Stop the presses and alert the Algonquin Round Table, as the following news will surely be the cat’s pajamas throughout the local speakeasies and jazz halls! Noted weatherman turned person famous for saying words on TV Al Roker is in hot water after offending a portion of the opera world this past weekend, thanks to his festive jape on social media wherein he reinforced the stereotype that opera is a boring thing for old fuddy-duddies. Reader, do bear witness to the evidence for his breach of decorum:
Yes, this witticism about Roker sleeping through nearly all of Der Rosenkavalier at the Met, which some might simply view as testament to the good-natured self-mockery of a gentleman approaching his twilight years, was instead interpreted very differently. As no less an august voice than The New York Times reports, some opera fans and performers were quick to cry, “Applesauce!”
To these citizens, Roker’s post was the height of rudeness, and comes “at a moment when the art form is struggling to get a toehold in popular culture,” despite that moment being well into its fourth decade. While we shall keep mum about the more profane reactions, Wendy Bryn Harmer, the soprano who oft graces the boards at the Met, unleashed quite the jolly darb in response!
Ok, so I napped a little during the Today show. And then I napped a little more during the never ending Today show. Then I napped during the seventh level of hell/the seventh hour of the Today show. Then I napped a little more when the weather report came on because my 4-year-old could do that job and be equally entertaining. Then I kept napping during the Today Show because it’s TV and TV is a dying art form and no one cares about it. #rosenkavisshorterthanthetodayshow.
While some might quibble with the claim that a medium which is arguably more popular than ever is a “dying art form,” we certainly can’t deny the sharp-tongued bearcat flipped the script on her target. Indeed, Roker seems to have lost out mightily in this exchange, as Der Rosenkavalier is not only a sold-out bona fide box-office hit, but by sleeping through it, he missed some truly hotsy-totsy moments, such as the third act’s “sexy chorus members, the nudity and the pole dancing.” What a sockdollager this show is! Still, the feisty TV personality decided to have the last word, replying with a clear message to his critics that they can tell it to Sweeney:
To all the outraged opera buffs/fans, if you take yourselves so seriously then you’re the ones playing into a stereotype. The reason I went was because of the talent. But sadly, after a week of getting up at 4 a.m. (yes, my job) by Friday the inevitable happens. Did my posting that picture that my wife took as a joke diminish anyone’s enjoyment in that audience? I doze off in movies, baseball games and church. I’m old and I’m tired but not ashamed of it.”
Of course, this comment will doubtless get the icy mitt from its intended audience, only further inflaming their passions about his perceived sleight against the higher art. We’ll be sure to keep you informed, Dear Reader, even as we advise Mr. Roker not to take any additional wooden nickels for the foreseeable future.