My favorite humor writer, Madelein Begun Kane (a "recovering lawyer"), has won the 2008 Robert Benchley Society Award For Humor. Her prize-winning column, Guide for the Opera Impaired, includes this bit about what should comprise an opera:
"The Uniform Opera Plot Act" a/k/a "Leave No Opera Hater Behind," which I've reproduced here for your convenience:Now run straight over to Mad Kane's blog and read the whole prize-winning column: Guide for the Opera Impaired. It's a scream. Read more about her in an article about the humor award, which also has a video of her reading one of her humor columns.Whereas, Opera is an elitist art which shouldn't be funded by the NEA; and
Whereas, Nobody understands it.
Now, therefore, all opera plots shall be as follows:
ACT ONE: Man and woman meet and fall in love, and everything is hunky-dory.
ACT TWO: An obstacle to man and woman's happiness rears its ugly head. It may be another man, another woman, one or more parents, a terrible misunderstanding, a war, or a dread disease. This obstacle shall make both of them (and the audience) miserable for an interminable period of time.
ACT THREE: The suffering man and woman bemoan their tragic circumstances at the top of their lungs for at least one hour. Right before the final curtain, the soprano (ie., the very large woman who's given you a terrible headache) dies. The entire audience cheers, and she takes many bows, mistakenly thinking the cheers are for her singing ... and not her death.