Last night, something magical happened here.
The FM Opera premiered two, never before seen operas based on the writing of Edgar Allan Poe. “Buried Alive” and “Embedded” made their performative debuts in Fargo, ND, on a stage that is part of the campus my Grandad used to lovingly call the “ag school”.
Doesn’t this strike you as unusual? Did you even know that new opera was being written and performed? Wouldn’t you suppose that kind of thing, on the rare occurrence that it actually happens, mostly happens in New York or Santa Fe or San Francisco? But Fargo? Really?
David Hamilton, Director of the FM Opera and his board, get the credit for bringing all this glorious magic to our fair metro. David had the vision to push the Opera to something new; something that would challenge the community and change our perception of what we think opera is while promoting Fargo’s art cred as a real place for this kind of work to happen to the outside.
Trust me, this is not your grandmother’s opera.
There is a woman, actually playing a woman, wearing pants. There is a man, a well built and well groomed man, wearing white boxer shorts…and nothing else. There are dozens of television screens, there is a spectacular light and colored dirt show, there is singing about embalming fluid and Botox and cell phones.
No, this is not your grandmother’s opera. This is not Mozart or Verdi or Puccini’s opera. This is our opera. This is part hard rock, in your face, terrifying dissonance, classical voices singing “What the helllllllllllllllllll?”
And it’s a world premiere. And it’s in Fargo. And it’s a once in a lifetime experience.
Don’t be the person who says you didn’t go because it was finally nice outside; don’t be the person who says it’s too expensive; don’t be the person who chooses a movie on Netflix you’ve seen a million times. Do be the person who takes the challenge to step out of your comfort zone; do be the person who says you took part in this world class opportunity just down the street; do be the person who not only talks the arts support talk but walks it, too.
You have one more opportunity to be part of it for yourself–Sunday. 2:00. NDSU. Support this kind of art with your presence. Help Fargo be the kind of community that deserves this kind of art. Be part of giving us a legitimate dot on the national arts map.
Photo courtesy of the Fargo-Moorhead Opera.