A few days ago I went to the opera with my-gayer-than-gay-friend Michau. There is so much cultural activity going on in London which you sometimes tend to take for granted. There is no time, no money or one is just too self-obsessed with one’s London life. But after a serious cultural dry spell in Alex both Michau and I decided to better our lives and feed ourselves some high culture on a regular basis. So off we went to the Royal Opera House to see a skilfully executed but not very memorable performance of the opera version of Shakespeare’s famous play. Now, I don’t go to the opera an awful lot so I don’t call my self much of an insider. As this outsider I observed the opera-loving crowd and I dare say that many of them consider their trip to Covent Garden more of a social event, where they can be seen in their nicest frocks sipping champagne and showing they can fork out a weekly minimum wage for a ticket, rather than that they go for the music and the performance. During the show – show probably sounds way too contemporary in opera circles- I was seriously wondering what the point of costumes, different sets and staging was. The musicians and singers were -obviously- very skilful but besides that there was – in my humble opinion- a very bad use of space, rather static staging and the different sets where quite sober. They might have just stood there and sang their lungs out without all that other b*llocks, it would have made little difference. I assume as a regular opera-goer you know what the score is so you are not looking for some serious character psychology, intelligent staging or inspiring sets since you’re going for the music and the champagne. The average actor always pretends to be very busy making money with his craft although every single one of them knows about the much dreaded dry spells and statistics tell us that more than half of them is out of work at any given time. The average city banker might flash her cash when she is around her peers even – or especially- when things are overpriced. Academics might keep on discussing normative theory amongst each other rather than getting out and see what the real world is really about. And the average office worker dreads Mondays and always rejoices the fact it’s Friday ( I’ve always wondered why they don’t do shift work instead). Of course all these statements are generalisation, but if you are lucky enough to know different subcultures you’ll know that all have their specific code of conduct which you are not to question. This code might seem completely normal to the insider and even if it’s not it’s like the Emperor’s New Clothes. And if the outsider points out the ridiculousness of the code it is she who is insane, uncultured or just a plain loser. Cracking the codes of life; only for the brave.
image: the healthfixer.com