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Calling Opera Queens

Went to the Washington National Opera this past Wed to see the new production of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes. An opera based on a tragic story about a fisherman(Peter Grimes), accidental deaths of his young apprentices, and villager's inquisitions that ultimately caused Peter Grimes' death. A poignant reflection on how hypocrite societies can be and how cruel group gossips can be.

It is a rather unconventional opera in every measure. It is written by a contemporary composer, therefore the music is more modern than operas that the romanticism music that most opera goers are accustomed to. The music was also exceedingly dark and angry. It was evident the audience was not used to Peter Grimes. The opera hall was not sold out, and more and more people leave and never came back during each intermissions. Even though I went by myself, since I didn't know of any opera queens other than myself, I truly enjoyed this opera. The cast performed admirably, and the music sounds acceptable from where I sat, and I always enjoyed a good tragedy.

But honestly, shouldn't us gays enjoy operas ?! What happened to all those Opera Queen stereotypes portrayed in movies such as Philadelphia, and Milk ?! Regardless, here's one of my favorite aria from Peter Grimes.





Heather Harper (soprano) as Ellen OrfordLibretto:

(Ellen)
Let her among you without fault
Cast the first stone
And let the Pharisees and Sadducees
Give way to none.
But whosoever feels his pride
Humbled so deep
There is no corner he can hide
Even in sleep!
Will have no trouble to find out
How a poor teacher
Widowed and loney finds delightIn shouldering care.
(as she moves up the street)
Mr. Hobson, wheres your cart?
Im ready.
(Hobson)
Up here, maam. I can wait.
(The crowd stands round and watches. Some follow Ellen and Hobson. On the edge ofthe crowd are other activities.)
(Mrs. Sedley)
Have you my pills?
(Ned)
Im sorry, maam.
(Mrs. Sedley)
My sleeping draught?
(Ned)
The laudanumIs out of stock, and being brought
By Mr. Carrier Hobsons cart.
Hes back tonight.
(Mrs. Sedley)Good Lord, good Lord
(Ned)
Meet us both at this pub, The Boar
Aunties we call it. Its quite safe.
(Mrs. Sedley)
Ive never been in a pub in my life.
(Ned)Youll come?
(Mrs. Sedley)
All right.
(Ned)
Tonight?
(Mrs. Sedley)
All right.

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