Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Oh Mercy Pit

Opera dogs are howling again, distracting the singers, threatening another delay in production. I'm tempted to feed them poisoned meat, just to get through a rehearsal. But this would set off a vicious species war in which victory is uncertain. We barely survived the rodent uprising. Dogs are bigger.

The canine explosion metastasized into factions, even genres. Apart from the family dogs, heroic dogs, mad dogs, cute dogs who roll on their backs wanting their tummies rubbed with tails wagging, cyberdogs, and dogs of mystery are countless new breeds. We haven't been able to name them all. Fresh strains crop up hourly. A few are attempting human speech, determined to evolve. Joke's on them. Look at us.

I have nothing against canine evolution. I'm very live and let live. All I desire is to produce quality local operas, based on my librettos and music known only to me. Convincing performers who can sing is hard enough. Most want to do Dvořák, Janáček, Berlioz -- the standard crowd pleasers. My stuff is a little more challenging.

You have to hum it for a month before singing it, and then it has to be precisely in my pitch, an uneven falsetto. Also, there's a lot of running in my operas. Singers must be able to hold notes while jumping over the large letters that spell my name. So rehearsal is crucial.

Then the opera dogs found me. When I learned of them, I figured they'd harass the bigger companies. The first ones I saw were harmless. A few high-pitched yelps and that was it. When my production of Bavarian Sluice! premiered, the strays had grown into a pack. To enter the theater, customers had to wade through dogs howling my music. Some thought this was part of the show, applauding my originality. I'd smile and nod. The dogs and I knew differently.

At this point you're probably expecting some twist. Like maybe I'm really a dog writing this, or that the opera dogs are symbols for human neglect, or that I'm simply insane, wasting your time. But maybe you're the opera dogs. Never thought of that, did you? Let that possibility bake to a golden crust in your cynical minds. Life isn't all about you.

Sitting on a ledge, overlooking the sleeping city. So many people. Millions of hopes, fears, desires, dreams. And nightmares. Holy shit! Think of the nightmares! Statistically, a good third of the city suffers from nightmares. And I'm not talking about forgetting your lines in a play or having your teeth fall out. I'm referring to hellish landscapes dissolving to personal isolation where inner-demons gleefully rip your spirit to shreds. Where fantasies of love shatter on jagged rocks of regret. Where each living breath is a death march. Then mix in how many of these people own firearms and feel they have nothing to lose. If you can sleep knowing that, you're better than me.