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Commentary:Opera is no longer intimidating

Kristen Campbell, News Editor

Kristen Campbell, News Editor

Five and a half hours of opera in pure German is not how I usually spend my Wednesday afternoons, but I made an exception on March 31.

Being on the Campus Times staff, I hear about everything that is happening on campus, including “The Ring” lecture series. When I found out “The Ring” is a series about four extremely long operas, I was completely turned off to the idea of attending the lectures.

When my honors professors gave the opportunity, offered to them by David Werner, to see “Götterdämmerung,” the fourth of Wagner’s operas, I debated going for a few reasons.

One, I could not even pronounce the title, and two, it’s opera, which is not and shall not appear on my iPod playlist.

Sean Dillon finally made me realize attending this opera could be a good experience and something I could check off my “bucket list.”

As we were riding the bus to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, I was picturing Viking-looking people standing center stage and singing notes I can only dream of reaching.

I was not sure what to expect or if I would even enjoy the performance. I was praying something would be of interest so I was not wasting five hours of my life.

I read the synopsis while waiting for the show to begin and suddenly became engulfed with the science fiction-like plot. The deceit and passion it provided made me anxious to see how this would unfold in a German opera.

The lights went down, the orchestra played a unanimous note and I took a deep breath waiting to see if it was worth my time.

The opening number was not very exciting, so I began to regret my decision to attend. But from the moment the character Siegfried entered the scene until the last performer bowed at curtain call, I was in awe.

The technical design, the score and the story were just breathtaking. This modern interpretation of Wagner’s opera should be seen by all who assume they will dislike operatic music. There were, as many of us joked, “Star Wars” references along with situations we have seen in Shakespeare and everyday life.

Once I got past the fact it was in German, and we had to constantly read supertitles, I can honestly say I would watch the opera a million times over.

A week later, I am still in admiration for the work that was presented to me. Now, I am more cultured than before and have a greater appreciation for the opera. Thank you, David Werner, for making this opportunity possible.

Kristen Campbell, a freshman journalism major, is news editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at kristen.campbell@laverne.edu.

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