In all of our opera experience, we've found a guarantee. As you nestle into your Music Hall at Fair Park seat, even if you know nothing of the production you're about to see, you can expect one of two types of opera: a gut-wrenching drama (death is optional, love is not) or a comedy of errors (see previous parenthetical notation). Now, just to prep ourselves for the Dallas Opera's newest venture, we checked out www.dallasopera.org to get a little background on Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. Under "Synopsis By Act" it reads, "Mix a dose of classical mythology with a dollop of commedia dell'arte shenanigans and a dash of worldly wise Viennese satire " Check! for the ol' comedy of errors. Farther down we get, "Although much of the time, the depressed princess sleeps, when she is awake she sings of her longing for Death." Hmm, optional death referred to but not guaranteed...we're two for two. One last scan and we find not only "He meets, and is smitten at once, by the comedienne Zerbinetta," but also "The pair lock eyes and immediately fall in love. They sing of their passion for each other and retire to Ariadne's cave." And there, friends, is the love. Like Lifetime movies, operas are built on formulas for guaranteed success. The romantics are happy with the relationship aspect, while their companions get a jaunty fight or some comedy to keep them happy. We're not ripping on the opera, mind you, only trying to prove a point that people are wrong to think that just because it may be presented in a foreign language, they won't get it. The opera is as easily understood as a Bruce Willis movie or any LMN vehicle starring Tori Spelling. The common man could find a cultural soul mate if he'd just bust out some cash and try one show. It could be a match made in heaven or a gut-wrenching experience. Either way, we can safely say we told you so. Now go.
Fri., Jan. 6, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Jan. 8, 2 p.m.