Today’s post is from Michael Hewitt. He sings opera, is shredded to the bone and has great writing skills.
If you’re like me, you’re going to absolutely love this post.
I’ve never been an opera fan until recently. My roots come from rock and roll and then into classical music.
My tastes, however, keep expanding. One of my new tastes is the bombastic production, music and hard work, and most of all the incredible story lines that go into the Opera. I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did!
The 3 operas You Need To See
Listen, you can talk all you want about chasing excellence, self-advancement, custom suits, and being above average, but if you aren’t seeing opera, you’re just short of the mark.
The ticket gets you into theatre and saves you a seat, but the fight night, so to speak, is an event.
Now, dress code is pretty relaxed at the opera houses these days. This year, I saw folks in jeans at The San Francisco Opera, the Houston Grand Opera, and The Metropolitan Opera.
I also saw people in the most elaborate bespoke gear that would make even the most sartorial man blush for envy.
Attending the opera is an excellent opportunity to self-brand.
After all, you’re literally rubbing shoulders with others who find value in tradition. But I’m not here today to tell you what’s great about “the opera” as cultural event. I’m here to tell you about 3 operas that will have a fire lit under your ass.
Good opera is electric. There is nothing like it. So when you look at your local opera house’s upcoming season, don’t sleep on tickets-especially if you see these three listed.
A powerful man wants a painter’s wife, so he jails the painter to make advances on her. Scheduled for execution by firing squad, the painter is powerless while his wife fends off the most powerful man in town.
Features: knives, lust, women
How it ends: The baron Scarpia assures Tosca, the woman, that Cavaradossi’s firing squad will be staged-fake bullets, so to speak. He makes advances on her, so she stabs him to death.
The firing squad turns out to be real, and she throws herself off of a building to her death to avoid capture for the murder of the Baron.
The plot: International playboy gets caught in the act, and is challenged to a duel by the father of a conquest. He murders the man, and the end has begun for Don Giovanni.
With bounties on his head and bloodthirsty mobs in his wake, The Don relentlessly pursues his main vice without regard to consequence.
Features: swordfights, duels, seduction, feasts, the undead
How it ends: Just after The Don boasts that “wine and women are the glory and sustenance of humanity”, the statue of the murdered father interrupts Don Giovanni’s wine-and-chicken fueled feast.
He demands that D.G. repent for bedding over 2,000 women, but The Don is resolute: he’ll never change. The Commendatory drags The Don to Hell.
The plot: An actor discovers that his wife is having an affair. In a horrifying turn of events, he exacts his revenge while they are onstage together as reality and art become indistinguishable.
Features: infidelity, rage, knives, justice
How it ends: The play that they act in is about infidelity. He stabs his wife to death onstage, knowing that her lover is in the audience and will reveal himself at the stabbing.
He does, and Canio stabs him, too. The music stops as Canio faces his audience and declares “La commedia e finita”.
Michael Hewitt as Don Giovanni