Friday, April 29, 2011

Opera for the Family

As this week's interview makes clear, Joseph Rubin loves comic opera.  As he describes it, comic opera is sort of the generation in between traditional opera and musical theater.  While everyone may not find the operettas performed by the Canton Comic Opera Company as hilarious as he does, this form of musical theater can be great fun -- especially if you're into the history of popular culture, as I am.  Just look at the images Rubin's group uses to promote their shows -- old sheet music covers.

Like the album covers from my childhood, these images promoted popular music, offering not only a chance to hear the songs (before recorded music, if you wanted to enjoy a popular song at home, you played it on your own piano while your sister sang) but also to see the performers and get a sense of the feel of the show and the early decades of twentieth-century history when it was first produced. 

That kind of enjoyable, even silly way of looking at history is probably worth a drive to Canton.  This year's season begins June 9, with Little Johnny Jones

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