Saturday, March 22, 2008


J'aime l'opéra

'Bout four years ago, a former co-worker branded me an "interesting enigma." What provoked this name-calling? Well, the former co-worker in question knew me to be a tobacco-chewing pro-lifer who could quote from the Simpsons, Quentin Tarantino movies and R.E.M. tunes just as easily as I could quote from An Inquiry Into The Nature And Causes Of The Wealth Of Nations and The Conservative Mind.

When I start doing all that introspection stuff, I start thinkin' that my former co-worker was right. I guess I am an interesting enigma. What I did today simply confirms it.

Yesterday, I was asked by my immediate supervisor if I'd be doin' much-needed work at my office over the Easter weekend. I muttered up some stuff 'bout how I wanted to keep this weekend all observant and such, but what I was really doing was this ...

I'm an opera buff. I have been an opera buff since I was in high school. When I was in 9th grade, my classmates and I witnessed a performance of The Barber of Seville - in the original Italian - at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Most of my classmates were uninterested during the production; but I - who'd received two years of guitar and voice instruction - was completely transfixed by the music and singing. Immediately thereafter, I went out and bought Barber on CD ... and I didn't tell nobody about it.

My interest in opera progressed when I went off to college. During my undergraduate "experience," I had a job at a Nashville-based trucking company. Those years, I was the only person who worked in the office on weekends. Each and every Saturday afternoon, I had the radio tuned to the Metropolitan Opera's broadcast on public radio ... and I sat and listened and just enjoyed the hell out of it.

I can't count the insults I received when co-workers burst in on me when I was listening to the opera. "What the **** are you listening to?" they'd ask. My response was always the same: "Don't like it? You don't have to stand in this ****in' office and listen to it!"

With all that said, I'm gonna tell you that Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde is my favorite opera. (Tell me there's a better operatic overture than Tristan's overture, and I'll punch you right in the gut.) Wagner's more "fantastic" storylines get all the attention, for sure; but the love story in Tristan, and the underlying music, is Wagner's most beautiful work -- that's what I say.

Tristan und Isolde was performed at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC today (and it was nationally broadcast on public radio stations 'round the world). I sat in my home office for four hours this Saturday and I listened as James Levine conducted the hell out of my favorite opera. 'Twas a beautiful pre-Easter experience, indeed.

Now my "company" knows why I didn't work today: I was relaxing in my home office listening to today's opera broadcast from the Met.

Let's just hope nobody makes fun of me come Monday morning. That would make me really angry. And tain't a breathing soul on earth who needs to be around me when I'm really angry ...

So there!

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?