Daily Opera

Sometimes, life coheres into themes. Last night at the Staatsoper, me and my architect friend Alan sat in the nosebleed seats (ticket price: about two dollars), and watched a Verdi number. It’s about a father and son reconnecting in the middle of a revolution. At the end, everyone gets stabbed.  Tonight, I’m at the hipster bar Rhiz, in the concrete underpass beneath the subway tracks along the Gürtel. I’m here with my musician friend Mickey, and all the screeching, horrible noise we’re listening to is coming from Mickey’s friend Klaus, who is presently using a Mac G3 to imitate the sound of the U-Bahn passing overhead. It’s very highbrow.

I’ve nothing against Klaus, but it’s more interesting to watch his dog Miho. Miho has met another lovestarved black dog, who turns out to be his son, and the two of them romp happily around the bar. Then they run outside, where they push their noses into the ground, rooting around and catching up, in a daddy and sonny sorta way. Behind them, emergency cars with blue wailing sirens race past, in front of a store for wedding dresses and the mannequins who wear them. Now a bum with a Norse moustache, thick and noble, stands and stares into the bar, like he was looking at life on Mars.

Maybe that’s because Klaus is spewing noise that Verdi may have never imagined. But it isn’t so different from last night: me and twenty-five other people here to see a laptop prodigy take music apart, as opposed to a thousand people stuffed into a magnificent chandelier palace to see some Italians take each other apart. If there is a place on Earth where culture becomes a loop, it’s here.

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