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Let's do something useful with opera
These days I have been listening (FSVO listening) to The Barber of Seville while I wash up from meals.  I have never been into opera, but I am sentimental about some operas because the tunes are familiar from my childhood.  But listen?  It's in Italian.  If it were in English, I'd still have trouble understanding it, because I have trouble filtering voices (especially female ones) out of orchestral accompaniment.  (Besides my auditory shortcomings, it has always seemed out of proportion to me to accompany a single voice with a whole orchestra.  I wish I had a filter for Marlene Dietrich & Stan Rogers.)  And even if I could understand it, a glance at the booklet that came with the CD assures me that (a) I would not be able to follow the story, because it is complicated and has >3 characters, and (b) it I could follow it, I wouldn't bother, because it is silly.

It seems to me that we could make better use of the effort that went into composing & performing such a thing.  Why not take an interesting & useful passage of literature (say, the chapter on the systematics of nuclear stability in Leighton's Principles of Modern Physics), and set summaries of successive passages to the tunes?  One could forgo rhyme, and the rhythm would not be an excessive constraint.  If the result were funny, all the better.

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"For some value of" -- that is, for a suitable meaning of. A rather feeble metaphor taking off from an old nerdish joke. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=FSVO

Oh. Thanx. The link to Urban Dictionary really helped.

Maybe I'll find a reason to use and thus make it part of my own vocabulary.... or....um.... internet abbreviation vocabulary

Somewhere recently I saw a citation of -- iirc -- a member of a native group somewhere with little exposure to European/Western arts saying that his father(?) had described opera as "they fight with song". Very neat!

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