Friday Operatic Advice

I tried to get Herr Wagner to do this, but the notice was awfully short and he’s dead, so I had to make do with a substitute.

Dear Despina,

You have to help me. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m hot, then I’m cold, and then sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I can’t go back to sleep and I have dreams about her that I shouldn’t and I’m a trousers role so sometimes I don’t even know whether I’m supposed to be a boy or a girl or whether she’d like me better if she knew I really was a girl, except I’m really not, but sometimes I think I might be and she is so pretty and the Count hates me so much.

Have you ever felt like that? You must have. Or you must have not – it’s so strange. Is it real? I’m not sure. You have to explain it to me. What should I do?


A pageboy in deep distress.

P.S. Please find enclosed €20 and a little gold locket on a chain. I thought you would like it. You’re so pretty!

Dear Cherubino (I recognized your writing, ya dumbass),

Settle the fuck down. Seriously. Settle. The fuck. Down. No one’s going to bang a hyperactive pageboy, and that’s what you want, right? Right. So sit down, shut up, and if you want to write anonymous notes stop using the Countess’s stationary. There’s a great big fucking R watermarked on your letter.

So anyway. I don’t know exactly what your question is but I’m going to assume that the drift of all that angsty shit you just dropped on my doorstep is that you want to a) get it on with that mopey countess of yours and 2) not get your ass kicked.

The trick to not getting your ass kicked, kiddo, is plausible deniability. You ever see that X-Files show? You know how the smoking man never gives Mulder anything he can really pin on him? Well, you gotta be the smoking man of seduction. You were there, but you weren’t there. You do not forget your socks behind you. You do not leave any hickies anyplace anybody’s gonna see. You bring a towel. Wet spots on her sheets are your enemy. And you do not, you DO NOT knock her up. If it turns out you’re a girl, I guess you don’t have a problem. But otherwise, take some fucking precautions. You follow me?

But not getting your ass kicked is the easy part. Look, kid. I don’t know her. I know about her, but I don’t know her. So I can’t tell you how to get in her pants. (If you have a thing for Dorabella, though, well – word to the wise, that girl’ll hit anything that catches her eye. Anything.) Just get her drunk, and be yourself.

Big kiss,


p.s. The locket is shite, but thanks for the cash.

Dear Despina,

Perhaps you can help me. I am a devoted opera fan, but I must say, I have been having so much trouble finding an online space in which I can safely make snide comments about singers’ bodies and off-stage clothes! Is there a 4chan group dedicated to Anna Netrebko’s weight? Thanks so much!

Kind regards,

Dear Anonymous,

Go fuck yourself. Also, I know who you are, because you failed to disguise your IP address.

Up yours,


Dear Despina,

Is it illegal to go through someone’s trash? I’m not asking for myself, but I have this friend who is sort of stalking Erwin Schrott a little bit. Not in a dangerous way. Just in a sweet and devoted kind of way.



Dear whatever dumb thing that string of characters means,

If you’re going to go through someone’s trash I bet Renée Fleming’s is way more interesting. It is not illegal to go through someone’s trash provided that they’ve left it out for pick up. If the trash is still on his property, you could be arrested for trespassing. Really arrested, in a dangerous, getting-the-shit-beat-out-of-you kind of way. So stealth is your friend. Wear rubber-soled shoes, long trousers and thick gloves, because you have NO idea what kind of crazy shit is gonna be in a baritone’s trash can.

Bring me back a takeout container! (A good one, that has his fingerprints.)


6 thoughts on “Friday Operatic Advice

    1. Dear OR,
      You can indeed! It’s called exhaustion from moving house (street name: tired as all hell), and in combination with a late hour can take you to some very interesting places….


  1. Wow, Despina is really really smart. But, I never realized what a foul mouth she had!!! Thanks for the laugh today! And have a safe weekend.

    (I am planning to rewatch the Guth Ariadne. It’s amazing! It’s defintely the most interesting production I have seen, and probably the best staging – though best singing award probably has to go to the Met production with the Troyanos/Norman/Battle triumvarate.)

    (I need to revist some of the Hermanns’ productions, too. Sometimes I think they are both full of it, but then they do something — in Tito and in Cosi, for example — that makes me go Ahhhh! NOW I get it!!)

    Heavens, I am rambling quite a bit now. Maybe Despina can offer something to calm me down!

    Dear Despina….


    1. Despina is prohibited for legal reasons from dispensing sedatives….one deal goes wrong and the next thing you know, cops everywhere!

      I should rewatch the Guth ariadne too – I really liked that one. I cant remember whether Ive seen the met one or not – probably a sign I should add it to the list!


        1. Cool – I have no internet except via my phone right now and the signal does not suffice for videos but I’ll watch/listen to that when things get normal again!


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