If It Weren’t For Opera…

Opera is amazing, right?  It is the convergence of all types of art, from music, acting, and dancing, to painting, fashion designing, and even sculpting from time to time.  It is passionate, funny, and intense, and there are plenty of reasons to appreciate it on its own, just for what it is.  But even if you hate opera, there are many things that you may love that, without opera, may never have come about.  For instance:

No matter what you think of opera and its place in today’s world, you can’t deny that for a very long time opera was the pinnacle of entertainment.  At least as many relationships happened thanks to opera as have happened thanks to “Titanic” and “The Notebook.”  Young couples were hookin’ up and fallin’ in love to the sounds of opera, and many of us might not be here today if it weren’t for some sexy music goin’ on back in the day.  Your great grandparents didn’t have Barry White, but they had Puccini.
Speaking of movies that get you all excited romantically, plenty of them have been based on, or inspired by, opera.  “Pretty Woman,” “Moulin Rouge,” and “Rent,” are just a few popular movies (yes, I know Rent was a musical first, thank you) that we wouldn’t have without opera.  And not only that, think of important scenes in movies where opera was used!  Would “Apocalypse Now” be the same without “The Ride of the Valkyries” playing?  “The Fifth Element” would surely not have been the cult hit that it became without the craziest scene in the film.  You know which one I’m talking about.  The crazy alien that suddenly does Lucia’s mad scene to a techno battle beat.  Pop Culture owes a pretty big debt to opera.
While this is NOT an actual opera, it does use an opera house as its setting.  And without opera, it just becomes “The Phantom of the.”  This, I feel, is not as catchy.  I doubt that a show thusly named would have had equal success.  I suppose they could have tried to set it somewhere else, but “The Phantom of the Restaurant” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
There would be no reason to invent these marvelous little devices if it weren’t for opera.  Smaller than binoculars, the only reason for inventing them would be, I guess, to spy on your neighbors next door.  But spyglass is already a term for a small telescope used by nautical people, so they would have had to name them something else.  Probably “Peeping Tom Glasses,” or “Peepglasses” for short.  And nobody wants to go into an store and ask for peepglasses.
This may not actually be something to brag about.  Let’s just skip to my awesome closing argument.

No opera?  Then his parents did not go out, they did not get killed, and Bruce Wayne never became Batman.  BAM!  At least in the recent films.  In the original comic book they are killed after seeing a movie, but how much cooler was it to see little Bruce Wayne freaked out by all those bat-flashbacks flying around the stage during Mefistofele?!  It was awesome.  Thanks, opera!
Posted in Batman, Movies, Opera, Phantom of the Opera, Tenor Tuesday.

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