old ladies in line at the bar if they’re enjoying their three-way so far. It’s a great ice-breaker.
The festival format is also a great excuse for a mini vacation that won’t cost a fortune, and no airfare required. We’re heading to Fort Worth for Memorial Day Weekend and setting up camp at a hotel, all because of the opera fest. Arias, divas and free continental breakfast? You couldn’t hold us back if you tried.
The first on this year’s slate is Mozart’s Don Giovanni, based on the tale of serial womanizer, Don Juan. But instead of his usual old-man sidekick, he’s been replaced with a hot young guy to assist in Don’s conquests.
Two gorgeous young men? And they can sing? Sold.
Second is The Elixir of Love by Gaetano Donizetti (of the Lombardy, Italy Donizettis, not to be confused with the Waxahachie Donizettis). A more modern title might be Beer Goggles, because this one’s all about falling in love under the influence of a little alcoholic libation. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. And in a typical FWO twist, the action also moves from Italy to Midwest America. (Please, please, please let there be a two-person cow costume.)
Finally, the world premiere of Before Night Falls, composed by Jorge Martin, round out the offerings. The tale of gay Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas, this is the opera garnering the biggest buzz. And we can’t wait to see what they do with this epic story of love and freedom. After all, the book was great. The movie was great. And so was the video game.
So join us for a weekend in Fort Worth, won’t you? We’ll catch a few operas, do a little two-steppin’ and maybe even grab a beer at Billy Bob’s. And don’t worry, we’ve got a pull-out couch in our suite. It’s Room 1318. Just tell the front desk you’re with us.
Schedule of 2010 Festival Performances:
May 22, 8:00 p.m. – Don Giovanni
May 23, 2:00 p.m. – The Elixir of Love
May 28, 8:00 p.m. – The Elixir of Love
May 29, 8:00 p.m. – Before Night Falls (world premiere)
May 30, 2:00 p.m. – Don Giovanni
June 4, 8:00 p.m. – Don Giovanni
June 5, 8:00 p.m. – The Elixir of Love
June 6, 2:00 p.m. – Before Night Falls