5 Reasons Courtney Love's New Opera Role Suits Her Just Fine
Are you ready for this one? Bracing for impact? That cultural lightning rod Courtney Love is doing something shocking and that's opera. Yes, opera. Wait, what? I know that you just went, "WTF? RUFKM?" because that's exactly what I asked when I heard the news. But guess what? It's not traditional opera. It's experimental opera. So it's opera, not opera. This is already confusing, but such tends to be the case with the plays-by-her-own-rules Miss Love, a semi-recent Fall Out Boy video co-star. Love, who had a bit part on Sons of Anarchy, has signed up to play the lead in Kansas City Choir Boy, which will run at the Manhattan Art Center for 10 performances from Jan. 8 to Jan. 17. It is billed as "experimental opera."
Experimental opera? OK, got it. Not really.
Love told Rolling Stone that she wanted to do something challenging and I can't think of anything as challenging as an experimental opera. Love is certainly not a belter and her range is deep and low, so this will either be so awful that it's really plain awful or so insane that it's amazing. It could go to either extreme.
The composer Todd Almond selected the First Lady of Grunge, despite her, you know, lack of operatic training and experience, for a simple reason. Because he digs her. "I've always been fascinated with her," he said. "I love her voice, and I think she's a great actress. And I thought she would find the character interesting."
Almond himself was quick to note that by opera he means "a group of songs that tell a story," as opposed to opera that Luciano Pavarotti sang. Almond said, "I write musicals, I write plays and I write what I call 'opera.'" I'm not entirely sure how that's an opera and not a musical...
...so it must be subjective opera. But then again, opera is a format and a form and it can't be tinkered with too much and still be opera. Are we being trolled here? Are they calling it an opera to drum up publicity and put asses in seats and then serving up a musical?
Ah, whatevs. Love and Almond. I'm in. I want to see it and hear it.
Here are five reasons that Love will slay (or maybe even not slay) in such a capacity.
1. The Unknown
We don't now what the hell this will be so there is no real standard or yardstick by which to measure. That can lead to great art. Or a total mess.
2. Flair For The Dramatic
Love has a flair for the dramatic and the theatrical so much so that she can trademark it. And she's smart. She won't put herself in a situation from which a stall is unrecoverable. Oh wait, she has done that before. See Cobain, Frances Bean and that fractured mother-daughter relationship for evidence.
Remember how she surprised with her role in The People vs. Larry Flynt? Never saw that coming. She cleaned up nice, did red carpets, and seemed to leave her chain-smoking, scabbed arms in the rearview. For a few.
4. Loopty Loops
Love also lurves to throw people for a loop. She seems to thrive on it. She gets off on it. Doing opera is throwing people for a loop and is unexpected. But will this loop spin out of control? Hmm.
5. She Is A Firecracker
Guys, I am not going to lie. I am always interested in what Love is doing since she tends to be so unpredictable. My high school sweetheart always used to say I was on the fence with her, since I'd gobble up any magazines she covered, but would be like, "Yeah, I don't really like her." Love — natch!!! — or hate her, she did pioneer the kinderwhore look. She did make in-the-canon grunge albums like Live Through This, and her capacity for reinvention is staggering. She draws you in. So for all these reasons, I'll root for her from the back row.
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