TNB Night Owl – The Sands of Time

Eggs benedict. Photo by balise42.

Culture is a part of our lives.  Not just pop culture, although that’s certainly part of it; and not just foreign cultures, which are often quite interesting.  Another part of our lives is traditional Western culture, as represented in arts such as painting and writing; culinary arts involving the proper preparation of food; and musical arts such as orchestral composition and opera.

Whereas there are a few compositions that virtually everyone has come to know because of their incorporation into movies and television… Beethoven’s fifth and ninth symphonies, Handel’s Messiah and Water Music, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons… there really isn’t much opera that is immediately familiar once you get past the stuff used in the Bugs Bunny short “What’s Opera, Doc?” or Gilbert & Sullivan.

There’s a reason for this, and it has everything to do with spending large quantities of time watching highly trained vocalists sing in unfamiliar languages.  It’s cultural, but for many of us the sheer lack of any reference points makes it annoying, not enjoyable.

How do you fix that?  One way is to ensure that it’s not a large quantity of time.

Meet The Sands of Time, the shortest opera on record.  It is written as a piece designed to last less than four minutes.

The opera, written by Peter Reynolds and Simon Rees involves an argument between a man and a woman over the cooking of breakfast, and thus incorporates a little bit of the culinary arts into the cultural mix.

Why so short, though?  Well, the answer is remarkably simple, considering the topic at hand… it’s the time that the opera writers considered the perfect time to cook an egg, a point they make within the libretto.

Question of the night: How do you like your eggs?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.