Thursday, September 23, 2004

Opera Nights & Green Days

So last night I went to the Lyric Opera in Chicago to see Mozart's Don Giovanni. A night at the opera isn't exactly a new thing for me, as this is my second year as a subcriber and I think I've been to something like 12 operas in the last few years. But I am still fully an opera novice, in terms of my knowledge, familiarity and appreciation of opera as a whole, particular operas and particular performances. I have a thorough respect for the art form, have truly enjoyed many of the operas I've seen and can now occasionally listen to opera on my iPod, willingly, albeit in small doses. That said, I kept nodding off last night during Don Giovanni. And though I thoroughly respected its many moments of obvious beauty and artful brilliance, the truth is, I was never really enthralled, enraptuped or engrossed. I basically sat through two 1-1/2 hour acts looking at my watch every 10 minutes or so, waiting for the time to pass. So I guess my efforts to learn to appreciate opera, as part of a wider mission to expose myself to new things, cannot yet be termed a success. I take the blame for not more thoroughly familiarizing myself with the music of each opera I see -- such as I do with Broadway musicals, with much greater enjoyment -- but I guess you can only like what you like, and while I'm trying to like opera and do to an extent, it's a work in progress. At best.

That said, I have been greatly enjoying Green Day's new American Idiot album, probably the best "rock" release so far in 2004. The dearth of good rock & roll -- particularly as presented on American radio -- is in large part what has spurred my exploration of Broadway (which I greatly enjoy), Jazz (which I now wake up to each morning, but am still just dabbling in), Classical (small doses at best ) and Opera which I discussed above.

Though stories & comments I've read/heard about American Idiot reflect surprise at Green Day's newfound relevance, I've been a fan since the day I heard Dookie and have purchased every release of theirs since, including their Greatest Hits and Rarities collection. They have tons of great -- though somewhat similar songs -- and they've been great live each time I've seen them. So I personally don't consider American Idiot a shocking return to brilliance, but merely the continuation of a solidly great band. Supposedly, it's a concept album, but I haven't even picked up on all that yet -- it just came out Tuesday -- I just like the songs. And hearing some fucking guitars again. Are you allowed to swear in a blog or will the FCC be knocking on my door?

No comments: