Last night I went to Symphony Hall to watch my very first opera, the classic “Porgy and Bess”, with compositions by the famous American composer George Gershwin.
I did not really know what to expect.
The hall itself was an interesting combination of both old and new. High-tech mixing consoles and lighting fixtures were made more prominent in comparison to the much more traditional surroundings. You know when a film is about to start, and the lights dramatically fade out? Yeah, they do not have that at Symphony Hall. They just use light switches.
As for the show itself, to be honest, I did not particularly enjoy it. I appreciate opera as an art form, and I am interested in writing my own opera pieces someday, but nevertheless, it was not really my taste.
The main issue was the concept. The audience, made up primarily of older folk and couples on dates, were all dressed in formal attire, and they all enjoyed the concert in a “classy” manner. This is not my perception of classical music. Why can classical music not possess more informality? Why can you not appluad when a specific cue touches your heart? Why can you not have cool lighting schemes, or a giant screen with some projections synced to the music, or maybe even dancers or sets? But no. All you do is sit and watch in silence, and you do not applaud until the end of a piece. How boring. That is not music. That is elitism.
On the other end of the spectrum, I do greatly appreciate opera. The vocalists were extraordinary, as were the choir and my favorite aspect of the show, the orchestra. Although I had trouble understanding what they were saying, which is crucial to the telling of the story of “Porgy and Bess”, that did not really matter too much in the end. I would have liked to hear the story better, but just listening to the orchestra was good enough for me.
I am really looking forward to The Legend of Zelda concert coming up. It is most certainly going to be the highlight of this semester. I assume that it will be a much more modernized view of classical music, which is exactly what I am looking for.