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Gateway drugs and opera

Organic milk is the gateway drug C said. Though organic milk wasn't my first foray into organic foods.

On Friday night C, my dad and I had a good meal at Indigo. I really enjoyed the Butternut squash soup with pesto, but the salmon was overcooked, though the bed of miso noodles was delicious. Then we saw The Force of Destiny. The singing blew me away, but for the first time in a long time, the plot of an opera disturbed me. "Leonora and Alvaro attempt to elope but are foiled by Leonora’s father. Alvaro’s pistol goes off accidentally and mortally wounds the old man, who curses his daughter. Leonora’s brother Carlo seeks to avenge their father’s death." Carlo and Alvaro save each other's lives in war, but Carlo is unpersuaded by this fact nor by the fact that his dad's death was an accident. He goads Alvaro into a duel. Alvaro escapes and becomes a monk. However Carlo finds him again and goads him into another duel.

The plot both stretched the limits of my incredulity and struck me as terribly immoral and illogical even by the standards of opera. Usually operas follow a terrible moral code. I don't agree that unfaithful lovers should be killed or that women should kill themselves for love, but there's a certain logic to the whole thing. In this case it just made no sense to me.

The scenes between the men were among the most improbable. They switch from fast friendship to dueling in five minutes. But through their impeccable gripping singing I was most transported. Vladimir Kuzmenko and Orlin Anastassov made their SF opera debuts. And I'd happily go hear Vladimir in any opera. He exhilarated me. Zeljko Lucic as Carlo made me believe in his vengenance, even though once he was done, I remembered again how it made no sense. Unfortunately Andrea Gruber as Leonara wasn't so alluring and I had time to think and maybe that was the problem. However I thought dressing Jill Grove in a bustier and shiny vinyl coat as a gypsy was inspired, but maybe I just felt that way about her singing.