Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Operaplot 2010

So, as mentioned in yesterday's post, I've been drawn back into the world of Operaplot, a Twitter-based contest that debuted last April. It's back again for this week, and once again hundreds of opera summaries are pouring in, 140 characters or less at a time. (Actually, the plots need to be 130 characters or less since they must include the tag #operaplot to be entered into the contest.) There's an interesting pool of prizes for the winners, to be selected by tenor sensation Jonas Kaufmann at the end of the week, but the real fun is in seeing all the creative solutions (more than 500 in 3 days) to the challenge.

At first I thought I'd just re-enter my favorite creations from last year (non-winning entries are allowed back in), but then I started tweaking a few and suddenly I was hatching new ones. I find I still can't resist the lure of rhyme, and this year I've also starting using existing song lyrics as templates for some. There's definitely a tendency towards the "just being clever for the sake of being clever," but I guess I am who I am. If you go wandering through the Twitter stream, you'll find all manner of approaches, and you'll certainly be reminded that operas aren't always about pretty things. But that's hardly news.

So, below you'll find my 2010 collection. Go here to see the 2009 batch, which is probably a bit stronger on the whole. [Apologies for details that may make no sense - there are plenty of obscure references to plot/musical features that may just look weird if you don't get the reference. It's all part of the geeky fun.]

...and see Update(s) below...

You can click through on each one to find the operas being referenced. I'm probably proudest of this tidy little couplet: "The first chord puts tonality on notice. The ending lets Isolde Liebestod us." Maybe because it's short (which the opera definitely isn't) and yet manages to capture the two iconic bookends of this groundbreaking work. Maybe it's just satisfying to cut Wagner down to size. In fact, my favorite of all the 2010 submissions may be this one: "N├╝rnberg's Got Talent."

Most of my plots above are fairly self-explanatory. The "In2 the Woods" one makes a lot more sense if you happen to know this. The "kiss is still a kiss" one is probably too cute for its own good, but it does pick up on the way in which some romantic "kiss music" is twice reprised at the end of that opera. Oh, and maybe it's obvious as is, but the "in a world where..." plot really needs to be read with this guy's voice in mind.

UPDATE (4/29): One more concocted on the drive into work this morning...

Well, lookey here. A couple more...

...and one more, actually a more elegant revision of one from above:

I'm done; there are now more than 800 entries, with the deadline being tonight (Fri, 4/30) at midnight.

[UPDATE: All the plots above explained in excruciating detail here]

1 comment:

Kim said...

Haha, nice Michael. I especially like the West Side Story and Into the Woods parodies :-)