I went to the Opera last night to see “The Fly”. Its a new Opera based on the movie The Fly. The opera was directed by David Cronenberg (naked lunch, crash, the dead zone) who was also responsible for the 1982 film of the same name. Composed Howard Shore acclaimed film scorer (Lord of the rings trilogy, the aviator, ed wood, the cell)
I love The Opera. I know insert Pretty Woman joke here, but I’m Italian, very Italian… as a child Opera was often played in my home as i sat on the floor and built my Barbie Dream House©. I grew up with it and it resonates with me. I go to the opera whenever i can, but it’s expensive and I’m spoiled. I like good seats, I like to dress to the nines and sip champagne, i go to the lectures before hand. That means i don’t go as often as id like to, so when an old friend called me up to see if i was interested in being his date i jumped at the chance.
The Music was just amazingly beautiful and the story is a good one, mans struggle with humanity with a big healthy helping of love triangle on the side to round it all out.
This particular opera is significant because its something new, its based on a film, its macabre, its got sex scenes and best of all nudity! full frontal male nudity i might add. I think its a direction opera needs to head if its to invite new and younger people into its fold. This isn’t a re-staging of the same old opera you’ve seen 100 times. It is a fresh take on Opera, a collaborative effort by ultra creative people from different mediums coming together to make something new.
Now the bad news, it falls flat and for two reasons. Its fatal flaw is the libretto written by Henry David Hwang. Is meandering and slow, it cops out going for a cheap laugh time and time again, really there’s very little melody and rhythm in the libretto (in the words of Big audio Dynamite “all the matters these days is rhythm and melody”). To a lesser degree its doesn’t push the envelope enough its as if they were afraid to offend the blue hairs with really going for a dangerous and macabre look into a mans horrifying transformation into a fly. Insect politics was especially disappointing as that could have been the crown jewel of the whole piece but again its as if the jockey was on the horse but refused to give its head so it choked before the finish line.
Oh well, i applaud the effort and hope this trend in opera continues. Plus i always enjoy spending time with old friends who know me for who i really am. I didn’t have to be “Jenny” last night, i only had to be me. Add to that a little opera, a little champagne, a charming companion and I’m one a happy, happy girl.