Recently the much loved opera tenor Placido Domingo stepped on stage into his 131st role at the age of 69 after undergoing colon cancer surgery. While he had given millions of opera lovers decades of joy and zillions of notes, how was he thanked? By being booed! People paid good money and sat for hours to see a super star in the world of opera return after a possibly life threatening illness--and he was booed!!
I’m afraid I just don’t get it.
I will never forget seeing Paul Simon at Madison Square Garden playing hit after familiar hit, with a terrible cold. Did he hit every note? He did not. As a matter of fact, he substituted higher notes for alternative harmonies and melodies that he could not hit that night. The audience reaction was elation. First, he didn’t cancel. Paul showed up, did his best and the audience loved it. Second, we got a once in a lifetime concert. We heard well-worn songs, sung like never before or after. Not a boo anywhere.
So what is up with opera lovers? What is going on in their heads? “I know, I hate this much so I’ll wait 6 or 7 hours from now when the opera is over and boy, they’ll hear it from me!”
It is also extremely counter intuitive that this crowd would boo. These folks are supposedly more cultured, well dressed and mannered. Are they not? Line up, in your heads, folks in tuxedos and furs--next to grungy, hippie, pierced types. Who would you expect to be more rude? I guess we can’t judge a bookish group by its coveralls.
I have a suggestion for boo-ers, if you don’t like the show, do what I do. Leave.
Can you explain this to me? If you boo at the opera, tell me why you do it and when you do it.
I promise I won’t yell at you.