I’ve never been particularly attracted to the opera. I love music. But the only opera that I know of resides in Chicago & it means fancy clothes. Tuxes for the boys. Gowns for the girls. Either cab rides or expensive parking. Expensive jewelry. Converse sneakers need not apply.
When the local paper said that the Elmhurst Art Museum was hosting an opera during the month of November, my eyes decided to keep reading. The city of Elmhurst, in the Chicago suburbs, is definitely upscale, but not so upscale that I might not be able to sneak in wearing jogging shoes & clean clothes, just with no tears in the knees.
Oh. my. word. It was an opera with blow-up dolls. When I first told Seamus that blow-up dolls would be involved, the interest was immediate. Then I told him that somehow I didn’t think they would be the same type of blow-up dolls that generally capture the attention of the males of the world. And they weren’t.
The opera was ‘Birth Death Breath: An Inflatable Opera’ by Diane Christiansen and Jeanne Dunning.
This is the blurb from the museum:
” Elmhurst Art Museum presents the world premiere of Birth Death Breath, an opera “performed” by inflatable Christmas Lawn decorations in various stages of inflation and deflation. Viewers are invited to move amongst the various inflatable characters as the rise from the ground and begin to sing, seeming to come back to life. In a way that is simultaneously humorous and heartfelt, the installation explores timeless existential questions about the meaning of life and the incomprehensibility of death.”
I couldn’t tell ya anything about exploring timeless existential questions, being as how that’s not something Munchie, Wussy, & I focus on a whole lot. But it was really cool………and really fun. I generally don’t go in much for the inflatable lawn decorations. They look great lit up at night, reaching up towards the stars. Then when the air is turned off during the day, all I see is sad. Like drunks flopped on the ground with hangovers after a night of heavy partying. But this was one time that I could actually get into inflatables.
If it comes to your neck of the woods, see it! The songs are pretty good too. Some are sad, some are humorous, a few are even rather Christmas-y.
Seamus: “You’re right, honey. I was expecting something a little more strip club. Or maybe burlesque?”
Unfortunately, The Lady & The Tramp had to stay home. Wussy would’ve been freaked out by giant inflatables going up & down & up & down, and Munchie would’ve tried to take a bite out of them, seeing them as just huge balloons to be exterminated. Popping balloons would be her kind of opera. An interactive opera.
So Munchie watched out the picture window, guarding the house from rabid squirrels. Wussy made himself a nest in the comforters on the daybed & took a nap.