This blog post is very different from any other that I have put on this site to date. I try to keep all of my posts focused on the topics of branding and marketing. This one is different. It’s ‘for fun’ and has been categorized as such. I am including this post to help drive some awareness and interest for a local arts event in Indianapolis: Indianapolis Theater Fringe Festival. I had the honor of participating as a guest blogger for the event, and so I am including my blog posting here (this post can also be found on Smaller Indiana).
As I write this, it occurs to me that this is marketing related — in a way. I am using this post to market IndyFringe 2009 and the opera of The Cask of Amontillado. Here is a first-hand example of word of mouth marketing……
Last night, I had the pleasure of attending my very first opera. Prior to last night, I think I have always been a little intimidated by the idea of going to an opera. I had the notion that since all of the dialogue is sung, operas are long, slow to develop, and perhaps difficult to understand. However, I knew that I really should attend one at some point so that I could have the experience. With this mindset, I was excited to see in the line up of performances at IndyFringe 2009 that there was a one act opera – The Cask of Amontillado. I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to try out the opera. A one act performance felt like a small commitment, and if I didn’t like it, at least I wasn’t going to suffer for very long.
Much to my surprise, my first experience with opera was a good one, and in fact I wish the opera had been longer. The performance was only about 45 minutes, and I had hoped that the story would go on with more interesting and dramatic turns. I suppose that Edgar Allan Poe is to blame for the brevity of the opera, as it is based on his classic story.
While the plot of The Cask of Amontillado is an intriguing and dark one that quickly captured my attention, it was the environment and the action on the stage that kept me highly engaged. The venue of the Theater on the Square was perfect for this performance. It is a very intimate theater which allows you to really see the facial expressions of the actors and to clearly understand the lyrics. Because you are so close to the actors, you feel like you are really part of the action, especially when the actors suddenly whip carnival beads into the audience – at that point, you know you are in the thick of things. Additionally, the costumes are highly colorful and eye-catching, and the actors are singing right to the audience (instead of each other). All of these factors keep you really focused. Admittedly, the voices probably were not of the caliber you might expect if going to a big opera production, but I found the music and lyrics in the opera to be catchy and amusing enough to make up for it.
All in all, I found my first opera – my starter opera – to be enjoyable. I am definitely looking forward to giving another one a try. Next time, I am willing to take a chance on one that is more than an act long. If you are a bit unsure about opera, I would recommend coming to IndyFringe 2009 and checking out The Cask of Amontillado. At the very least, you’ll be supporting the arts in Indianapolis, and you just might be pleasantly surprised.