Things NOT To Do At The Opera
This pretty girl "is" an opera singer
More Classic Opera Singers
Are you an opera fan? I'm not talking about The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, but the opera singers who perform in London, Philadelphia, and Carnegie Hall in New York City.
These people, the opera singers, can sing, buddy. They can reach notes so high that the audience gets dizzy. And opera singers, make no mistake, work hard to keep their talents sharp and crisp. Opera singing, simply put, is one of the toughest jobs in the world.
Talk about voice training? Opera singers are trained by the "masters" of the human voice and music tone. These teachers can be compared to the drill instructors of the Marine Corps. They want perfection from their students. And who can blame them. Opera and opera singers have been around for eons of time. Opera is a highly-respected art form. But not everyone has a cultivated taste for opera. I don't. And that's not a knock on opera singers, it's just that I do not have a desire to attend an opera or listen for hours to people singing in a foreign language who tell their story in notes and lyrics that I do not understand.
Visit New York City sometime. Then, because I've asked you, attend an opera and it won't be long before you know what I am talking about. Only the elite, upper-crust of society are seen at opera's. Not guys like me. And you if you are not an opera fan. I do not have clothes fit to wear to a swanky affair such as an opera. Just look around. See the men in expensive tuxedo's and spats on their shoes? And the top hats too. What a gala event. The ladies on these gent's arms all wear expensive evening gowns, furs, and more pearls on their neck than one Hawaiian diver can collect in a year. I cannot stand the murdering of innocent animals just so some lady of taste will look better than her high-nosed friends.
Opera is definitely not for me. I am a common man. I have common friends. I used to tell these guys that my definition of "Hades," was being trapped in huge opera house for eternity to be forced to listen to one confusing, nerve-racking operetta after another. That is punishment to someone like me who has no cultural education or a degree in graceful appearances.
And if you, my non-opera-liking friend, do take my advice and fly to New York City and attend an opera, there are some things that you need to know. Things while you are watching this "organized chaos," on stage called opera, that you should not do. At any cost.
Because if you do any of the following things, a security guard dressed in a tux and with a voice like James Earl Jones will whisper in your ear, "I think you should leave. Follow me. Now." And you will. Follow him outside. Gladly.
So remember these "Things Not to Do While at The Opera"
1.) Don't yell, "Go, Minnesota Vikings," when a lady with a hat with horns walks on stage.
2.) Don't sneeze on anyone. Just the scornful looks from the elite opera fans would kill a charging lion.
3.) Don't talk to anyone. Even if they ask the time. Pretend you are deaf. Elite opera fans cannot stand anyone behind or beside them who whisper. They think that they are the only people allowed to speak in the world.
4.) Try not to hum, "Lovesick Blues," by Hank Williams, Sr. Although this song can beat opera any day of the week, you don't want to be thrown out in the streets. People might see you coming out of an opera house and call you sissy names.
5.) Do not yell for the peanut and beer vendors.
6.) Do not put your feet on the back of the person's seat in front of you. Elite opera fans do not have foot odor. Didn't you know they are all born without odor of any kind?
7.) Do not snore if you fall asleep. Carry one of those jaw expander's they advertise on television for sleep apnea sufferers. If you feel a snooze coming on, and you will, silently insert the jaw expander in your mouth and sleep like a baby.
8.) Do not "bootleg" a pint of whiskey inside your pants to sip during the opera. This is barbaric, uncultured and besides, the correct place to sneak-in your whiskey is your inside suit pocket. You will be wearing a suit I hope.
9.) Do not take a pocket full of roasted peanuts inside the opera to eat. The shells on the floor make an annoying scratching sound when opera fans around you begin to leave due to you eating the peanuts in the first place. Hey, on second thought, eat roasted peanuts in the audience. That way you will have some measure of peace.
10.) Do not, for any reason, ask anyone near you, "what was it that big woman with horns just said?" Oh the hateful looks you will get. Just be as quiet as you can and things will be fine.
11.) Leave your cellphone in your motel room. One thing you don't need is unwanted attention. And answering a cellphone with, "hey, you old fool, what's up?" will get your escorted to the theatre exit.
12.) Do not think of a funny joke, such as this story, and burst into laughter. This move might interrupt other opera fans who love to listen to words they cannot pronounce. I say take a sinus pill before you go to the opera. "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of not getting cursed out," I always say.
13.) Do not try to "dip" Skoal and silently spit into a styrofoam cup. Talk about obnoxious. The sight of tobacco juice dripping down your chin will simply make some lofty-thinking lady of class faint on the spot.
You are all set. You have my list of things that you cannot do at any opera, so just remember to rent a good-looking tux, buy yourself some breath spray and have a ball at the opera.
Oh, and when someone sitting near you asks, "my dear uneducated man, where pray tell are your shoes," don't be offended. You simply forgot to take off your muddy lumberjack work boots and wear your black patent leather slippers.
Now you are equipped to sit through any opera and survive the lowest of bass and highest of tenor singers . . . "until the fat lady sings."