White Dog was waiting on the chair when we walked in. The rest of the White Dog Army stood up stretched and came over to the door to greet us and sniff the picnic bag. "How was it?" Michael asked and waited only long enough to hear, "Fantastic!" before heading downstairs to bed.
The WDA was much more interested. They gathered and sat politely as Steve served remnants of our last tailgate party of the season: curried rice and chicken balls, shrimp salad with mangoes, and carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Then YoYoMa looked up, "So really, how was it?"
Tonight was the last opera of the season for us and it was well worth the wait. The World Premier of Oscar! composed by Theodore Morrison with a libretto by Morrison and John Cox tells the story of Oscar Wilde's trial for indecency and his prison sentence of two years hard labor as a result of his illicit gay affair. It was timely in this day when the legal right of who can love and marry is being questioned.
The opera itself was richly sung and elegantly staged on an "essentials only" set. Walt Whitman is portrayed as the immortal who musically narrates the historical facts. Wilde's lover, Bosie, is voicelessly portrayed as an apparition that sublimely dances around and through the singing action. Edgy and heartbreaking, the work held the packed house its silent witness to Wilde's journey through hell...and his ultimate acceptance after death as one of literature's "Immortals." Then the house erupted in applause, cheers and "Bravos" --as much for the bravery of the production as for the incredible performances.
The WDA sat silently as they finished their treats. "Sounds amazing, momma," White Dog said quietly. "I hope LOTS of people get to see Oscar and understand its significance. It seems important."
"Little White Dog, this opera is important because it is a new work sponsored by our opera house. New Mexico is playing a part in keeping the art alive and connected to the world just as opera was meant to be originally. AND it is important because the theme tells me that people are no longer afraid to finally ask the tough social questions out loud. Long live the arts."
I kissed my girl and each of the Army as we all headed for bed.