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Criticism, Ruminations

A Night at the Detroit Opera

I digress tonight in the interest of the arts in general, and opera in particular.

How desperate to make money is the Detroit Opera House? My wife and I attended “Phantom of the Opera” last night, and while it was an excellent production, we were appalled that now, in addition to inconsiderate talkers, coughers and seat kickers, we have to deal with people eating and drinking during the performance, because the house now offers popcorn, pretzels, candy—and get this—beer, for sale and happily permitted in the theater. So now we get crunching, belching and my neighbor’s popcorn breath in addition to the other distractions.

Apparently in the never-ending quest to make a buck, no potential source of revenue is overlooked. But is this opera? For $200-plus for two seats, we shouldn’t have to put up with so much just to enjoy the show. It’s tough enough handling the people who don’t know the difference between the theater and their living rooms. It would help if we could believe that management is on our side. But by condoning a chow hall atmosphere in what should be a semi-reserved setting, it’s clear where the Opera’s priorities lay.

What’s next, hot dogs and pizza? Hey guys, this isn’t a football game. It’s the opera. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, we’ll spend our money somewhere else.


About Joe Ponepinto

Co-publisher, with Kelly Davio, of Tahoma Literary Review. Author of "Curtain Calls," a featured Kirkus Review. Married to Dona. Dad to Henry, the coffee-drinkin' dog.


One thought on “A Night at the Detroit Opera

  1. Somehow I can’t help but think there’s some connection between this post and “Why Read the Good Stuff.” When quality is not respected in one art form, why should it be respected in another?

    When The Incredible Hulk carries the same credential as Of Mice and Men, why shouldn’t people slurp a Coke at Phantom, just as they would at Toy Story?

    Class (yes, that forbidden word) used to be something to aspire to, or at least admire. Now it is generally mocked, “So what if he’s a Pope/ President/ Professor/ Preacher? I’m as good as he/she is.” And, “You lie!”

    “F bombs” have become as common as prepositions. And why not? “You think you’re better’n me?” Ah, yes, in fact I do. And I am.

    But face it, we are outnumbered. We. And we know who we are…we’re the ones who know there’s a difference. At Phantom, we are the ones eating gummie bears..nice quiet gummie bears.

    Posted by jonzech | September 23, 2009, 12:09 AM

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