The Lock down Diaries April 1st -Dmitry Sokolenko

I attended the Opera on-line. I went, if you can say it that way, to Dialogues des Carmélites. Here are some observations. Thank you for the opportunity to go to the Opera while under self-quarantine. The exceptional set in this production in no way detracts from the plot or the music. You can tell that the opera employees in charge of producing the on-line version are also self-quarantining, and that they are simultaneously cheerful and bored. Apparently, that’s how it is now. Otherwise, aside from their cheer, how can you explain presenting this particular opera, far from the cheeriest in the repertoire? And it’s only from boredom, I would say from Great Boredom, that you can turn the attention of the world to Nixon in China on April 1. Although this might turn out to be a joke — maybe they’ll show some sort of reporting from CNN, where a different American president will make statements in his inimitable style about the Chinese virus. Although this could also turn out to be a joke. I’m sorry that the TV reporters are incapable of showing fear in the face of what is going on and that everything looks like a comedy show. How are we supposed to be afraid if the reporters are so cheerful? I really hope they also watched the opera today. Don Lemon, Cuomo… I mean Chris Cuomo – please do be afraid, for real, and then you will succeed in scaring the whole World and saving it from gigantic losses! The old-school style is probably also not the best thing right now. Imagine what your predecessor Uncle Walter, for example, would be thinking now… why is Italy second to China in the number of deaths? Why is there such a huge rate of infection in Italy? He would answer: that’s simple – because China and Italy are neighbors. That explains everything. Anderson Cooper, of course we understand your point of view, we should see everything from 360 degrees of vantage points. And we understand that Uncle is right, about the neighborliness of China and Italy. Looking at that question through the prism of Manhattan – of course CHINATOWN and Little Italy are neighbors – this explains it all. But such long reasoned, thoughtful, and, one could even say, somehow original thoughts also aren’t very apropos at the moment, since we are only prepared to receive information through the format of Twitter. So, TV announcers, it’s best to become fearful yourselves and to frighten others for the sake of victory! Be Afraid and instill Fear and you’ll … say, what actually will happen to you? What do TV announcers dream of? I’m sure it’s not of ending up on TV screens and other screens. Then all that remains is: Corona. So, all of you will get a six-pack of Corona! A couple of years ago, maybe on April Fool’s, at the same apartment where I am now in self-quarantine — at this same apartment, equipped with every convenience including a grand piano, and from whose windows I can admire The + Met = Opera, I met a real New Yorker. He scared me for real! He showed up after the Opera, having seen a new production of Così fan Tutte. I offered him ice cream, strawberry ice cream! In this same apartment, I have spent many an evening discussing philosophy with another professor, a scandalously famous one, and we always treat ourselves to ice cream during these friendly discussions and debates. By the way, the scandalously famous professor is also a real New Yorker, born in Brooklyn before Brooklyn was cool. So, this real, if not scandalously famous, New Yorker, when offered ice cream, answered – NO! My world turned upside down from fright… without strawberry ice cream my world exploded! I was truly afraid. But then he went on to explain that he’d rather have a Pork Chop! But because after the opera he’d already partaken in a Pork Chop – then … (here he made a theatrical pause of 42 seconds), … he would agree to ice cream, even strawberry ice cream. Oh, after this explanation my world erupted in unusual colors. Suddenly all was returned to me – inspiration, joy, sweet pain, flights of the soul… So why I am going on about this? Here’s why – because the new production of Mozart’s masterpiece totally distracted this New Yorker from the music. I became convinced of this two weeks later. As Edward R. Murrow would say “Good night and good luck!”

Old school...

Words and Image © Dmitry Sokolenko 2020

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