Yesterday, Tony and I went to Opera in the Park. Opera in the Park is a madison-wide event that features several single selections from various operas in a sampler type of event. It took place in Gardner park just a couple blocks away from our apartment. They setup a big stage at the bottom of the hill and everyone just sits on the side of the hill to view the stage.It was much more attended than I thought it would be.
Madison definitely has their little get-togethers.. Opera in the Park, Brat Fest, Rhythm and Booms.. Art fair on the Square was pretty well attended too. What other traditional Madison festivals and fairs are there? At the end of the night, they announced that over 13,000 people were there which is pretty incredible.
The event started around 8pm and went on into the night. The first two songs that began with I had heard in one form or another before hand, but had never heard the actual song. Largo al factotum (the figaro song) and Anvil Chorus I remember from Looney Tunes. ^_^ The figaro song is also usually heard in commercials too. Usually spaghetti sauce commercials. I think it's kinda funny that the height of my opera experience was from other forms of media using it either poorly or commercially, but at least I had some exposure to it.
Overall, it was the perfect day for laying in the park listening to some fantastic music. ^_^
Despite not knowing anything about Opera, there is one opera that I know of thanks to Asian American Literature at Platteville and that is Madama Butterfly. I think we read the original short story, Madame Butterfly, the opera was based on. It was rather brief, but gave us the background needed to start reading M. Butterfly, which is a play inspired by the book.
Madame Butterfly is about a Japanese Geisha woman in Nagasaki known to her friends as Butterfly. She meets an US sailor, Pinkerton, who's ship is in town. They fall in love and get married, but Pinkerton must return to the states. The main emotion of the story is Butterfly's longing and loyality to Pinkerton as she continues to work as a Geisha She continues to wait and wait and wait for his return, despite her friends constantly telling her that he's never going to return. That he doesn't love her and it was just a little fling for him. She continues to believe in Pinkerton. AND.. Many twists and turns happen when Pinkerton finally returns to Nagasaki.
M. Butterfly is an interesting parallel tale of love between the actors who portrey the characters in a similar opera featuring cross-dressing and John Lithgow.
Anywho, Madama Butterfly is being performed by the Madison Opera in November! I'm totally going. I think I'll try to read the books again beforehand. They also have a preview/lecture about the play a week before that'll probably be interesting, too.