An old man died at the opera today. No, not on stage. You could say he died on life's stage, but that's just being melodramatic. And dumb, frankly. Besides, he didn't even die. Well, he could've. I, of course, didn't go to the hospital with his family after they carted him out of the theatre on a stretcher. I sat back down and watched the rest of the opera. That's why I went. To see the opera. All's I know is one minute, we're waiting for Act II of La Triviata to start, and the next, bam! Some old guy bites it, and ladies start swooning like mad! One old biddy was particularly perturbed that her opera Sunday had been interrupted. She possessed the snoot of a rich cartoon woman. She was surely "old money," and the life of luxury afforded her an air synonymous with the way she treats her money: spent. Zinged her good, huh?
Luckily, this unfortunate mishap occurred just after the first act in a four act number, so it didn't take long for the crowd to settle back into the good spirits they arrived at Bass Hall with. I mean, as good of a spirit as you can hope for when the end of the opera showcases the death of the main character, the heroine, the scorned lover, the ultimate martyr, the fucking HEART of the damned opera! So sad. At any rate, it didn't stop the standard standing ovation at the end.
It should be noted that audiences of live theatre of any sort are also playing a role. Perhaps an even more challenging one than the ones performed onstage. It is a rare occurrence in human interaction when 500 or more people can be completely silent for 3 1/2 hours. Not to mention curbing all basic mammalian urges to cough, sneeze, fart REALLY loudly, or, y'know, move. I sure do love italics. They write the best operas.