Crushing Mice: Leonora, #20

Leonora and I are often reproached for being too critical of the audience members we encounter during our visits to the opera. This may be true; we understand where those criticisms stem from. Yet to understand the cartoon below, consider the context of it and put yourself in our operamaniac shoes.

Recently, Leonora and I went to the Metropolitan Opera Live in HD transmission of the opera “Elektra” in the movie theater (because seeing it in the house wasn’t enough, apparently). It is the last opera we get to see in the season. There are four opera-less months ahead, so every moment of this last one was to be savoured and cherished. Particularly, because Eric Owens was in it (if you ever hear me mention “bass-baritone”, it must be about him). Here is the thing: for Eric Owens’s admirers, “Elektra” is both gratifying and frustrating — gratifying because the part of Orestes that he sings is intensely beautiful, and frustrating because out of approximately 1 hour 45 minutes that the opera lasts, Eric Owens gets to spend about 20 minutes on stage. Orestes arrives, lurks in the background, listens to Elektra sing, broods, sings, listens to Elektra sing, kills mother, leaves stage. The actual singing is maximum five minutes, so you can imagine that for somebody who came specifically to hear Eric Owens sing, those are VERY IMPORTANT five minutes. The rest is documented below.


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