Culture Magazine

If I Ran the Zoo City Opera

By Superconductor @ppelkonen
"So I’d open each cage. I’d unlock every pen, let the animals go, and start over again."
 from If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss.
"I have just created something totally illogical."
--Ray Kinsella, from Field of Dreams.

If I Ran the Zoo City Opera

The Nerd, from If I Ran the Zoo by Dr. Seuss.
© 1950 renewed 1978, the Estate of Theodore Geisel/Dr. Seuss. Published by Random House.

A little thought experiment, bloggers. Let's say that I, your humble scribe, suddenly found myself at the head of a certain opera company that used to occupy the New York State Theater. The economy has recovered. The Republicans: curiously silent. A certain industrialist took his name off the building. The opera company moved back in, and could afford to put on a real opera season: ten operas that people would want to see.

And things were just peachy keen.
What kind of a season would I put together?
Allow me to wax poetic....
What kind of an opera season could there be,
if New York's City Opera was managed by me?
It is such a challenge in these trying times,
when arts are defunded by right-wing pond-slimes.
But think on this fancy. And give it some weight,
I'd put on TEN operas: an ambitious slate!
Minor works by Puccini! They're audience-pleasing:
La Rondine paired with Schicchi to kick off the season.
Our schedule would echo with two guys named Strauss,
First Daphne by Richard, then Die Fledermaus.
But waltzes and myths aren't all that draw raves,
It's Eye-talian opera that New Yorkers crave.
Let's not forget Verdi, great man of the theater:
A new-mounted Falstaff: nothing could be sweeter.
The music of Korngold can melt one's cold heart
For spring, Tote Stadt would make a good start.
Boito's clever devil: Mefistofele,
with the right basso lead they'd be whistling with glee.
And of course dear reader it's the story of Faust,
Let's pair it with Gounod's! Then paper the house!
Our Gypsy friend Carmen t'would brings list'ners pleasure,
To cap it all off, here's a sweet baroque treasure:
It's Handel's Semele: she'll rake in a few bucks!
A relic from before the house ran out of luck.
Maybe I'm just dreaming it back from the dead.
But what if City Opera wasn't drowning in red?

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