Each spring the Fort Worth Opera puts on a festival and this year, there's something for everyone - old, new, tragic, shocking - you can't go wrong no matter which opera you choose to see. The festival began last week and continues each weekend through June 3rd. You can find a full schedule on their website.
Here are four reasons to get your Kulture on in Funkytown this month:
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1. Puccini Will Make You Cry If there's one opera that everyone should see first, it's Tosca. Puccini's heart wrenching melodrama can make anyone fall in love with the genre. It is relatively short as far as operas go, but packs a serious punch. A passionate love story set against a politically tumultuous backdrop, Tosca simmers with love and lies, murder and deceit, and, most importantly, a soprano who hurls herself to death from the parapet of a castle. And the music! Tosca contains some of opera's most memorable and gorgeous arias. Yes, the story is tragic, but Puccini's touching melodies and the power of the human voice are what will tug most persistently on even the hardest hearts (and driest tear ducts).
2. This Opera Contains Adult Content Leave the kids at home for this one. Lysistrata, or, The Nude Goddess is a 21st-century American opera based on a 5th-century Greek play. Italian American composer and librettist Mark Adamo puts a modern, racy spin on this classic tale of sex withheld until war is concluded. In Adamo's version, the themes of sex and war (or, rather, passivism) ignite the backdrop for an expanded tale centering around the relationship between Lysia and the Athenian leader Nico. Bonus: it's in English, so you don't have to bother with reading subtitles.
3. Mozart Will Make You Laugh When Mozart composed The Marriage of Figaro, he was poking fun at contemporary aristocracy with an unflattering portrayal of a sexually aggressive Count. Figaro is timeless. As long as corrupt politicians with ulterior motives and unabated sexual appetites remain, this satirical drama feels fresh and relevant. With characteristically sharp wit and near-perfect music, Mozart's humorous account of a complicated foursome remains one of opera's most accessible (and hilarious) offerings.
4. Opera for Our Time (and More Adult Content) Jake Heggie is a consistently compelling contemporary opera composer. Over the last decade, audiences have raved about his English-text Dead Man Walking and Moby-Dick (which was premiered in Dallas in 2010). In Three Decembers, the composer gives us a paired-down chamber opera that delves into the familial relationships of an aging Broadway star and her two adult children. As it explores the innerworkings of this complicated family dynamic, Heggie's opera will pull you into human drama in a contemporary setting.