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Night at the Opera
I enter the great glass doors of the opera house. What wonders await me! Walking as if in a dream, after paying for my ticket, I tread down the red-carpeted aisle. An empty seat welcomes me. I sit. I close my eyes, waiting for those angelic voices to ring throughout the room! This is the first time I have ever come to an opera. I have heard it is majestically fantastic.
Ah! The tall curtain is opening. A woman appears. Short, plump, and stuffed into a blue, satin dress. She opens her too red, trembling lips to break forth in song. The note she sings grows louder. And louder, and louder. Shivering and glimmering, the note holds. It breaks.
A man appears. He is also short, but he is skinny. His voice breaks forth; indeed it is astounding. The woman joins him, and their song is of love.
Where is that man’s voice coming from? His face grows red, and his voice stays loud. Louder. Their voices rise, to an ear-piercing level!
I look about me. An elderly woman is obviously enjoying it. She smiles, and her eyes look off into the middle distance, as if the voices are transporting her away to a beautiful dreamland. An old man sits beside me. His face displays neither like, nor dislike. But, then again, he is British.
The awful sound is almost more then I can bear! The operatic couple shrieks and squalls at each other, of their love, of their hate, and of their life. I want to shriek back that I don’t care about their love, their hate, and their life. I came to hear a beautiful voice.
The curtain closes. I await act two with mounting discomfort. The tall curtain opens. I wait with bated breath, for the horrible sounds that will surely follow. Nothing happens. Then, the former two singers enter again. They look back as if expecting someone else.
Finally, another singer entrances onto the stage. She is beautiful, tall, and queenly. Her eyes show the depths of her soul, and she too opens her lips to sing. The most beautiful sound I ever heard emerges out of those. She sings, softly, then loudly, but never does she shriek or squall.
Her voice is smooth, high, sweet; everything I imagined about opera. Then, the most shocking thing happens! Her voice starts to bounce, like a racquetball. Up and down, it shivers and quakes. She sounds like she is being jiggled up and down in a tuna can on a bumpy, gravel road. What has happened? Where is the witch who has surely cursed her? But no! They tell me she is using exquisite vibrato. Exquisite? I think not! It is horrible.
Then- the other two singers join in! Their voices ricochet all over the opera house walls, and it is worse than before. Now it is three times as loud!
The man ceases his noise. The women continue. They argue; they duel with their voices. They sing of their dislike of each other, of their love for the man.
The man enters the drama again. He quiets the ladies, and sings himself. His voice is pompous, full of himself. He states that his love belongs to the queenly one. She throws out her arm dramatically, and her voice throbs and sobs with relief. She sings a long line of “hahas” at the plump one, and the plump one weeps.
The queenly one and her lover put their arms about each other, and sing for joy! They face the audience, and their faces radiate happiness. Their voices radiate loudness. The sound grows, and the orchestra is playing fortissimo.
The plump lady rises from her dejected position on the floor. She reaches into the folds of her skirt, and draws out a knife. There is fire in her eyes, more than you would think from such an amiable looking woman. The knife is raised. It falls. Not into the man, or the queenly woman, but into her own chest. She falls to the floor again, but this time, never to rise.
The happy couple does not even look around. They continue to sing. Opera? Wonderful? Ha! I laugh!
I look about me again. The elderly woman is crying, and she dabs at her sparkling eyes with her mink stole. The British man still shows no emotion whatsoever.
Myself? I am moved. Not moved, as in teary, angry, or happy. I am moved out of my seat and up the aisle, out the doors of the opera house. I doubt I shall visit again. Maybe when I wish to further impair my hearing.
Farewell, plump ladies who sing from the depths of their souls about love.
Farewell, men who look like their voice does not belong to them.
I hope to never hear thee again.