The Elements of Style Opera Reviewed (sorta)

Via boing-boing, I came across this MSNBC article about the recent opera of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. Here is but one of the funny little quotes from the piece:

Unfortunately, the operatic style of the piece rendered the lyrics all but unintelligible to this listener—in ironic contrast to the simplifying ethos of “Elements”—though that may be more the fault of the acoustics of the library venue, which was, after all, designed for silence.

Not that any of this prevented the piece from garnering titters of appreciation capped by a standing ovation from the high-tone crowd in attendance. Although the piece may have violated E. B. White’s advice to “Prefer the standard to the offbeat,” it was more than effective in fulfilling another edict: “Be obscure clearly.”

Oh, the culture I miss not being in NYC….

2 thoughts on “The Elements of Style Opera Reviewed (sorta)”

  1. You might have already hear it, but NPR’s Morning Edition ran a segment about the EOS Opera this morning. As might be no surprise, the report has a brief interview with an English professor who was unsettled by the illustrated edition of EOS.

  2. Yeah, I heard it. I’m actually working on a post (between other projects today) about all that, so I’ll save it for later….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.