Loving La Boheme

tragic masksThose who visit with us often have heard me wax rhapsodic about melancholia. No matter the medium, I love a story with a bittersweet ending. Tragedies have been breaking our hearts since those ancient Greeks playwrights Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus first trotted actors out on stage. As a teenager, I adored Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies, but his tragedies appealed to my melancholic young heart.

wabbit11As an adult, I’ve come to appreciate a new form of heartbreak: opera. I grew up watching Bugs Bunny cartoons that featured Bugs and Elmer Fudd singing arias from famous operas. I thought opera must be awesome! Then I attended the opera as a teenager, but can’t say I truly appreciated it. In the past 25 years, though, my love of opera has grown and deepened. Some of you may have seen my excited Tweets yesterday about the live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera, which is carried on our local classical music station. (Actually, you can stream the live broadcasts from anywhere at www.TheClassicalStation.org—1 PM Eastern Time on Saturdays!) Yesterday’s performance was special for me, because it was one of my very favorites. Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme.

la-boheme-poster-bigI’m not alone in loving La Boheme, by any means. It is usually among the most popular operas for any repertory company and for very good reason. It has humor, passion, pathos and drama and at its heart is a big old mushy romance. It takes place in a cold, snowy winter in 1830s Paris where, in the Latin quarter, there live four young, starving-artist roommates: Rodolfo (a writer), Marcello (an artist), Colline (a philosopher) and Schaunard (a musician). One (very cold) night Schaunard comes home with some money from a gig and the boys decide to go out to the Cafe, except for Rodolfo. He stays home to get some writing done (which I respect since we ALL suffer with deadlines!). Then along comes his pretty neighbor, Mimi, whose candle has blown out. He relights her candle, but then she somehow loses her key. While they look for the key, both their candles blow out. Naturally, their hands touch and—boom!—they’re in love. It’s all happy times and frolicking.

Mimis death scene La BohemeIt’s young love, so Rodolfo and Mimi shack up and so do Marcello and his on-again, off-again flame, Musetta. But this is a tragedy, so OF COURSE Mimi has tuberculosis. Since they’re terribly poor and there is no penicillin yet, this makes things tough for the young lovers. They decide to break up (she thinks he’s too jealous, he thinks she’s too moody, plus she’s really sick), but then they recall why they fell in love and decide to stay together until spring. When spring comes, both Mimi and Musetta have taken off and left Rodolfo and Marcello to move back in with the boys. One day Musetta bursts in to tell them Mimi is outside but too weak to make it upstairs. They carry her to the garret, then Musetta gives them her earrings, which leads them to gather up their few valuables to sell so they can get medicine for Mimi. OF COURSE, Mimi is coughing her head off the whole time and, eventually, dies. But she does it in a very ladylike way, seeming to drift off to sleep, so that they only realize gradually—one at a time—she has died. Rodolfo is the last to know.

moonstruck opera sceneIt’s heartbreaking! And fabulous. Puccini’s music is gorgeous, passionate and very accessible. For those who love the movie Moonstruck, you will recognize many of the musical themes in the opera, since the movie borrowed from it heavily. It is an incredibly moving show. If you’ve never experienced it, it’s worth a listen or a watch. (Here’s a link to a seminal performance of the entire opera featuring Ileana Cotruba as Mimi and Luciano Pavarotti as Rodolfo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHAS7r8Pd0k) Even if you don’t enjoy opera, this is one of the most accessible operas I’ve heard. I love comic operas, too, but this one touches my romantic heart. For those who tink opera is bunk, here’s Bugs Bunny and Elmer doing Wagner: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KHuuxWIilc.  What’s better than that?

rabbit of seville 1-thumb-341x256What’s your take on opera? If you’re a fan, what’s your favorite? If you’ve never given it a try, would you prefer a tragedy (opera seria) or a comedy (opera buffa)? And best of all, what’s your favorite Bugs Bunny opera moment?

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  • Kaelee says:

    I’m not a big opera fan. I don’t mind operettas. I like songs I can understand. My husband is asleep so I can’t check out the links to Bugs and Elmer. I do recall them singing together just before Elmer takes a pot shot at Bugs.

    I did see a performance of Aida which I really enjoyed. It took place in a football stadium so the production was massive.

    • Kaelee, the rooster is a great opera fan. Get him to sing for you – well, maybe not!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Kaelee, I always adored Gilbert and Sullivan, even as a child! My youngest and I went to see a local production of Pirates of Penzance last year and it was huge fun! This local company exclusively does G&S, so I really need to get a subscription to their tickets.

      Personally, I don’t take opera very seriously, so I think operettas as just as great as Very Serious Operas. I did see Madame Butterfly as a teenager and found it a bit…much. NOW I would love it!

      The Golden Rooster is a real opera fan, thanks to LOUISA. Blame her! He cut his baby teeth on opera at her place in Alabama. Just goes to show, you can never tell where opera lovers hail from. 😀

  • Jane says:

    We saw a taped production of La Boheme for music class in high school. Luciano Pavarotti was Rodolfo. I remember thinking how depressing it was. I’ve never had the chance to see a live production, but only caught a few here and there on PBS. My favorite is Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. I really like Un bel di verdremo.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Jane, what I love about the live broadcasts from the Met is that the commentators tell you a TON of stuff about the story. Details of what happens in each scene, things about the characters you may not know, etc. They share what are their favorite parts and why. It really makes it come alive.

      I always wished I knew Italian and more German so I could get more out of opera. But listening to people who really know opera is quite fun and educational. Man, I really am the biggest nerd ever, huh?

      Oh, and the link to the full-length opera in my post may be the one you saw, although Pavarotti played Rodolfo more than once. 🙂

  • Caren, what a fun post. I love that Ring Cycle that Bugs and his friends did. Bugs with a horned helmet and long yellow plaits has to be seen to be believed! I’m a great opera fan. Mum and Dad had a Mario Lanza disc somebody had given them – and that they hated. It was a very early LP so only had about five songs on it. La Donna e Mobile, Una Furtiva Lagrima, and The Stars Were Brightly Shining from Tosca (which would go close for my favorite opera – another Puccini!) and the Pagliacci one, I remember in particular. And the same person had given them Mantovani plays hits from the opera – again they hated it. But their nerdy daughter – she played both those LPs until all you could hear was a pop and a hiss!

    • Caren Crane says:

      Ha! I had a feeling you would be all over this one, Anna. 🙂 Like yours, my parents were not huge fans of opera. My mother, though, thought it important that we be exposed to things, so we had LPs of all sorts of odd things. Bits of classical music and opera. Symphonies where a narrator would come on the record and tell you what was happening in the next movement so yo could picture it in your mind. Things like that.

      I think my love of classical music and opera grew out of those early listenings. They were perfect for cold and rainy weekends and long, hot summer days. Well, that and Bugs Bunny. We kids really thought the Brunhilda episode and the Barber of Seville/Marriage of Figaro mash-up episode were about the best ones ever. That and the one where Bugs conducts the orchestra and everyone thinks he is Leopold. Ha!

      • Oh, that reminds me of Fantasia! I LOVED Fantasia when I was a kid. I was utterly enchanted by the mix of music and images although some of it is quite scary. Do you remember the Night on a Bald Mountain bit with the big black monster? EEEEEEEK! My favorite bit was the Greek Gods stuff with flying horses and the Pastoral symphony which is such a beautiful piece.

  • Mary Preston says:

    Bugs Bunny and Elmer doing Wagner is such a classic. I can remember watching this with my son when he was a child. You have never seen a child so distraught at the thought of Bugs Bunny’s demise.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Mary, I think that episode introduced many generations to the bittersweet goodness of opera seria! I also remember asking my mom why operas ended in a sad way. That’s probably when we were introduced to Gilbert & Sullivan. 😀

  • Helen says:


    I have not had much to do with opera at all but I am not sure if I would want to be crying I would prefer to be laughing or smiling and I have seen a lot of Bugs Bunny but I can’t remember any favourites I am getting ol LOL

    Have Fun

    • Caren Crane says:

      Helen, I highly recommend spending a cold, wintry Saturday indoors doing nothing but binge-watching old Looney Tunes. I recall my son had some of those extra long-playing videotapes that were nothing but Looney Tunes. I think I have seen them all!

      And while I love to laugh and smile, sometimes I just want something full of longing and passion, unfulfilled. I think it’s like fuel for artists. 😛

  • Shannon says:

    Opera is usually for tears. There’s some comedies but the classics usually end up with someone dead. For those of you who have found opera in HD in theaters, there’s an encore of Le Boheme on Wednesday night. If my health and my work schedule permit (no 8 am briefings like last time), I plan to be at the cinema-plex.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Shannon, isn’t the HD opera experience at the theater wonderful? It is really is almost like being there, especially the live broadcasts. There are a couple of theaters that do that in my area. Though I am dead cheap and hate to pay $18, it’s so worth it to go and SEE, rather than just hear. I hope you have no 8 AM meetings so you can go!

  • Mozette says:

    Oh! Opera… I went to see ‘Phantom of the Opera’ with Mum, Dad and Grandma.. it was fantastic – well, until they dropped that fekking big chandelia from the ceiling and it swooped 3 feet above the damned audience! My Grandma whispered to me: ‘Damn, now, I have to check my bloomers!’ I whispered back: ‘I think everyone does!’

    But I did love the music in that opera. And years later, when Mum and I were in a choir, we got the chance to sing a ‘Phantom of the Opera’ medley… it was so much fun! And we got to wear cloaks, wear heavy make up and have the all-so-serious faces on because there’s so much to remember! And it’s hard not to cry in the middle of the darned thing too.

    Then, my whole family – older brother, Mum, Dad and I – went to see ‘We Will Rock You’… yep a Rock Opera. A great show where instead of classical music, it used rock ballads and Queen pumping out of the speakers! How cool is that? Well, I dressed in my best retro gear for the night, and … well… instead of the audience taking part (as it was supposed to) and poor actors up on stage could have sworn it was a dress rehearsal!!! I kid you not! I was hopping up and down in my seat to take part and so… well… I couldn’t help myself! I waited fo the next time they threw the part our way and I jumped up and yahooed and carried on! Yippee! My brother looked up at me grinning, “Yep, that’s my sister.” while the lady on the other side of me hid in, “Oh crap, I sitting next to a nutcase.”
    When the interval came around 20 minutes later, I turned to the lady and she had done a disappearing act… her sister two seats across said I had done the most horrible thing! How embarrassing I must be for my family, and she got up and walked out. My family walked out too to get something to drink. My brother asked what happened as I was most upset at what the lady had said to me. Well, he asked me who she was and we walked around and found the two. He told her and her sister off for trying to shame his sister for being exactly who I was… and if I wanted to climb on the seats and do the Hokey Pokey, well, he’d join me the next time I jumped up, because it’s just a fun thing to do and if nobody liked it, itwasn’t like I was twisting their arm.
    And the show was a Rock Opera… it’s supposed to be noisy, roudy, fun, exciting and the audience was supposed to get involved… and I was part of the audience… and they even put in planters and nobody took the hint… 😛

    Oh well… I don’t think I’ve been to any other operas… just those two. 🙂 But that last one was lots of fun! 😀

    After getting out from it, we walked out under the Performing Arts Complex here in Brisbane and the actors came out of the stage door across the road… they spotted me and called out waving: “Hey! It’s the only person who took part! Hey!” Waving wildy at me and my family, “You’re really cool! Thank you!” We waved wildly back! HOw cool is that? 😀

    • Caren Crane says:

      Mozette, how fun was that? I think it’s great that you actually participated. How tragic that no one else knew they were supposed to! Or maybe they were just too embarrassed to make some noise. Who knows?

      Often when we have things like that here, done by the symphony or whoever, the sesason ticket holders make up most of the audience. They sometimes don’t seem to understand the point of, say, watching The Sound of Music while the symphony performs the music. But lots of them just have fun!

      There was a great YouTube video for Rabbit of Seville where the orchestra was playing at the Hollywood Bowl (like in the cartoon) and the orchestra played the score from the cartoon while the cartoon played on a big screen. It was so great and you could hear people laughing and having a good time.

      I think anything that makes classical music more accessible to people is just inspired. And ANYTHING featuring Queen’s music is a must-see show!

  • Jeanne Adams says:

    Alas, I don’t share the love, Caren. Grins. I’m not a bittersweet fan, but also, my dad used it as a way to get his teenaged daughter out of bed – blasting opera into my room through the whole-house-sound-system – so I’ve got quite the negative association! :> I do like Aida, but that’s my sole contribution. The costumes rock in that one.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Jeanne, what trauma! I love that your dad found an effective way to roust you from bed, though. I’m all about his parenting style! 🙂

      Aida is one of those iconic operas that you hear bits of music from all the time and don’t realize where you know it from. I’ve never seen or heard it performed in full, but I’m sure it would be fantastic to see in one of those in-theater HD showings. Good stuff!

      And there may be hope for you to get past your negative associations with opera, despite the teenaged trauma. I am an optimistic sort. Watch more Bugs Bunny! Indulge in some opera buffa!

  • EC Spurlock says:

    I did not grow up in an area or family that appreciated opera. My godmother’s sister was a professional opera singer and she tried to get her husband, my uncle, interested, but no go (he FELL ASLEEP in the middle of CARMEN!!) She did lend me some of her albums as a teen but I don’t think I appreciated it much then. I have always loved musical theater, though, so as I got older I appreciated it more. I did go to see Pirates of Penzance starring Peter Noone and Jim Belushi, which was a hoot, and my girlfriends and I sang the score all the way home from Boston. And DH and I were fixated on Phantom of the Opera when we were first married (used the music for our wedding, in fact); we lived about 2 hours from NYC at the time and would go every time the cast changed; we would get up at 5am and drive to the theater to get standing room seats for $10 when the box office opened. But I have never seen a Grand Opera.

    I did have an ambitious chorus director who, when she discovered I had a five-octave range, taught me her favorite arias from La Boheme. I still remember Musetta’s Waltz, but sadly after years of disuse and a bout of pneumonia in my twenties, I no longer have the range.

    • Caren Crane says:

      EC, that is SO COOL that you and the DH went to see all the new cast members for Phantom! I think you were lucky you both loved it so much and could share that.

      I have seen it a couple of times on Broadway and my kids all love the movie version (even my son!). I think that tragic story hits home with young people. We sort of lose touch with that intense longing for what can never be as we get older, but Young Caren was all about that!

      It’s such a gift that you had a 5-octave range coupled with an amibitous chorus director! I’m glad she gave you material to challenge yourself, musically. Musetta’s big number, too, at the end of Act 2! I’m so sorry to hear the pneumonia robbed you of your range. It’s insidious like that. 🙁

    • EC, a five-octave range?! I am so jealous! I can’t carry a tune for more than a few bars but am cursed with an ear that instantly recognizes the klinkers.

  • catslady says:

    I enjoy the Italian operas. I grew up hearing my grandparents and parents speaking Italian so my ear is familiar to the sounds if not the words. Andrea Bocelli is one of my favorites – he mixes in some new songs.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Catslady, I love it that you heard Italian growing up. That’s so exotic to me! My ancestors came here so long ago (1600s and 1700s) that there’s nothing but English and more English anywhere in my family. Even the latecomer Germans (as opposed to the earler ones) got here in the early 1800s. I always thought it would be so cool to go to Ellis Island and look up relatives or something. We’ve got none of that. 🙁

      I’m sure hearing sung and spoken Italian is like home to your ears. What a gift! And Andrea Bocelli, what can you even say? He has the most magnificent voice. I’m so glad he isn’t a musical “purist” only sticking to one genre or era. He seems to like what he likes and sing the same. Hearing him sing anything is a real treat!

  • Caren,

    I have to confess to not being much of an opera listener. The few I’ve gotten to listen to I have enjoyed, I just haven’t listened to that much.

    Now, the Bugs Bunny snippet had me googling my favorite one…The Rabbit of Seville!! Cracks me up with Bugs massaging Elmer’s head with his feet. hehehe

    • Caren Crane says:

      Suzanne, I think Bugs is about the best intro to opera anyone could have. Hearing the music on my favorite Looney Tunes episodes always made me want to hear more. Being insatiably curious, I always wanted to know what the real stories were and to hear all the music.

      Of course, we had no internet then, so these things weren’t so accessible in middle Tennessee. I’m sure if I had been a more outgoing sort of kid (I wasn’t AT ALL), I might have asked the librarians at our little branch about checking out opera records or something. But really, unless someone pointed me at things like that, I never noticed them. I think it’s great that these days anything you want to learn about it just…there. All the time. It still astonishes me at times.

      Think about it, we can watch those aweseome Bugs Bunny cartoons ANY TIME we want. We used to wait weeks and months for our favorite episodes to be shown on Saturday morning. And Heaven forbid if you were out of the room. It was gone until they aired it again! Kids today don’t know how lucky they are. Dang, I sound like old people!

    • Suz, I’ve seen that Bugs Bunny bit. It’s great! I also love the Robin Hood takeoff that includes a clip of Errol Flynn.

  • Caren I’m not a huge opera fan because I like to understand the words if I’m hearing a human voice. I do, however, love the music. Wagner’s Parsifal, Ride of the Valkyries, Gotterdamerung, Siegfried’s Rhine Journey. The habanera from Bizet’s Carmen, the barcarolle (not sure of the spelling) from The Tales of Hoffman (that’s opera, right?).

    The dh and I love Gilbert & Sullivan, dropping down to operetta, and Les Miz.

    The Nazi association with Wagner is unfortunate but not the fault of the music. My first college advisor went to Bayreuth for the Wagner festival every year.

    I saw Carmen in high school. My boyfriend’s parents had season tickets to Opera Carolina but couldn’t go that night. The music was really cool.

    We played The Marriage of Figaro (Opera? Yes? No?) in my high school band. I liked it a lot, but the clarinet part was hard.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Nancy, I am intrigued that you are so smitten with German opera. I’ve always been more partial to Italian, myself, but that may simply be because of more exposure to it. I have seen Carmen and loved it. The music is just smoking and insanely romantic. For me, opera has never been about the words (though I think that would make it more accessible to most) but about the music and the emotion. For some reason, the words seem almost beside the point.

      And yes, Figaro was just as challenging musically as any of the other Mozart we played in orchestra (I played violin). The first violin parts were always full of things that, execution-wise, were very difficult. Mozart was such a genius, but dang, he was hard on a musician! 🙂

  • What a fun post, Caren! My father was a big opera fan so we always had something dramatic playing in the background on the weekends. I think he liked to pull weeds and chop off tree limbs to the music. 😉

    Aida was a favorite of his, but we also were inundated with The Marriage of Figaro and Madame Butterfly. I’ve always liked La Boheme best, though. So dramatic! And all that coughing! LOL

    • Caren Crane says:

      Kate, don’t you love it when they have a scene in a movie or TV show and there is some really dramatic, operatic music playing while men do manly things like chop wood and mow lawns and grill steaks? I can so see your father doing that! 🙂

      And I love the scene in Moonstruck when they’re leaving La Boheme and Loretta says, “It was so beautiful and so sad. She died!” And Ronnie says, “She had TB.” “I know, she was coughing her head off!”

      That makes me laugh out loud every time. That and then the expression on Loretta’s face when she sees her dad, Cosmo, there with his mistress, Mona. Loretta calls her “cheap goods.” That movie just makes me howl!

  • Ah, Caren, a subject near and dear to my heart! And yes, the GR is a huge opera fan, having heard it played constantly when he was a little yolk. 🙂

    My parents always blamed my Dad’s Mom for my love of opera. She played her Maria Callas records for me from the time I was born. And when it was discovered I could sing all I ever wanted to be was an opera singer. Are you kidding? The costumes! The sets! The drama! And that heavenly, heavenly music.

    I have played Musetta in La Boheme. She’s a fun role to play in a very sad opera.

    It is hard to say which role I loved playing the most. I played Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, which is actually a very funny opera.

    I played the Queen of the Night (the villain) in Die Zauberflote which is more of a fantasy opera, has lots of comic relief and has a happy ending. Playing a murder minded queen is lots of fun!

    I played Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. A great role with some wonderful arias, but a real downer. Not often a heroine gets to go crazy, murder her husband on their wedding night and then commit suicide.

    Oh! And I played Cherubino (a pants part) in The Barber of Seville, which is another fun opera.

    Like Nancy I do love the music from Wagner’s Ring. In fact I used his Ride of the Valkyries to get even with some neighbors who kept me up all one Saturday night playing Redneck Rap on their ridiculous car stereos. I rolled my two Bose speakers out onto the porch and cranked up Wagner’s Ride full throttle at 6 AM after these jokers had just gone to sleep an hour or two before. 🙂

    • Louisa, I love it when you talk about your life as an opera singer. Endlessly fascinating! I bet some of those parts were great fun to play. And laughing at you turning on the Wagner Revenge! It’s actually quite Wagnerian really, isn’t it? After all, revenge was a regular in his plots!

      • I actually had fun playing all of the roles I played, but some were more fun than others. Queen of the Night was actually a blast as she was so deliciously evil and such a show off vocally.

        Cherubino was fun as well as he was such a hopeless romantic and ends up nearly getting caught so many times.

        And yes, I thought Wagner the perfect revenge. My neighbors were not amused, but I was not treated to late night redneck rap concerts ever again.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Louisa, I knew you would have some opera love to add to the conversation today. 🙂 You’re the second friend who has told me she played Musetta in La Boheme. The other was Sarra Cannon, another romance writer. Dee Davis also sang opera, I think. Something about the drama and romance of opera seems to jibe close to the drama and romance of our novels, doesn’t it?

      I think it’s a shame that today people are so very wary of sadness or unhappy endings. Not that they are better than happy ones, but certainly they are another sort of story to be told. We love our happy endings, but real stories don’t always end happily. I think there is a time and place to experience those stories and opera seems a safe and gorgeous way to have a window into the tragic side of the equation. Plus, beautiful music that is incredibly full of pathos and passion!

      I also LOVE that you got to use Wagner to punish the neighbors. Ha! Maybe Jeanne can embrace such a thing to overcome her trauma of being awakened by opera before school as a teenager. It might give her a keen appreciation of the power of The Ride Of the Valkyries. It certainly was effective in Apocalypse Now!

      I would love to see the entire Ring cycle as they were intended. Wouldn’t that be magnificent? I could probably find it somewhere (probably in Germany or Austria) at some festival or something. Road trip!

      I also wish we had YouTube videos of your performances. I would love to see them!

      • Susan Gee Heino also sang opera before she became a historical romance author. There is something to be said for the insight opera gives us into romance and passion.

        And you are so right about our fear of seeing an unhappy ending. I think opera makes it easier because of the music that speaks to triumph even in the worst tragedies – a triumph of the human spirit.

        My opera career was in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, so alas no YouTube. There are probably some video and audio recordings somewhere, but I only have access to some very old cassette recordings. I need to get my nephew to transfer them onto CD before I lose them.

        I was fortunate enough to see the Ring in its entirety in Bayreuth. It is not for the faint of heart or the faint of ear, but it is something I was able to scratch off my bucket list. I had a dear friend, fellow opera singer and fellow student of Dr. Wood (our grad school voice teacher) with me which made it even more fun.

    • Louisa, what a fabulous array of roles! I would love to have seen you.

      I had to laugh at your last comment. I also used the Valkyries as a deterrent. When the people in the next apt made the walls vibrate with disco, I cranked up the Ride of the Valkyries. The disco piece that can drown out Wagner has not been written.

      I actually like disco just fine–when I choose to listen to it. I don’t like anyone else’s music choice, no matter what it is, invading my living space.

  • Hi Caren –

    I’m afraid I’m not a fan, though I suppose I could be…I don’t know. I imagine the problem is that I like to understand the songs. I’m a fan of Les Mis – which is very much like opera, I think. And I like some of Madame Butterfly. I suppose if I was forced to sit down and watch and listen – I’d love it. But that hasn’t happened yet 🙂

    • Caren Crane says:

      Well, Donna, at least you weren’t forced to listen to it like Jeanne was. Ha! It is actually a lot of fun to go and see all the elaborate staging and costuming. Good times!

  • Cassondra says:

    Caren I love everything about the opera EXCEPT the endings.

    I cannot invest too much because of those. HOWEVER, because I don’t understand the languages usually, I can just enjoy the recorded music. I don’t even mind the brief “Cliffs notes” version of “this is what it’s about” that the “Live at the Met” narrators give. But if I had to see it happen, I would not survive.

    I think someone must have dropped me on my head at some point, because I don’t just dislike sad endings. I become depressed and can’t let it go. No amount of subsequent cheer will pull me out of it. It takes medicine that I’d prefer to NOT take.

    I could let go a little easier when I was a kid, but even then, looking back, I know I was somewhat chronically depressed.

    It was the head drop. Had to be.

    So I have learned to savor the beauty of the music, but not spend a whole lot of time on the stories themselves.

    I used to love love LOVE the Live at the Met shows, but they got cancelled on our station. They were expensive, and I guess there was not enough support. It was a sad day.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Cassondra, I so get not being able to let go. I think I did my depression in reverse, though. I was a VERY melancholy child and teenager and then, when the hormones kicked into high gear, all that straightened out somehow. I have rarely had any depressive episodes since, except for one healthy bout of post-partem depression. Yikes!

      As I get older, I get progressively less “invested” in things emotionally, so opera is less dangerous to my psyche than it used to be. But I SO get not being able to let go of that low. Remember, you can always STREAM Live at the Met on Saturdays at 1 PM ET (2 PM for you) on http://www.TheClassicalStation.org. Yes, I am a pusher! 😀