When BowWow was still Lil’

by tdo

Beyonce, Mos Def, Da Brat, (Lil’) BowWow, Wyclef Jean – no, it’s not the VMA’s – it’s the cast list for The Dallas Opera’s second feature for Dallas Opera Night’s at Victory Park, “Carmen: A Hip Hopera.”

If you came to Victory Park (or the VP, as I’ll be referring to it) you might have thought the same – “…” – because no one really knows what to think about an opera that’s (allegedly) hip. I think we can all appreciate the idea of exposing an art form like opera to a younger, hipper, and socially diversified demographic. However, MTV’s version of “Carmen,” directed by Robert Townsend (The Meteor Man, B*A*P*S), can hardly be accredited for spreading anything other than cheese. Despite the cheese-factor inherited by a cast full of pop stars, the plot is pretty much on target, only with a modern-day setting. But still, is basing a movie plot on an opera really enough to title it as a “Hopera?” That’s like calling a Rev. Jesse Jackson speech a song just because it rhymes. Instead of capturing the unique qualities that make opera such a great art form, “Carmen” relies on a single dominant voice (Beyonce) and fills in the rest with conversational “flows” by hip-hop (Mos Def, BowWow, etc) and ER stars (Mekhi Phifer).

Regardless of my personal opinion of the movie itself, the night turned out to be very nice. With a 7:30 start, it was still a bit warm but not unbearable. The big screens at the VP were visible from nearly every angle in AT&T Plaza and if you get there early enough, like we did, you can grab a table for your cheese and cracker spread. We had another 100+ turn out like we did for “Moonstruck” and I expect that trend to continue next month for “Rent.” So grab your blankets, pack your picnic basket and head on out to Victory Park August 13th – and don’t forget to bring the kids because as the great lyricist Jesse Jackson once said, “Today’s students can put dope in their veins or hope in their brains. If they can conceive it and believe it, they can achieve it. They must know it is not their aptitude but their attitude that will determine their altitude.”

Cody Rubio – TDO Web Guy

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