May 27, 2010

A Night at the Opera

Talk about your comic fricking farce.

My parents and Grandma kindly took me to the Lyric Theatre this evening to see The Elixir of Love, an opera about which I knew nothing except that it was supposedly "Australian".

Huh? We do operas now?

Well, no (or maybe, I don't know much about opera). This one was actually a Donizetti from 1832, but they themed it Australiana-bush-farm style. The whole set was constructed out of corrugated iron - down to the sheep, cows, galahs and pet dog. It was quite ingenious, really. The opera itself - well, as I said, I don't know much about opera, but there was singing, more singing, over-acting, some nice bits of humour, surprising product placement, and to top it off, more singing. All I know is that opera seems to have far less cursing than the theatre I've been involved with of late, so it must be classy.

But it was all the stuff around the opera that made the evening so impressive.

First my Mum gets thwacked on the head by a rogue toilet door. Then she and I completely lost my Dad, who'd gone to buy interval drinks. The foyers of the Lyric are big, but not THAT big. The bells were ringing as I rushed to grab half a mouthful of lemon, lime & bitters my Dad had left on a bar table on level 3. I got told off by an usher for sneaking a few crisps before the curtains went up on Act 2.

After the show, we headed to the Treasury for a bite to eat and the inevitable flutter that happens with my parents at the casino. My Dad wound up losing his casino rewards card and had to get a new one, before all four of us lost our flutter money. To top it off, for some reason we were chatting about ye-olde-time caning in schools, and when I asked my mother why she'd been caned across the hands as a girl in Ireland, she exasperatedly said, "Because I just could never do ANYTHING right!".

I'm starting to think this whole clumsy business is fricking genetic.


  1. thwack (thwk)
    tr.v. thwacked, thwack·ing, thwacks
    To strike or hit with a flat object; whack.
    A hard blow with a flat object; a whack.

    Haven't heard/read that word for years.

    Yes it would appear the clumsy gene is passed on thru the female generations.

    Once saw The Taming of the Shrew with John Woods and a distinctly Australian theme. Different.

  2. Isn't Patrick WHite's novel VOSS been made into an opera? Now that would be Australian. Horrible but Australian

  3. Ah, the good old days..
    Teachers taught to the tune of the hickory stick.
    ( The only prize I won at any school was for "Best Improvement" over the year. EG That teacher taught times tables by the "hold out both your hands. now begin" method. any mistake resulted in the dreaded thwack. ( you soon learned to get it right quickly))
    The local constabulary could give you a thick ear and the only thing your parents would say was "Well you must have been doing something wrong"
    Neighbours, shop owners, train inspectors, bus conductors, all were entitled to administer a backhand with impunity
    Some farmers would fire bird shot at you (especially if you were raiding the carrots at the time)
    Yes we were disciplined in those days and it never harmed us
    (Exit, stage left, twitching, ducking and weaving and looking around wildly
    The Ancient Man