Yesterday I went to the chamber operetta Abyssinia by Stuart Paul Duncan, a doctoral candidate in music composition at Cornell University and an acquaintance of mine. My dear friend Xander Snyder conducted one of the scenes. Although I won't reveal the whole plot to you, here is a section from the synopsis:
"Initially frightened of the cyborg orangutan, the princess quickly becomes friends with him (Scene 6), and they hatch a scheme to break out. Using a wireless computer system built into his body, the orangutan contacts an art collector who wants valuable originals that hang in the palace, previously thought to be reproductions, in exchange for which he will employ a network of double agents to help the princess escape."But wait the best is yet to come. The following is from Scene 6:
Orange: Lady, I told ya, I'm robotic (tic-tic-tic) Looksee: I'm flesh and metal--ya got it?That's right, ladies and gentleman, I have been to an opera that cites the Turing Test. I can now die happy.
Princess: You're just a monkey. Huh. This makes no sense.
Orange: Are you denying my intelligence?
Princess: No. -Yes... No... -Yes!
Orange: Well, then, I must confess, I doubt that you would pass the Turing Test
The opera does make me think though, exactly how possible is a cyborg-orangutan? Or, on a more serious note, are all operas this hilarious for their native speakers? I've never seen an opera written in English, and even though the plots of foreign operas are somehow outrageous, they somehow retain credibility. Maybe English just isn't a very romantic language? Of course if you'd like to know more of what I thought about the opera musically or otherwise, just ping me.