In Which There Is NIECE!!! and opera

3 April 2006

As some of you already know, my niece arrived Saturday. Amber Lynn Greenfield, practically perfect in every way. There is a little matter about making sure she's getting enough oxygen, but this is a mere bagatelle in the face of such overwhelming wonderfulness as her wee self in her stripedy hat. (My niece! Has a stripedy hat!)

This is probably one of those scent-person things that sounds weird to the rest of you, but I really want to get my new niece's smell in my nose. Pictures are all very well -- and I don't knock the pictures, confirming her fingers and her nose and all the other important bits, and also the tired radiant smiles on Sarah and Jeff's faces -- but I really ought to know what someone this close in my family smells like. I can't explain why. I just should.

While Amber was being born, Mark and I were off seeing the Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company's production of "Princess Ida." This is our second year going to a GSVLOC, and I expect we'll go each year for the foreseeable future. I like the fact that they go through all of the G&S operas, not just the popular ones. It might mean hidden gems in the future, but this time it meant that we got to see why "Princess Ida" isn't on the more popular list. The gender relations are less violent but not much less creepy than in "The Taming of the Shrew," and the change-of-heart ending is more tacked on. The plot depends on several truly idiotic moments, which is not unusual in Gilbert and Sullivan, but it's even more pronounced here.

Also there wasn't anything particularly catchy among the songs. Mark hit the nail on the head yesterday when he noticed that he came home humming Indigo Girls songs from the CD we had on quietly in the car rather than anything from "Princess Ida."

One of the things I like about GSVLOC is that it seems that their priorities are, important things first: 1) music; 2) choreography; 3) costumes and sets. To my way of thinking, this is exactly the right order of things for an operetta. It's pretty clear that they don't have the budget for the costumes and sets to be detailed perfection. (There was a feather duster or something up on one of the crenellations; we eventually decided it was an owl. That was a bit distracting. But generally the sets were fine for a small theater production, just not impressive or fancy.)

Next year they're doing "The Mikado," which I have never seen. I'm looking forward to it.

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