Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Turandot



Or why TherapyDoc didn't blog or post Comments or ANYTHING last night.

You know, I talk about how sensuous stuff changes your brain. Your brain on depression is bereft of seratonin.

That neurotransmitter that zips from neuron to neuron to make you feel energetic , we interpret this as "happy" sometimes, is trapped in the walls of nerve cells, or neurons.

Our brain literally has billions of cells. So to trap seratonin in those walls is a terrible thing.

But what that implies is that there may be ways to jiggle the seratonin out of the cell walls outside of medication. Perhaps a person isn't depressed ENOUGH to need medication. Then sensory stimulation can do that jiggling we're talking about.

Sometimes. It won't work, probably, for a more serious condition, as in the south pole of bi-polar disorder, but for your average Joe?

It's good.

So F.D. and I go to the Lyric Opera House once a year just for the fun of it and to take in as much sensory stim as is humanly possible in the dead of a Chicago winter.

We save our co-pays and we go, or we wait for a generous donor.

We get great seats.

Generally an elderly well-healed couple, let's call them the Dobsons, will have decided last minute to give up their tickets last minute. They call the Lyric and "donate" the tickets back to the opera company. Then working stiffs like F.D. and myself will call, the day of the performance, precisely at the right time, to score them.

If we wait too long then someone else is sure to beat us to the punch.

If we get a box, the other box seat owners, regular octogenarians, will usually say something like this:

Oh. You're not the Dobsons.

F.D. will smile and say, No, we're not.

What he wants to say is, Didn't you know about the Jewish nephew? But he doesn't.

Once they find out he's a doctor we're off to the races. He talks medicine and I talk about good chocolate.

So we saw Puccini's Turandot last night, as we had planned to do all winter. We were excited about it as soon as the original Lyric flyers and advertisements started to overwhelm our mail carrier last summer.

The P.R. for the Lyric is pretty good. I probably recycled an entire tree.

This performance was so amazing, so colorful, so rich, so deep. I just can't tell you how visually beautiful it was. And costumes. Wow. The chorus is huge in Turandot, which is set in Peking, so peasants, priests, monarchs, guards, kings and servants are dressed in finery or peasantry, whichever, galore.

The music?

Astounding.

Had a Bad Day, it's not, no disrespect.

Anyway, I should have brought a camera because mine really does take photos in the dark, but I didn't. If you click on this, however, you can see the final set of the opera in pretty decent resolution. It's a current Lyric ad but it MAY change.

The pictures at the top of this post are NOT from the production I saw. But they're typical of the grandeur of opera.

Click here for a look at the Final set of Turandot at the Lyric

I also found this pic for you on the web that a paparazzi took from the previous production of Turandot at the Lyric in 1991. I saw this set and it was amazing, just amazing. The picture doesn't do it justice.

You can go here for snippets of the music, but you won't get the full enchilada, or shall we say, the entire cataloni by going to this site. But any collection of the best of Puccini or Turandot hits will suffice. Buy it for $10 bucks.

Live a little.

I'm going to be humming, no make that breaking into song for weeks. That's just the way it is.


Copyright 2006, TherapyDoc

10 comments:

J said...

Though I was dragged regularly to performance art growing up--not really opera except for Der Ring--I think hearing Nessun Dorma a few years back was what really got me to listen to opera appreciatively. Still makes me shiver.

I've been meaning to collect some of the more famous arias to have on hand, but that somehow got put on the backburner. It's so hit and miss too; there's so much out there and I'm not familiar enough to know what I'm looking for (I think Carmen was a favorite too, but not sure...).

And you're right on about the stimulation thing; ironically I just wrote something that mentioned this recently (only I was talking about thinking and working on new ideas and concepts, not sensory stim--part of why I come here). It's invigorating.

TherapyDoc said...

I really love Carmen. What's not to love. And such a story!

Mark said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing!

Chana said...

Aaaaaaaahh!!!!! I'm so jealous!!

"Oh. You're not the Dobsons.

(sniff) "Oh. You are correct!"

For sensory overload, Die Fledermaus is right up there too. I think my daughter was about 4 when I took her to a dress rehearsal. She was mostly mesmerized except during a big chorus scene when she kept saying "HI!" and waving to the dancers and singers off to the side where we were sitting. At least it was so loud that no one could hear her.(And then she fell asleep, LOL)

Now, my 4 yo son - forget it - no way would I take him - while he would love it, he would have to get up and act it out, or mimic the conductor, or say, "Mama, LOOK!!" every five seconds - "Can I do it? Is he a ____? I can't see! Wow, this is LOUD! SSSSSSSSHHHH! DON'T TALK!!" etc. etc...

His interactive interpretation of Harold and the Purple Crayon video is a riot...

TherapyDoc said...

Chana, thought of you with the percussion. It is a pretty intense experience, starting even before that fabulous smashing of the gong that announces to Turandot that she has a new suitor willing to die if he fails to answer her riddles.

What a way to win a girl. (We haven't begun to deal with how as a feminist she totally caves, "belongs" to him in the end).

Chana said...

Chana, thought of you with the percussion.

LOL. We've already had the Blue Man Group conversation, right?

What a way to win a girl. (We haven't begun to deal with how as a feminist she totally caves, "belongs" to him in the end).

LOL, seriously. Well, Puccini did have to wrap it up, didn't he? (no, actually, didn't he die around the end of Act 2 and someone else wrapped it up for him? no wonder...)

TherapyDoc said...

yes, and they all criticize the one who wrapped it up, but I kind of liked it. I really liked it, actually. See, if a person fakes it well enough. . .

TherapyDoc said...

It can become a reality.

Chana said...

Heehee. I want to be a sought-after ice princess who gets to give the Marie Antoinette treatment to the suitors I don't like, LOL!

"Turandot! AH! AH! AH! AH!"

When I worked for the company here, they had skulls on long poles. Oh, it was creepy, LOL. But the children's choir was angelic!

Chana said...

Oh, and for percussion effects, you also can't beat Verdi's Requiem. Which, in my Previous Life (TM), didn't present the quandary it does for me now!