I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

December 06, 2014 - 6:02 p.m.

Before There Was Big Data There Was "Largo al Factotum"

OK back from the opera and ready to write. So this is tough as I did two things worth writing about. I'll do the best I can.

Last night I headed out to the Garden Stage to see Brother Sun. I left enough time to grab something to eat at Atlantic Terminal before I got on the train. Then the just sat in the tunnel and ate up all the time so I couldn't eat. Good thing I know there's more than one ticket machine. Most people don't. They wait by the machine right by the subway entrance where there's a big line instead of going to the other three where there is no waiting.

Then guess what happened. Due to police action, not on my train, the LIRR train just sat on the tracks for 25 minutes. So instead of getting there just as doors opened I got there 25 minutes afterward. Then there was some confusion. I had asked to do merch and was told that I was but when I got there it turns out I wasn't. At least that means I didn't have to worry about not getting there in time to set it up. And something was in the air as they were sound checking when I got in. Everybody must have been late last night.

I wasn't in the first row so I didn't take pictures. I sat in the third row no tragedy. Gene sat with me. That's one of the reasons I trekked out there, I haven't seen him since before NERFA. Of course if I knew Isabel wasn't going to be there maybe I wouldn't have gone!

Last time I saw Brother Sun they were Joeless; There was a problem at the Chicago Airport and he couldn't fly out. I think he drove this time. Were there new songs? I think there were a few I haven't heard. But I'm an idiot so I could be wrong. To me if felt that the show was less blues and more doo wop that I've heard.

This was the tenth anniversary show for the Garden Stage. There were prizes. Some were fro Garden Stage trivia. I was the only one that knew that the first open mic was in 2009 and that Joe Crookston was the headliner. I even knew the date, December 4th. How did I know? It was in my blog from five years ago and I always read my blog from exactly five years ago and usually post a link on Facebook. See there's an advantage to blogging. I won a photo album. Then there was a raffle and I won that too. I got an embroidery kit. That's going to be a gift. Probably both will.

Now on to today. Yesterday I got a text from the Captivating Kay that she had a single ticket to see Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Metropolitan Opera. Today I they give the names of operas in the language they were written. When I was young I thought it was inconsistent, sometimes they translated sometimes they didn't. This opera was always The Barber of Seville but it was never The Bohemians it was always La Bohme. Today I realized the rule they followed when I was young. If the original title was one word or one word plus an article they used the original, otherwise the translated. So it was La Traviata and Die Walkurie but The Marriage of Figero and The Girl of the Golden West. The Magic Flute was an exception but it was also sometimes performed in English.

OK now on with the show. Il Barbiere di Siviglia is one of the great cartoon operas. If you are of a certain mind set you can't hear it and not think of Bugs Bunny. I'm not sure I trust anyone who doesn't. Say whatever you want about civilization but a world where Chuck Jones and Gioachino Rossini can collaborate is one where I want to live.

I asked Emilie who I should be excited about in the cast. If you follow the link you'll see that she's an opera singer. This is what she sent me back.

LOL OMG EVERYBODY

isabel leonard is beautiful

lawrence brownlee is the most amazing tenor

and chris maltman is SEXY AS HELL

what a great cast! you're lucky :)))

Yes I was lucky.

I dont' think I can think of any other musical drama which is best known for its first song but Largo al factotum is the clear musical highlight. It's pretty hard to not be happy watching that live. It's the prototype of all the songs where the boastful hero tells the world how great he is. I've Gotta Crow is it's clear heir.

I did not know much about Barbiere other than some of the music and the basic setting. I had no notion of the plot. I didn't know that the story was more about Count Almaviva than Figaro. Figaro is the puppet master who masterminds the events not the one they happen to. He would actually be a great character to base a TV show on, the tradesman who outwits the nobility to help other people The opera is a sitcom complete with wild schemes bits of stage business. Not only is the music great but it's funny.

Do I need to tell you how much I love opera again? I don't think I do. It's the best and I'm so lucky to get to go. I had great seats too, row P right in the center.

I was an idiot and forgot about the translating subtitles till it was started and it was too dark for me to see the controls. I found them by feel. It does help when you know what they are saying, especially in a comedy.

I took some pictures of the Opera House but they don't do it justice. Next time I'll take my time and take more. The woman in front of me took some pictures of the production. I'm pretty sure that is not allowed. I won't do that. I'm a good boy.

How is it that I have two friends that are opera singers and another that is an artisan at the Met? How do I run in these circles? It's a strange and beautiful world.

OK now to make dinner. I usually say "now to make breakfast." Garlic sausages and mashed potatoes are on the menu.






Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017



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Horvendile December 06, 2014
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