By Jim Schutze
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After having spent the better part of the past six years voicing opinions on politics, culture, the law and other things we know little about, Buzz feels it's time to expand our horizons and venture into new, fancier territory. So this week, Buzz tries our hand as opera critic.
That's right, at age 41 Buzz attended our very first opera Friday night, the Dallas Opera's production of Mozart's Cos fan tutte, which is Italian for "really expensive nap." We're no longer an opera virgin, though we should note that losing this cherry took much, much longer than shedding that other virginity--roughly three and half hours vs. a minute and a half, though this time no alcohol was involved.
Friends and colleagues often suggest that Buzz should expand our cultural horizons. "Buzz," they say, "there's more to life and happiness than video games and marijuana."
"Yes," we reply, "but why be greedy?" When you're living in Nirvana, it doesn't do to peruse the real estate ads.
(Buzz's family has another way to describe these attempts at refinement. "Perfuming the pig," they call it. Funny family. Funny, funny family. We're not close.)
Still, when opera spokeswoman Suzanne Calvin called to offer us opera tickets, no strings attached, and promised that she wasn't "bullshitting" us and expecting a story, we were sold. Opera women say "bullshitting." We were so there.
Our only tip before going into it came from a co-worker, who told us "all opera singers are named Maria," which certainly made taking notes in the dark easier.
So what is Cos fan tutte? It's the story of two soldiers, played by Maria and Maria, who wager with an elderly gent, Don Maria, that their fiancees--also Marias--are paragons of virtue. To test this, the boy Marias pretend to head off to war, only to return in disguise--they wore mustaches--to attempt to woo their loves and test their faithfulness. Much hilarity and singing ensue. (Buzz's favorite line: "These mustaches are our triumph, plumes of love.")
Having seen Bugs Bunny in "What's Opera, Doc?" about 8 million times, we expected more death and mayhem, but oddly no one died, except maybe that old fellow in the magenta tux two rows up who appeared to be sleeping much too soundly.
The show was lovely and the singing amazing to our untrained ear. As a feat of sheer athleticism, lying prone on a wooden floor and singing loudly enough to be heard in the back rows of the Music Hall beats anything you're likely to see Cowboys running back Troy Hambrick do this season. In short, Buzz liked it. Why, we may even go back. Lessee, how much do those tickets cost? TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FOUR DOLLARS! That's nearly five video games!
Um, perhaps we should go slower with this whole culturization thing, start smaller, cheaper. Say...if any press agents for the next monster truck rally are looking for coverage, give Buzz a call.