Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Opera isn't just a browser

Rudolfo and Mimi meet for the first time in La Bohème.
It's actually a form of entertainment that's well over four hundred years old and still going strong.

Who would have thought it?

Last Friday I went along to the Birmingham Hippodrome for a production of La Bohème. This was lovely, as it was by turns dramatic, romantic, funny and heartbreaking. Though set in Paris, it is performed in Italian - what with being written by Puccini and all.


Now, considering my Italian starts and finishes with the likes of Maldini, Vieri, Del Piero, Cannavaro and Pirlo, I was wondering how much of the specifics I'd be able to get. OK that's not quite true, once you've covered words like si, ciao, bounasera, grazie and prego, I'm totally out of my depth with Italian.

It's still nowhere near as complicated as Polish (in which I can now count from 1-10 and know enough to sound like the 2 year old you put on the phone to grandma now they can mutter a word or two and be congratulated in a patronising fashion).  But that's beside the point. Simply, I can't speak Italian. Sure, you can get a lot of the feeling from the performances, but the specifics? Not quite.

Subtitles to the rescue! Thank the lord for that. Finally the story of Rudolfo, Mimi, Musetta and all could be understood by yours truly, the Opera n00b.

However, I realised after tickets for said highly-enjoyable evening of performance and drinks had been purchased that it clashed with the England game against Sweden. To be honest, it wasn't a difficult decision to do without the football (bar a full-time update, of course) for an evening, considering the company and the occasion.

So I missed an England victory. So what? There's always the iPlayer. The very next day I caught up with all the action, goals (all three being lovely from Carroll, Walcott and Welbeck), shocking defending and so forth.

Would I go to the Opera again? The answer is certainly. Even way back in the gods in the far left corner, the tickets were cheap and there was alcohol. What more do you need?

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