The Fort Worth Opera is bringing Dallas a little present tonight, in the form of some very boozy singing. Skipping the opera house for a cozier setting, the company presents its popular pop-up opera series, Opera Shots, on the outdoor stage of the Foundry.
Tonight's two-hour event gets going at 6:30 p.m. with the Dallas premier of composer Patrick Soluri's very funny and very short opera, Figaro's Last Hangover. This opera is appropriately set in a bar. The title character is having a drink when he finds out an asteroid is going to hit the earth in 10 minutes. Within those 10 minutes, in typical operatic absurdity, an old love affair is rekindled and quickly dismantled.
The whole opera will probably be over in the time it takes to down a shot and half a beer. The composer, Patrick Soluri, will be hanging out in the crowd tonight as well. So if his opera makes you laugh out loud, you're feeling a generous and happy buzz, or you are just really impressed with his brevity, you can play get-the-composer-drunk and send him a shot (or two) of appreciation.
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After Figaro's Last Hangover, some of Fort Worth Opera's stars will take the stage for a sort of professional opera karaoke, taking turns belting out some of the genre's most familiar and popular tunes. Today's weather couldn't be more perfect for a night in the Foundry's beautiful courtyard, and serenades under the stars will only make it better.
It's no secret that opera companies need to court younger audiences if they are to survive. For a genre that is often perceived as stuffy, tedious and out of touch, this is no small task.
Accessible exposure is a great first step. People tend to dislike the unfamiliar and unknown, so bringing this music to us in a comfortable setting at an affordable price (read: Free!), is a smart move. Plus it's fun. Even those of us who love 18th-century opera are thirsty for some stripped down, 21st-century approaches to this music.
Admission and entertainment is free, but the booze is on you.