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It may just be that poor Robbo’s brain, suffering under the strain of an outbreak of adolescence in the old home, has become somewhat addled and distracted, but it seems to me that this year’s Opera in the Outfield – the big-screen simulcast of a Kennedy Center performance of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera down at Nationals Park, is receiving a good bit more hype that in prior years.  At least it is being flogged pretty heavily on the local classickal radio station.

According to the press release linkied above, in addition to the yodeling itself, here are some of the other activities involved:

o Photo opportunities with Nationals mascot Screech and a Mars M&M character
o Family Fun Zone offering a mask-making area, costume trunk and Jungle Gym for children
o Picnic contest sponsored by ABC7/WJLA-TV
o T-shirt tosses, prize giveaways, raffle items and more!

No word on whether there’s going to be a mosh pit.  The opera director lady over at the Kennedy Center has been on the radio several times over the past couple days arguing about how all this will aid in making opera more “accessible” (a word that always causes me to cringe) to the many-headed.  Personally, I’m pretty dubious that such a spectacle is going to convince anyone to blow large wads of dosh on tickets for more traditional operatic performances who wasn’t already fairly inclined to do so.

But then again, what do I know?

Actually, I can’t get too worked up over this biznay.  If this were a simulcast of, say, some Mozart, I’d probably be frothing into my wineglass about the desecration of High Art, but the fact of the matter is that I wouldn’t cross the street for Verdi one way or the other, so I will look on with fairly benign indifference.

(Today actually is Battle of Britain Day.)


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September 2010