Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Off to Theatre in Dnipro

My mother used to say a Highbrow was someone who could listen to Rossini's William Tell Overture and not think of the Lone Ranger. Now mom had no more idea it was by Rossini than I did till I Googled it just now but at least we knew it was the WTO.

At any rate, Tanya and I and friends are going to Dnipro for two nights to go to the theatre. Wednesday night is an opera by Puccini, Thursday is a concert. One of the singers is a mezzosoprano named Zoya something whom Tanya and I heard in 2005 . Tanya has the details. The website is in Ukrainian.

This will be my second opera. My friend Brent and I went to see Giuseppi Verdi's Rigoletto at the Kyiv Opera House a few years back. Referring to it as Joe Green's Rigatoni did not win any marks with my friend Sveta who got us the tickets.

I've also been to two ballets. One every 20 years should not ruin one's character. The first was Tchaikovsy's Nutracker at the (then) Saskatoon Centennial Auditorium back in 1968. Then in 2007 Tanya and I went to see Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake at the theatre in Dnipro. I had no idea what it was we were seeing as I did not see a program until after the show but recognized the music and the dance of the swans in Act 2.

The hero wore white tights and the villain wore black tights...a western on tiptoes. I thought the hero got the girl and vanquished the villain but apparently the two lovers killed themselves and the villain died out of plain cussedness which should only happened in operas but what do I know?

Since 2007 was the Year of the Pig on the Chinese Zodiac, I was hoping that the Chinese National Ballet would do a remake called Swine Lake with 20 pudgy porkers dancing in a mud hole for Act 2. No such luck. As you can tell, I learned about kulcher from Tim the Toolman (and the peasants rejoiced).

Will keep you posted.


  1. Too hilarious! I have tears from laughing.

    On Valentine's Day our choir is singing "Opera Choruses for Skeptics" with the RSO. We're singing the "Bridal Chorus" (in German) and "Va, Pensiero" (Italian) as well as a couple other classics that shouldn't make David highbrow. Do you think your ancestors are rolling over in their graves with all this high kulcher?

  2. In my world, highbrow is the ability to smile without allowing the skol to drip onto your beard.

    You've kinda lost me with that opera stuff. I like my entertainment to come complete with a beginning, middle and end, uninterrupted by culture of any type and a few cartoons on the intro.

  3. I guess they need a Victor Borge for ballet. That would make things interesting.

  4. Elaine, I would love to go to your performance with the RSO. David is likely immune to the stuff by now. As to our ancestors, weren't a whole raft of them high mucky mucks in the C of E - choirmasters and organists and such?

    Dana, all it takes is exposure and an open mind.

    Demeur, that is genius. Can you imagine how much fun that would be? I loved Victor Borge and how he poked fun at classical music without demeaning it.

  5. One of the best exposures Americans have to classical music and opera is "The Bugs Bunny Show". I think that is how our symphony's maestro got hooked on classics.

    I forgot about those musicians in Ireland. Even my ancestors are portrayed this weekend in the Norwegian sailor's song.

  6. One of my favourite Bugs Bunny shows is the Barber of Seville.


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