It aint over till the fat lady sing-fatterfatterfatter-siii-ings

Im very behind with blogging things. I warn you. So if I keep coming up with things that sound like they were yesterday and fresh in my mind – they ARE fresh in my mind, but theyre also from a few weeks ago. Really, Im just really slowly ticking them off the things to blog about list that sits next to my bed and in the diary in my bag. There is a lot going on right now. Sorry.

ANYWAY.

I now like opera. This may SEEM in direct opposition to a few posts I wrote a few years ago

about

. opera and why I hate it sorry for pauses, I got really led off there reading other posts from that era. And looking at this photo twenty times. Man, I have to find a way of taking my brain back to the place it was in those couple of years ago.

ANYWAY.

The point is, I used to hate opera. I like the music fine, or some of it – but dont understand the gravitas and the elitism and the preciousness of it. And the point of paying SO much for the staging and the costumes when, really, the point was that they were singing at each other in situations where normal human beings would never sing. Actually I still dont understand that.

The point is, I have discovered I quite like opera. Not just the music now, I quite like the production of it. I understand why you might want to get caught up in it, as a story.

Admittedly a really simple story that moves very slowly because you have to say everything nineteen times at varying pitches but I admit, there is a story there. And I kind of like it. I kind of like opera. But only – and, you know, its a slow process, baby steps – if you can have hot dogs at the same time.

So basically: there was a simulcast of Tosca at the Giants baseball stadium. It was free, and you could take a picnic and (if you registered early) sit in the infield. And if you didnt register, or did and were late, you could sit in the normal baseball seats and go and buy baseball game food. And watch the opera. And you could huddle there under blankets and fleeces (because its cold here in the summer)(yes, I know). And if you needed the loo, you could just wander off whenever. And if you wanted to eat hot dogs and chicken tenders and garlic fries and drink a whole bunch of mediocre Ballpark wine, you could do that too.

But the funny thing was, even with these distractions, I got involved in the story of the opera. In fact, I probably got more involved than I would have if Id felt like I was under an obligation to stay quiet and proper and posh and quiet.

I liked it. I understood it. more than that, I understood why I should like it. And I like opera. Kind of. I mean, I like it in ball parks.

Actually, because we could talk (very quietly, obvs) during the performance, I understood for the first time why, when its staged, its so often formal and nostalgic and wooden: because of the physical demands of singing mean you have to stand up very straight, and in particular positions, in order to hit those notes and at that volume. That was interesting.

But I also just liked it. Loved it, in some bits, though I didnt know why. When something dramatic happened, I cant remember what, I gasped and put my hand over my mouth and said Oh NO!, which is an unusually excitable reaction to opera, for me. And then, when something had happened that I wasnt sure of, I suddenly realised I was weeping.

Not just feeling sad. Actually Weeping.

The lead character (Tosca, the fat lady previously discussed) was sad about something and the song she sang was so sad that the whole audience in the baseball park – about 30,000 from the look of them – fell completely and utterly silent. And there were seagulls swooping overhead and the darkness of the bay behind the screen and it was just so quiet and so lovely, and I wasnt quite sure why this fat lady was so sad at this particular point but she was, and I wept. A lot. I wasnt quite sure what it was I was weeping about but I wept.

And then.when she finished, I looked around at some of my other not-usually-opera-fans around me, and they were wiping their eyes.

It was a beautiful, casual, wonderful thing.

I tried to get a video to record the scale and atmosphere of the event

And I would have got a lot further with that if by beloved wasnt a complete dick.

But yes. Opera.

I tried to get a video to record the scale and atmosphere of the event

My Beloved, he thinks he's so funny

And I would have got a lot further with that if by beloved wasnt a complete dick.

Not as bad as I previously mentioned.

Yes, this one in particular happened to end (ricidulously suddenly) with the cliched fat lady singing – but let me state for the record: the OTHER fat lady (me) survived.

But only with the help of garlic fries.