Saturday, March 05, 2011

Lohengrin: Will Five Hours of Wagner Test a Marriage?

I always thought my husband loved me. But now, I'm not so sure. Not because he bought me opera tickets for Christmas, which is sweet. Not because we're going to the Lyric on Saturday night to see a romantic opera, which is, well, romantic. But because he bought me tickets to Lohengrin. Which is Wagner. And it's nearly five hours long.

Mark Twain's famous words on Richard Wagner's music, "It's not as bad as it sounds," have come to mind repeatedly this week. They gives me hope. What takes this hope away is that the Lyric is going to be serving Box Suppers at intermission. Lohengrin starts at six. (This could possibly be the first time we've ever left on a date at four-thirty in the afternoon.) So I supposed the Box Suppers are a good idea, but if they really want to bribe people to sit through the whole thing, I would recommend cash. Although admittedly the Box Suppers sound fun, in that they conjure up the image of elderly women in ball gowns balancing cardboard boxes on their knees.

We've decided we're going to go for the Box Supper program, which costs an additional $15.00 and must be purchased before the performance in the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Grand Foyer. I've never purchased a boxed supper in a Grand Foyer before, at least I don't think so, but at least now I can cross that off the bucket list. And the suppers include one non-alcoholic beverage. My hope is espresso.

Lohengrin itself is supposed to be epic. Great music. Beautiful damsel in distress. Handsome knight in shining armour sailing to her rescue, on a ship pulled by a swan. (Note to US Department of Energy: look into Swan Power.) It has an evil witch who's married to an evil count, a murder mystery and a dove that takes the place of the swan, who turns back into a man and therefore can't keep his job as ship-puller. (Note to US Department of Energy: If the whole swan thing doesn't work out, look into doves.)

I really do love opera and, all kidding aside, I'm very much looking forward to tomorrow night. When it comes to opera, there's nothing quite like a great one. Unfortunately, the inverse is also true. But Lohengrin at the Lyric is getting great reviews, so I'm not worried. And I'll get to spend a night (a long night) out with my husband. I should be thankful I'm married to such a thoughtful man who gets me tickets to the opera because he knows how much I enjoy it.

However, if Wagner's Ring Cycle ever rotates through town again, I may once again find myself questioning his devotion.

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