Why do we LOVE the Ring Cyle?

Recently, the “Green Ring” version of the Ring Cycle just finished up its second run (out of three this year) in Seattle. My broke self couldn’t afford to trek up to the Emerald City to see it, so I’ve been reading the reviews and pining away.

seattle opera performance of die walkure

Ach, my loins!

As a fan and an unofficial critic (I have a blog, but I’m not paid to write on it), I am dying to see the Ring Cycle live. At least once in my life, if not twice. You know, to compare performances.

But as a result of having to miss “Ring Season,” I’ve started thinking a lot about what makes the Ring Cycle such a desirable event to attend. I definitely what to hear YOUR answers to this question, readers (all four of you). Especially from those of you who have seen the Ring more than once. What makes someone so willing to sit down for hours on end, seeing an opera with so many characters you need a flowchart to understand them all.

A briefer for people who aren’t familiar with the Ring cycle: It a collection of four operas, Das Rheingold, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung. The main arch of the story centers around the ring of the Niebelungen, a dwarf-like species. It is an object of power, that grants “measureless might” upon anyone who has it. But don’t pull on your hobbit feet yet—this story of a powerful ring includes the Norse Gods, mighty heroes rescuing maidens, and a million other legendary figures Westerners have probably never heard of. Oh, and there’s a freaking dragon.

Siegfried and Fafner the dragon in the ring cycle

And lots of FIRE.

Wotan imprisoning Brunnhilde in fire in diewalkure

And that’s just two of the operas!

People go nuts over the Ring Cycle. As in Woodstock crazy. It’s the kind of event that young opera lovers like me dream of attending. It is an initiation into opera craziness like nothing else. But why? Why do people like it so much?

I started thinking about the aspects of the Ring Cycle that make it so appealing. And strangely enough, the first thing that came to mind was the multitude of characters within the four operas. It’s a rare quality for an opera to have many compelling characters. In addition, to have so many different compelling characters. Wanting to watch Wotan the god-king fight with his daughter Brunnhilde is not more noble than wanting to watch the fall of Fafner the giant (who uses the Ring to turn into a freaking dragon). The emotional states of Fricka, goddess-queen and wife to the roving Wotan, has been fodder for critics for years. Even Mime, the villainous dwarf often viewed as a symbol of the Jewish people (Wagner was unabashedly anti-Semitic) is an intriguing character. There are no simpering, one-dimensional Italian lovers here. The Ring cycle has transcending appeal because there are so many different kinds of people to like.

Alberich the dwarf in Das Rheingold

Including river maidens who look like Japanese pop stars.

The transcending appeal of the Ring Cycle can definitely be compared to that of the The Lord of the Rings books. A big reason why the latter became more than “just fantasy” in the public imagination was because of the beautiful film adaptations that came out in the early 2000s. They were made by someone  who loved the books. He spared no detail in making the movies, and almost by default they were amazing. It was a big story, and he wanted to do it right.

Similarly, the Ring cycle is an incredibly demanding show. To start, it’s four operas long. That’s an entire season for some opera houses. That’s not excluding the intricate settings of some of the operas, ranging from Valhalla itself to the Rhine river. It takes time and effort to put this thing together. You can’t just throw up a house set with a barber’s pole and call it a day. The cycle in Seattle this year is reportedly inspired by the Pacific Northwest itself, using trees and moss to create a forest wonderland for its gods to romp around in. For opera, the amount of money being sunk into production details can be a correlation to the quality of the production. This is an art form that is regularly afraid of dying for lack of money. If you’re going whole hog on a production, people will get excited. Cast included.

Valkyries in Die Walkure in the Ring cycle

Including some kicka*s Valkyries.

Finally, one of the biggest draws of the Ring Cycle is the fact that it doesn’t worship love. Opera has a serious love problem. So many view it as what makes life worth living, or a blatant lie. Either way, love is the star. But in the Ring Cycle, as the the Jungian psychologist Laurie Layton Shapira says in the brilliant Radiolab special on the cycle, the Ring is about the clashing human desires for love and fire. You have to forsake love forever to have the ring of power. But in a world of gods and dragons, what does having power really entail?

Siegfried in the opera Siegfried in the Ring Cycle

So that’s a short write-up on why opera freaks love the Ring. If you want to be a “true” opera fan, it pays to at least check it out. Which leaves folks like myself and the Opera Teen who haven’t yet seen it in a weird spot. But that craving for the Ring Cycle lingers within us. We want to see it and experience it with a desire uncommon to most works of art. Speaking for myself, my friends and family are often surprised upon learning that the Ring Cycle is a series of operas. It sounds closer to a film series, or maybe a book series on the level of Harry Potter. Ring fandom is difficult to comprehend because the Ring is so far removed from all negative stereotypes associated with opera. But that is what makes it so great.

Rhine maidens in the Ring cycle

Why is it that you love the Ring Cycle? Or do you no like it at all? What do YOU think is the big draw to this four-opera series? Tell me in the comments below!

About the Author: Brit McGinnis writes regularly for nerdy blogs, awesome magazines, and random video game sites that feature Sasquatch. In her free time, she edits and writes even more things. You can see some samples of her work on her website. She also loves running, watching horror movies, and playing video games.

You can find Brit on FacebookGoogle+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also find her on Pinterest, if you like social media articles and Bioshock fan art.


Review: Vienna State Opera’s “Faust”

This is yet another endeavor to break out of the happy-frivolous-Italian-opera funk this blog has recently supported. And so I ask you to behold: The ultimate satire on happy frivolous operas.

Satan in Faust opera

Faust is an operagoer’s opera, and is revered because of it’s often-grandeur staging. The Devil (in the guise of a demon-esque figure called Mephistopheles) is there, and the whole bloody tale begins with a deal with him. The doomed doctor in this 1985 production is by Francisco Araiza, a Mexican tenor with a voice robust enough to play any doomed figure he wants. He is presented to us as a tortured Galileo figure. above humanity but still moved by their pleas. He proclaims boldly, “This God, what can he do for me?”

Answering his prayers is Mephistopheles, played by the wonderful Ruggero Raimondi. This rogue steals the show right away. The physicality he brings to the role, from small flicks of his wrist to careless tosses of glitter, makes for a wonderful spectacle. The moment where Mephistopheles turns a cross into chocolate and eats it is the most entertaining in the entire show. Raimondi holds his own, even when presenting himself apart from Faust. We cannot take our eyes off him during his song about the fabled Golden Calf, even with lascivious golden maidens running around.

With this demon in position, we hear Faust’s great wish: To be young again, and pursue love. Mephistopheles grants his wish, and we’re whiz-bang into the plot. Faust sets his eye on Marguerite, a recently initiated nun played by Gabriela Benacková. He attempts to seduces her as any young cad would, with the blessing of Mephostopheles. Eventually, Marguerite is pregnant, and we learn just what kind of man Faust was longing to be again.

Marguerite spinning wheel aria Faust 1985

This show must have been wonderful to watch. I say “must have” because I wasn’t there in the audience back in 1985, when this tape was filmed. That was clearly the more superior experience compared to watching it on video. The audience back in 1985 didn’t have imposed shots of dancers over the action they were watching. They knew which side of the stage Faust’s “delightful vision” was coming from in Act 1. And as a result, they saw the better show.

Moments of brilliance occasionally come through in this production. The direction suggests an inner theme of the arrogance of men, with even Marguerite’s soldier brother Valentin (played by Walton Grönroos) peacocking about the stage. The famous Soldier’s Chorus includes a couple of cancan girls, tending to the “needs” of the returning soldiers. The most sympathetic male character is Siébel, a trouser role played by the wonderful Gabriele Sima. But he is a rare character of complexity, among both men and women. Marguerite’s character at first is deliciously complicated—why did she take Faust’s wooing jewels so willingly, and only refuse them when others were nearby? But she only truly becomes compelling wo watch when she is a “fallen woman.”

It is tragic that we the video audience are deprived of some of the most brilliant and original moments in the show. Faust’s seduction of Marguerite had moments of brilliance. But we they viewing audience couldn’t see them because a shot of the Devil watching them from somewhere on stage was super imposed over the shot. Conversely, the dullest and most stagnant moments are shot without a bit of variation. The prime example of this is Araiza’s Salut, demeure chaste et pure, a pure example of a Park And Bark if I ever saw one. I was literally able to get up and clean the room while the aria played, and feel as if I missed nothing.

Francisco Araiza aria Faust

Also, his constant smug look while singing was extremely annoying.

This definitely isn’t an opera production I would recommend watching. But I’m not happy about it. Opera is still learning how to be a TV- and video-friendly medium. There are versions of operas that are strictly movies, without any pretense that they are being performed in front of an audience. That’s completely fine to do. In fact, it might be a great way to introduce younger people to opera. But Faust, like so many video productions, has not decided what it wants to be. Is it a filming of a live opera performance? A film based on a live performance? No one can decide, and we are presented with a Frankenstein monster of a film. While it has moments of beautiful insight, it falters under the test of fire.

About the Author: Brit McGinnis writes regularly for nerdy blogs, awesome magazines, and random video game sites that feature Sasquatch. In her free time, she edits and writes even more things. You can see some samples of her work on her website. She also loves running, watching horror movies, and playing video games.

You can find Brit on FacebookGoogle+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also find her on Pinterest, if you like social media articles and Bioshock fan art.

No review today :(

So sorry! The week just got away, especially with more intense work with my book. A review of an opera (read: motherf**king Faust!!!!) will be up as soon as possible.

In the meantime, have an operatic cow. Click the delightful picture to enjoy.

animated cow singing opera

The Billy Connolly Problem (or, Why Opera Is Boring)

Okay, I don’t really believe opera is boring. I’m not an opera traitor, even though I write like one sometimes. I serve the art, not the artists themselves.

Game of thrones eunich quotes

Anyway, one big thing about opera that I know weighs on a lot of fans too is the idea that operas are boring. That’s the reason people give for not going to see operas with us. And he reason why opera lovers are sometimes viewed as stuffy and pedantic. Well, that and the fact that most opera guild members are somewhere between Retired and Decomposing.

Fact is, though, opera can be boring. Every person who has ever seen more than one opera has a Boring Opera Story. It doesn’t matter how much of a fan they are. If they say they’ve never gone to an opera and had a boring experience, they are lying. That’s like saying that even if you’ve spent 20 years going to the movies, you have never watched a movie that bored you. It’s a preposterous notion.

Snow White and the Huntsman

“Oh yeah. Never happened.”

There is certainly a denial of the idea that opera performances can be boring. But that’s not the subject of this piece. I’ve spent quite a long time thinking on the subject of why opera is often considered boring. It is an old art, full of stock characters and classic storylines. But there are tons of modern works, featuring characters as familiar as Mao Zedong. If someone wanted to find a non-Italian, non-stock-character-filled, surprise-ending-containing opera, they would be able to find one. Opera’s unpopularity can no longer be blamed on Mozart. There is now an entire opera based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You can

Many are put off by the length of an individual opera performances. Three hours is such a long time to spend just sitting and watching something! But this is completely irrelevant regarding other forms of media. Many classic films are three hours long, sometimes even longer. Many people find it impossible not to watch just twenty minutes of Gone With the Wind or The Fellowship of the Ring and walk away. People read long books all the time, visit extensive museum exhibits, and listen to album collections with dozens of songs. Video games, as always, are a prime example of length not curtailing public interest in an art. A game costing $60 can get you 10 (sometimes 60!) hours of interaction with an art form. So length is clearly not the problem when it comes to enjoying art.

Perhaps it is what exactly what an art production does within its time length that makes it interesting or not. This has nothing to do with the actual content of the thing. It’s more about pacing, the exact rhythm of whatever the feck’s going on on the stage. It’s about engaging with the audience in spite of the long, slightly pedantic phrases. As a gamer, I don’t care about a cyborg making his patrols in silence. But I will watch that cyborg use their wordlessness to convey anguish. As an audience member at the opera, I may  get bored if some prat in an opera is whining onstage about how many women his master’s slept with. But if he’s emphasizing the repetition with his body, using the language as an acting tool and not just a script to sing out, entertainment is achieved.

Boba Fett demotivational poster

Of course, operas aren’t always to blame for long, pedantic librettos. Or tedious and repetitive scores either, for that matter. A company can be brilliant but be forced to do an opera not suited for them because some tighta*s donor wanted it. It happens. But operas always have a choice between making the text fun and exciting in some way, or for falling into what I have dubbed the Billy Connolly Problem.

Billy Connolly picking his nose

Not this. You are always allowed to do this at the opera.

The Billy Connolly Problem is not an insult to Mr. Connolly himself. It directly refers to a monologue about opera that he performed as part of his Live in New York tour in 2005. In it, he describes his annoyance that operas are so long. He goes on to parody a traveling type of song, which made me immediately think of that one song from Faust. But as Connolly goes on, it slowly becomes evident that it’s not the length of the song itself that’s annoying. It’s the sheer repetition of the scene, and the actors only emphasizing the repetition. Wordpress won’t let me upload the video itself, so come have a look for yourself here.

Every opera production has the potential to fall into the Billy Connolly Problem. You can have the grandest sets, the most glorious singers in all Creation, and still fall into it. It’s just what comes with the canon texts of your craft being long, and written in a time much earlier than your own. Add a community that generally looks down on shortening works, and you’re looking at a dangerous trap of boredom. It’s not innately the fault of opera itself. It’s the time we’re living in, and the current state of affairs. For now, all we can do is encourage those who bring purposeful direction t the stage. And pray that opera singers learn how to move their hands in an engaging manner during arias.

funny opera cat

Have you ever had a boring time at the opera? Tell us what you think caused it! If you’re an opera singer, talk about your experience working to make operas engaging to the audience. What does it take? Tell us in the comments!

About the Author: Brit McGinnis writes regularly for nerdy blogs, awesome magazines, and random video game sites that feature Sasquatch. In her free time, she edits and writes even more things. You can see some samples of her work on her website. She also loves running, watching horror movies, and playing video games.

You can find Brit on FacebookGoogle+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also find her on Pinterest, if you like social media articles and Bioshock fan art.

Review: The Glyndebourne Festival’s “Così Fan Tutti”

Cosi Fan Tutte at the Glyndebourne Festival

The Glyndebourne Festival Opera is an annual opera festival held in the English country house of Glyndebourne,  and attracts thousands of opera lovers from all over the world. It is not at all subsidized by the government, and caused a rumpus in 2003 by placing ads for its shows for the first time ever. But the shows of this year’s festival seem fairly diverse, and will go into late August.

But this week, I decided to dip into a past Glyndebourne production. Così Fan Tutti was one of the inaugural operas for the opera house, and I was excited to see the 2006 revival. I was lucky to stumble upon an online version of the screening, despite the fact that the festival had not yet instituted the streaming options it now has for certain shows. I meant no harm through watching in this way, and was only acting out of a desire for a timely review. The intention was not to purposefully deny money to the Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Goodness knows all opera houses can use some help nowadays.

Cosi fan Tutte at Glyndebourne Festival

Now, on to Tutti. This is definitely a fluffy Romantic opera, so the challenge is to put these shows on with a fresh eye. You definitely don’t have to make an updated version of the story, and there are definitely examples of productions that do well because they go full-out traditional in production. This aims for a rustic italian setting, and it works quite well in pointing out the difference in class between servants and nobles.

It also doesn’t hurt that the camera loves these singers. There are hardly any shots of the entire stage, but it hardly matters. The close-up shots of the lovers embracing each other before being parted by war, tenderly singing “Be true to me!” could easily be the production’s title images. Ditto with a pre-wedding scene in Act 2, where amidst all lovely drunken passion the camera finds one of the male leads muttering bitterly, “I wish they’d [the women] drunk poison.” Even the transitions between scenes (very good in their own right) are filmed tastefully. The whole experience is immersive, but not showy.

Glyndebourne Cosi fan Tutte

The two leading women, Miah Persson and Anke Vondung, shine on their duets together. They taunt servants and tenderly hug each other with equal ferocity. Their relationship is a delight to watch throughout. But their onstage lovers, Topi Lehtipuu and Luca Pisaroni, are the real stars of the show. The scene of their initial wager with Don Alonso (played by the stately and well-cast Nicolas Rivenq) over their lovers’ fidelity sets the tone as one of close friendship. And there is never a doubt in our heads that this is so. Each of their romantic relationships is very different, adding weight to the various romantic hijinks that take place. But there are many lighthearted moments, especially when Lehtipuu and Pisaroni are forced to go into disguise. They immerse themselves into their cheesy Jack Sparrow personas completely, to everyone’s delight. You find yourself laughing with them when they start singing about the quality of their moustaches.

Unfortunately, this opera suffers greatly from what I lovingly refer to as the Billy Connolly Problem. It was greatly referred to in Billy Connolly’s Live in New York special, which the link leads to. Here’s a summary: An opera can sometimes experience drag because the libretto itself contains a lot of repetition. But the libretto isn’t the problem in this case; it’s the company itself, not knowing what to do with themselves during the points of repetition. It’s not knowing the precise moment to move about the stage, or throw their hands up, or even to grimace between individual phrases. It makes for a highly monotonous experience for the audience. The scene after a very dramatic (and fake poisoning) at the end of Act 1 suffers this fate. It’s unfortunate, because it directly follows a very action-filled scene that proves the depths of Lehtipuu and Pisaroni. So it goes.

Glyndebourne Festival Così Fan Tutti

This blog is definitely gaining a reputation for nitpicking divas, and I will not spare this opera in doing so. Miah Persson is excellent as the (mostly) faithful Fiordiligi, but her aria is the Billy Connolly Problem incarnate. She plants herself on stage and never only seems to alter her facial expression twice throughout the entire number. In earlier and later scenes, Persson lends a gravity to her character that few could ever conjure. But in her aria, she settles into being a diva.

When the singers are allowed to freely interpret a scene, it goes very well. Lehtipuu and Vondung are particularly good at coming up with “filler” movements and character decisions, which make the characters all the more entertaining to watch. Anhoa Garmendia, as the scheming and freethinking servant Despina, is an absolute joy to watch for her character interpretation. She pops in and out of costume, and her most memorable moments are when she is in disguise. That can actually be said for the entire cast; when in disguise, or given moments of repose, they are lovely to observe. We can sympathize and bond with them then. But when everyone remembers that they are performing a Very Important Classic Opera, the scene becomes stiff and boring. Only the stolen moments are gold.

About the Author: Brit McGinnis writes regularly for nerdy blogs, awesome magazines, and random video game sites that feature Sasquatch. In her free time, she edits and writes even more things. You can see some samples of her work on her website. She also loves running, watching horror movies, and playing video games.

You can find Brit on FacebookGoogle+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also find her on Pinterest, if you like social media articles and Bioshock fan art.

How do you REALLY write about opera?

critic cartoon

Recently, a huge figure in the other niche industry I write about (video games) suffered a huge loss. Ryan Davis was a huge figure in the video game industry, not just because he was amazingly funny but also because he seriously worked to define what video game journalism should be. It was (and is) an incredibly ambiguous field to work in, and he tried to cover the industry in a refined, intelligent, and personal way. It will be a great loss to the field to lose him.

Reflecting on his legacy caused me to wonder about opera, because at their hearts opera and video games are rather quite similar. They fall into the “arts and entertainment” umbrella, but are mostly regarded as niche areas of journalism that no one quite knows what to do with. Video games has a slightly easier time of it, because in addition to video games there’s an entire financial side of the business one could write about. You can write about company upheavals, stocks going up and down, and even about the technology behind the newest games coming out this year. But what is the right way to write about opera?

Mimi and Eunice cartoon

For a long time, reviews were the only way to go about writing about opera. There were a few lovely articles about the inner workings of the biz, like the lovely Adventures of a Supernumerary written by Tom Jokinen. But overall, it was mostly all reviews and history articles. A few have tweaked with this formula, such as the Opera Novice series at the Telegraph. I’ve been impressed with it so far, because it combines review with historical background surrounding whatever opera the reviewer is currently reviewing. It’s the same reason why I love the San Francisco Opera Podcast, even though the host regularly talks like a drag queen. Which makes me love it even more.

But review-only opera coverage opens the door to a lot of ambiguous coverage, both in terms of worth to the readers and to the image of opera itself. The most recent example that comes to mind is the coverage of the crazy drama surrounding the breakup of a certain famous soprano and her apparently abusive tenor husband. In no way do I want to downplay the horrific nature of abuse. What this woman alleges happened to her is absolutely horrific. But why is this tabloid-esque story next to performance reviews and stories of leadership shuffle within opera houses? The article I linked to earlier in this article is a very classy take on the incident, using it as a jumping-off point to discuss why we as an opera society  are fascinated with divas. But most articles I have seen treat it as a quick-thrill tabloid story, and not for no reason.

Once Upon A Time show gif

I would love to have access to the analytics of sites that cover opera. Are people reading the tabloid news more than anything else, and that is what compels this coverage? That’s a bloody rotten way to write about art. The most popular post on this blog as of July 8th is the review of Falstaff. From my training in SEO I can definitively tell you that multiple factors played into its popularity. I was lucky enough to find great images. It was the longest review up to that date. It was a review of a production by an opera with a recognizable name. The very fact that the title contained a name from a play by Shakespeare play may have helped it earn views. But these statistics don’t mean that I only intend to review live opera performances, or that I won’t stop writing reflection pieces. This blog is for what I believe is best for talking to people about opera right now. People get bored of just reading reviews.

30 Rock gif

We’re still figuring out how to cover opera in a way that helps everyone, and it will probably take a very long time. Opera News ended its more-than-slightly-murky relationship with the Met last month over bad reviews from critics. The AP recently stopped most of its opera coverage. For now, it’s much safer for me and the Opera Teen and all of our comrades to just keep doing our thing. Maybe we’ll get hired by one of these newspapers to write about opera, but I doubt it. Newspapers are bleeding money, and it’s safe to say that most of their opera reviewers are the same people who review dance and film. But not music, that’s for the hipster interns.

Things are still being sorted out, and it will take a while. As a fan, I have to accept that. But I just have one request for opera magazines and news outlets: Please let your interns run the Twitter feeds. Let them do it, not you. Tweets like this are not helping your image whatsoever.

Opera news tweet

About the Author: Brit McGinnis writes regularly for nerdy blogs, awesome magazines, and random video game sites that feature Sasquatch. In her free time, she edits and writes even more things. You can see some samples of her work on her website. She also loves running, watching horror movies, and playing video games.

You can find Brit on FacebookGoogle+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also find her on Pinterest, if you like social media articles and Bioshock fan art.

Review: Opera Australia’s “The Turn of the Screw”

There were way too many fluffy reviews happening on this blog. So I decided to go a little dark this time.

The Turn of the Screw opera Australia

The recorded opera I decided to review this week is a rendition of The Turn of the ScrewA horror opera based upon a horror novella, this is one of the few operas touted for being genuinely frightening. This production was originally released in 2008, and was filmed at His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth, Western Australia.

It’s been a while since I reviewed a dramatic opera, and the time away from them had made me suspicious. What would this opera do to be scary? And would the fact that it was an English translation have any effect?

To my delight, the English language actually enhanced the experience of this opera. Sentences like “She was full of doubt” carried extra weight, and brought to mind the atmosphere created in a particularly well-made production of Sweeney ToddIndeed, the entire production is staged like a penny dreadful, and it absolutely works. The set itself is very impressive, and plays well to the show’s claustrophobic themes. Set pieces switch between opaque and mirrored sides, creating a lovely eerie feeling. It also helps that there is not a voice among the cast that isn’t as docile as the music itself. No one sticks as trying to sing in a separate style, only lending to the beautiful atmosphere. However, watching this film with subtitles is definitely preferable to listening without. The ghosts in particularly are hard to listen to with a “naked ear,” but they are so lovely and confident in their acting that it is still a delight to see.

Opera Australia The Turn of the Screw

In terms of acting, Eilene Hannan is absolutely astounding as the Governess. Not only is she very capable of singing in English, but she is one of the very few singers I’ve ever seen capable of singing fearfully. She knows how to convey fear in a way that the audience understands, but stays perfectly in line with the music. Margaret Haggart is also lovely as housekeeper Mrs. Grose, though she is slightly less clear speaking in English. Her phrasing of one “Dear God…” is masterful in the middle of Act 1, elegant to hear but barely discernible. But I have to give her plenty of credit for a small thing she does that I hardly ever see people able to pull off: Staying in character through scene transitions.

The children Flora and Miles (played by Lanette Jones and Patrick Littlemore, respectively) are both very comfortable within their roles. Jones has more than one eerie as a too-clever-for-her-own-good child of horror. She’s biting, and very capable of being terrifying. Littlemore is a force of nature by himself, and his smug expression at the news of his sister running off in Act 2 is worth watching the entire second half. But the two children’s chemistry with the more mysterious entities of the show makes for some of the most compelling scenes in the opera. Tenor Anson Austin, who plays the evil Peter Quint is absolutely delicious to hear. No spoilers on if he’s alive or not!

This is a lovely film for people looking to switch up their opera diet, and may even delight a few horror film fans. The symbols of classic works are there, and the setting absolutely fits the story. The singers are all lovely actors, including the children. The singing is not perfectly clear without subtitles, but the grace of every voices makes it still worthy of watching. It’s well worth watching in the dark.

About the Author: Brit McGinnis writes regularly for nerdy blogs, awesome magazines, and random video game sites that feature Sasquatch. In her free time, she edits and writes even more things. You can see some samples of her work on her website. She also loves running, watching horror movies, and playing video games.

You can find Brit on FacebookGoogle+, Twitter, and LinkedIn. You can also find her on Pinterest, if you like social media articles and Bioshock fan art.