Friday, December 11, 2009

Opera

OPERA, n. A play representing life in another world, whose inhabitants have no speech but song, no motions but gestures and no postures but attitudes. All acting is simulation, and the word simulation is from simia, an ape; but in opera the actor takes for his model Simia audibilis (or Pithecanthropos stentor)--the ape that howls.
The actor apes a man--at least in shape;
The opera performer apes an ape.
2009 Update: A coincidence of sheet music with a libretto, typically tragic. The term derives from the Latin plural of OPUS, meaning "works" or is, perhaps, a durable misprint of "ONERA."

10 comments:

Nessa said...

I'm gonna go with Madonna again, Doug.

Flash Dancing

TLP said...

Onera? So that's opera!

Huh! Who knew?.

easoles: very wide shoes

Ariel the Thief said...

Opera, my favourite web browser.

Ariel the Thief said...

I googled the words opus, opera, Doug, instead of saying Teil 1, Teil 2 and so on we could just call it opera. The Reformation of Wolfshausen, dramatic work in many words.

Tom & Icy said...

The Opry wouldn't let Elvis perform.

Thom said...

My favorite soap OPERA is on The View today and moving production to Los Angeles. Good luck All My Children and here's to another 40 years :) Boy I've been watching it that long YIKES!

quilly said...

OPERA n. unlike the unsuccessful tailors who tried to scam the emperor with that stylin' new wardrobe; the opera has managed to magnificently convince people that paying $$$ for entertainment they neither enjoy nor understand makes them superior to the rest of us commoners.

Ariel the Thief said...

Funny that Bierce is telling about how opera looks, when obviously, opera is not about the look but the music. The look sadly comes with it. It can be funny, though! Like when Aida is so fat that she cannot stand up after kneeling down.

Doug said...

Nessa, I suppose that's in vogue.

TLP, I like to think there is much to learn here. Someone should set this site to music.

Good idea, Ariel. I'm breaking traditions with that story stage left, right and center.

I didn't know that, Icy. Were they afraid he couldn't yodel?

Thom, according to the dude rules, I'm going to try and forget you said that.

Quilly, I'm told opera started as entertainment for the commoners. Our mistake was switching to English.

Funny, Ariel. You suppose he never had the patience to sit and listen?

Dr. Minnie Strator said...

I couldn't agree more with Mr. Bierce, you, and Quilly, Doug! The edifying adultery and downfall of a larger-than-life hero such as Tiger Woods is now available to us with the flick of a switch, and there is none of that racket and "artistry" to confuse us about simple issues like fidelity!