Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Day the Opera Stood Still

My name is AriaGirl and I’m a Hoffmann-aholic. It started with this blog. I thought I could handle it; it was just going to be oncea week, right? So nobody thought it was odd when I started downloading songs from the opera. Nobody thought it was odd when I decorated my office with production photos and set renderings. Nobody even thought it was odd when I created quizzes for the opera: "Which Hoffmann Heroine Are You?" and "Which Hoffmann Villain Are You?"

But soon I started thinking about Hoffmann more and more. I made a calendar out of production photos and designated a day for each character. (Giulietta Day is October 5, for the day of Offenbach's death.) I created playlists for the characters. (“She Blinded Me With Science” especially apropos for Olympia, don’t you think?)

I spiraled further out of control. I started taking can-can lessons – Offenbach composed the music closely associated with the Parisian dance derived from Algeria. (It's called "Galop infernal" and is from Orpheus in the Underworld.) I started reading the original stories by Hoffmann. (The character of Olympia originates from Der Sandmann.) I started debates with co-workers on the ending of the Giulietta scene. (Should she die by drowning or sail away in a gondola?)

Before I knew it, I started pretending to be a character from the opera each day. I let co-workers know which character I was for the day and only answered to that name. I became a thrift-store junkie, searching desperately for my own sea-serpent costume and tiara. I restricted myself to using only words found in that character’s libretto.

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

Well, dear readers…I am a Hoffmann-aholic. Can you help me?

See you next week!

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