Confession: College makes me feel very uncultured. I am at a liberal arts university, where my exposure to music and drama is considered as important as my classes. I love it. Especially the drama! Plays are very cool. As are concerts….I attended a cello concert last semester and loved every minute of it.
Tonight there was a performance of Verdi’s Requiem at my school (first time in 25 years, I found out). I mostly went because I had a bunch of friends in the choir and my dad told me I should (I trust my dad’s taste in music). But it was still opera….so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
It was amazing. I was mesmerized. For a sleep-deprived college student, it’s saying something that I stayed awake through an hour and a half of singing. At the very beginning I wasn’t impressed. But after a section or two, I managed to keep up with the Latin (yay for translations in programs!). When the “Dies irae, dies illa” section started, I was hooked. To use modern terminology, it was epic. Stupendous. Awesome in the most traditional sense of the word. Full choir, booming orchestra, bone-shaking drums….it definitely makes an impression. The guest singers did a marvelous job…I’m particularly biased toward the mezzo-soprano, who was extremely classy and had a wonderfully rich voice (Latoya Lain, if you’re interested).
On a spiritual level, I had not anticipated how rich the lyrics would be. It was like reading a prayer. A gorgeous, rich, almost scriptural prayer. I was also happy that I could understand some of the Latin. 🙂
Give opera a chance…give culture a chance. It may be one of the most beautiful things you ever experience.