Modern Match: Ariodante & Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Baroque opera, especially Handel opera, prioritizes beautiful melodic singing while relying on emotion to carry the plot. The convoluted schemes, mistaken identities, and star-crossed lovers of Ariodante are connected by a series of heart-wrenching arias – moments when the plot pauses to allow the audience to engage their empathy. Modern television shows like Glee and Smash also use music to express […]

Modern Match: La traviata & Princess Diana

In La traviata, Violetta Valéry is a contradictory, polarizing character. She’s spirited, independent, and socially savvy, but she invites others’ judgment due to her profession. She inspires admiration and scorn, pity and distaste. Some find her threatening; to others, she’s enchanting. Characters like Violetta endure due to their ability to capture the imagination of many generations. […]

Modern Match: Elektra & Netflix Dramas

Spend enough time watching Netflix and, sooner enough, it starts to recommend content using what can only be described as mind-reading. Television shows featuring a strong female lead? Sign me up! Political/revenge dramas? I’m hooked! But to binge-watch something – to invest time and emotions in a story – it must have the greatest actors, […]

Modern Match: Cendrillon and Chance the Rapper

What makes Cinderella’s story so captivating story for so many? Is it the magic and glamour of fairy godmothers and pumpkin carriages? Is it the rags-to-riches premise that everyone secretly wishes they could live themselves? Indeed the most admirable trait of Cinderella –a. k. a. Cendrillon in Massenet’s opera – is her maintenance of her […]

Modern Match: Il trovatore & Harry Potter

The hero of Il trovatore, Manrico, is introduced in the opera as an adult, but the mystery of his character can only be unlocked when we understand what occurred during his infancy. In this and other ways, he’s similar to another boy we know well: Harry Potter. Manrico was raised never knowing his true family, including […]

Modern Match: Siegfried & Neil Gaiman

Despite the millennia that separate the two, Wagner turned to ancient folktales as source material for his Ring cycle. Today, if the contemporary success of writer Neil Gaiman is any indication, we’re still gripped by mythology. Gaiman borrows from folktales, recontextualizing characters, symbols, and tropes in his fiction — Stardust, American Gods – and in Norse Mythology. In the introduction […]

Modern Match: La boheme & Millennials

Living in the city, following their dreams, falling in and out of love, all while barely scraping by: this is the reality of life for the main characters in La bohème, but also for today’s Millennials. The modern Millennial is seen on TV shows like How I Met Your Mother, Broad City, Shameless, and more. These shows spin vivid […]

Trying Mandolin: How I found myself in a weird place last Friday night

So… Let’s talk about last Friday night. On any given Friday, you can usually find me in one of two places: Curled up in bed catching up on my Netflix shows, or… Out at bar with my friends Fridays are a great time to get out of my workweek headspace. There are no emails or […]

Poulenc’s “Dialogues of the Carmelites” and the Grip of the Absurd

It is hard to explain to people the power of opera if they just haven’t… you know… had one of “those” moments.