Le nozze di Figaro

The Opening Credits on the screen in Klyde Warren Park

The Opening Credits on the screen in Klyde Warren Park

Over the last couple of years, I have seen two simulcasts of the Dallas Opera, both at Cowboy’s Stadium on the giant video screen. First was Turandot and then, a year later, The Barber of Seville. Despite the compromises in seeing an opera in a football stadium – I enjoyed both performances… a lot.

So now, I found out that the Dallas Opera was doing another simulcast on opening night, this time The Marriage of Figaro, and outdoors at Klyde Warren Park, instead of the stadium. This looked great to me, I’m a big fan of Klyde Warren and it’s a sequel to The Barber of Seville. Plus it’s free. Plus I have never seen a Mozart Opera.

I shoved a thick blanket into a backpack and took the DART train downtown after work. I thought of taking my bicycle, but decided to walk it anyway. I hurt my foot (plantar facietis) a couple weeks ago backpacking, but managed to limp my way down to the park. I arrived early, so I was able to stake out some grassy real estate right in front of the giant screen.

As I was waiting I finished reading Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata. It was interesting to compare the novella with the opera. Although they could not be any different in tone… and of course in the ending, the two shared a lot of theme in ideas of jealousy, the treatment of women, and how love can turn unhappy. Although The Marriage of Figaro is billed as a light farce – a comedic farce – there is deep meaning and sadness concealed under a layer of genius.

The opera was great. The park was a better setting than the stadium – the sound system was so much better. Without the echoing of the vast dome, the sound came through loud and clear.

The start of the third act.

The start of the third act.

It was also fun watching all the other people at the park. Most arrived in big groups with packs full of tupperware containers bulging with food and coolers of wine. As they drank and ate – the behavior on the lawn became as slapstick as the ones on the screen.

The crowd behind me at The Marriage of Figaro at Klyde Warren Park

The crowd behind me at The Marriage of Figaro at Klyde Warren Park

They said there were four thousand people watching the simulcast.

They said there were four thousand people watching the simulcast.

The only problem was one of time and comfort. I arrived at the park at five o’clock and the opera ended around midnight. That means I was stuck on a blanket in the grass for seven hours. That’s too long – I’m too old for that. I was awfully sore when I rode the train back home in the wee early hours.

What I learned this week, October 24, 2014

iam1

12 DALLAS NEIGHBORHOODS, RANKED BY THEIR FOOD AND DRINK

Bishop Arts District, Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas (click to enlarge)

Bishop Arts District, Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas
(click to enlarge)



Lee Harvey's

Lee Harvey’s

The Finest Dive Bars in Dallas, Mapped For Your Drinking Pleasure

Oh, man – a list of Dallas Dive Bars… and a map! I feel a bike ride coming on – planning the route in my brain.


Sheaffer Triumph Nib

Sheaffer Triumph Nib

When Buying Fountain Pens, Splurging (a Little) Is Totally Worth It

pfm


10 American Authors’ Homes Worth Visiting

Cool list… including one I think I’ll check out next week in New Orleans. Still, my favorite isn’t on the list – I love Robert E. Howard’s modest home in Cross Plains, Texas.


New outdoor concert venue debuts in downtown Dallas Friday


15 Tiny Texas Towns That Are Totally Worth The Trip


Review: “Fortress,” an Homage to Brooklyn Gone By, Opens at The Public

Lee and I saw this musical when it premiered here in Dallas at the Wyly. It’s fun to watch it work its way toward Broadway.



8 TIMES PHYSICS BROKE

They Say You Die Twice

“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.”
― Banksy

Roll Up Door Tony Bones, 2008 Deep Ellum Dallas, Texas

Roll Up Door
Tony Bones, 2008
Deep Ellum
Dallas, Texas

2008 Artwork by Tony Bones

Tony Bones detail

Tony Bones
detail

“Once upon a time, there was a king who ruled a great and glorious nation. Favourite amongst his subjects was the court painter of whom he was very proud. Everybody agreed this wizzened old man pianted the greatest pictures in the whole kingdom and the king would spend hours each day gazing at them in wonder. However, one day a dirty and dishevelled stranger presented himself at the court claiming that in fact he was the greatest painter in the land. The indignant king decreed a competition would be held between the two artists, confident it would teach the vagabond an embarrassing lesson. Within a month they were both to produce a masterpiece that would out do the other. After thirty days of working feverishly day and night, both artists were ready. They placed their paintings, each hidden by a cloth, on easels in the great hall of the castle. As a large crowd gathered, the king ordered the cloth be pulled first from the court artist’s easel. Everyone gasped as before them was revealed a wonderful oil painting of a table set with a feast. At its centre was an ornate bowl full of exotic fruits glistening moistly in the dawn light. As the crowd gazed admiringly, a sparrow perched high up on the rafters of the hall swooped down and hungrily tried to snatch one of the grapes from the painted bowl only to hit the canvas and fall down dead with shock at the feet of the king. ’Aha!’ exclaimed the king. ’My artist has produced a painting so wonderful it has fooled nature herself, surely you must agree that he is the greatest painter who ever lived!’ But the vagabond said nothing and stared solemnly at his feet. ’Now, pull the blanket from your painting and let us see what you have for us,’ cried the king. But the tramp remained motionless and said nothing. Growing impatient, the king stepped forward and reached out to grab the blanket only to freeze in horror at the last moment. ’You see,’ said the tramp quietly, ’there is no blanket covering the painting. This is actually just a painting of a cloth covering a painting. And whereas your famous artist is content to fool nature, I’ve made the king of the whole country look like a clueless little twat.”
― Banksy, Wall and Piece

Like A Reflection In A Fun House Mirror

“Silence. How long it lasted, I couldn’t tell. It might have been five seconds, it might have been a minute. Time wasn’t fixed. It wavered, stretched, shrank. Or was it me that wavered, stretched, and shrank in the silence? I was warped in the folds of time, like a reflection in a fun house mirror.”
― Haruki Murakami, Dance Dance Dance

(click to enlarge) Anish Kapoor (India, 1954) The World Turned Outside In, 2003 Polished stainless steel Northpark Center Dallas, Texas

(click to enlarge)
Anish Kapoor (India, 1954)
The World Turned Outside In, 2003
Polished stainless steel
Northpark Center
Dallas, Texas

The Voice Of Perpetual Becoming

“Is a mountain only a huge stone? Is a planet an enormous mountain?”
― Stanisław Lem, Solaris

Water and Stones, Dallas, Texas

Water and Stones, Dallas, Texas

“They both listened silently to the water, which to them was not just water, but the voice of life, the voice of Being, the voice of perpetual Becoming.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

What You See Over There Aren’t Giants, But Windmills

“Destiny guides our fortunes more favorably than we could have expected. Look there, Sancho Panza, my friend, and see those thirty or so wild giants, with whom I intend to do battle and kill each and all of them, so with their stolen booty we can begin to enrich ourselves. This is nobel, righteous warfare, for it is wonderfully useful to God to have such an evil race wiped from the face of the earth.”
“What giants?” Asked Sancho Panza.
“The ones you can see over there,” answered his master, “with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long.”
“Now look, your grace,” said Sancho, “what you see over there aren’t giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone.”
“Obviously,” replied Don Quijote, “you don’t know much about adventures.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

(click to enlarge)Wind Turbine Blade on a tractor trailer, Interstate 35, just south of the Kansas/Oklahoma border.

(click to enlarge)
Wind Turbine Blade on a tractor trailer, Interstate 35, just south of the Kansas/Oklahoma border.