Richard says, “It’s a form of opera…”

Dr. Richard Rohrer, opera know-it-all


It’s Tuesday, so we asked Dr. Richard Rohrer, our resident opera expert, whether the musical skit of a popular improvisational theater group called Improv Everywhere can be considered a form of opera. Here’s his verdict:     

The question is a good one. When I was a child, if I were imitating opera, I would sing things that people normally would speak, such as, ‘Mother, please pass the potatoes’ or ‘I fell off my bicycle. Help! Help!’ Yes, I was an imaginative child–full of folderol.    

Now that I’ve seen and listened to many operas, I would say it is the content as much as the style of music that gives something an operatic quality. So, I would say, in the broadest sense, ‘Food Court Musical’ is a form of light opera, certainly civic opera at its most civic. I haven’t always held such forward thinking views. I credit Knobby [the new general director] for pulling me into the 21st century on this matter.”     

Take a look at “Food Court Musical” below and see if you agree with Richard. No matter whether you agree with Richard, you’re sure to enjoy it–especially the bystanders’ reactions:     

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