An open letter to that jerk who sat behind me at the public dress rehearsal for Frida



Dear Mr. Precisely What’s Wrong With This City,

Hi. Remember me? Short chubby opera lover from the DIA? I’m the guy for whom you very nearly ruined the dress rehearsal for the opera Frida. I remember you and your two friends. How could I forget your searing, South Eastern Michigan voices hot in my ear, disrupting the sounds of a world-class opera company and orchestra with comments such as “Ewww. That was awkward.” What was awkward? Was it that Frida Kahlo’s lifelong struggle with injuries sustained as a child was examined in the libretti? I’ll tell you what’s awkward you: A trio of art-hating pseudo-hipster malcontents going to an opera, putting their feet up on the seats, and talking at a high volume throughout the entire performance.

I’ve just one question for you, you half-bearded twat: If one doesn’t enjoy the opera, why go? Perhaps you wanted to make a statement. Something along the lines of: “Detroit doesn’t need this opera shit. We’ve got two casinos and Kid Rock. On the rare occasion I can pull myself away from Facebook and for ten fucking minutes I want to go to an “Irish” sports bar and stare at more screens. That’s the Michigan way.” It may come as a surprise to you, you rat-soup-eating motherfucker, that many in this fine city are certain people like you keep us from a viable and competitive art scene.

Or perhaps you were dissatisfied with the production in some way. Was it soprano Catalina Cuervo self-assured presence in the role and her powerful yet refined voice that you, in your acumen, found dissatisfactory? Was it the humor and sincerity baritone Ricardo Herrera brought to the role of Detroit favorite Diego Rivera? I know, it must have been conductor Suzanne Mallare Acton and her orchestra’s rendering of Robert Xavier Rodriguez’s haunting score, which combined European grand opera traditions with the traditional sounds of Mexican folk music. The sound of the strings with that accordion and that brass must have made you yearn for that time you used Facebook to point out Taylor Swift is “not hot” while shoving “Detroit Style” pizza dipped in ranch into your gaping, semi-literate, goateed maw. Wait, I think I’ve got it now. You were appalled by the Monika Essen’s set and costume design. The way in which she so lovingly transformed elements of Kahlo’s timeless works into a backdrop which perfectly complimented the horrors and the ecstasies of Kahlo’s all-too-short career made you want to mention you were a psychologist at least three times throughout. By the way, now we all know a master’s in psychology from Eastern was the closest you could get to being a real doctor you talentless cesspool paddler. You loathsome, boorish, cretin lacking in empathy or any sense of humanity.

When the opera was finished and you and your friends ignored the standing ovation afforded the cast and musicians and you asked, so as to be heard over the thunderous applause, “Does anybody know the score of the Michigan game?” That’s when your beady little eyes met mine and you were suddenly silent. If I’m not mistaken the angry looks you received from not only me, but several other patrons, had robbed you of your courage and you scuttled away. What did you do when you got home? Use Facebook to describe how you were bored to tears by an opera about Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera which was performed in the very place in which Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera had once worked?

My dear trust fund hipster container of men’s effluent, you are the one who drives people away from this city. It isn‘t the crime. It isn’t the lack of opportunity. It isn’t the segregation. It is you. No matter what an artist does here, you are always there to roll your eyes and let everyone know of your boredom. What is enough for you? What kind of person doesn’t applaud at the end of a live show? I don’t care if it’s an opera or fucking Sesame Street on fucking ice, you goddamned applaud when you’ve seen something! You savage! You Philistine! So jaded are you. Your life has taken you from a University in Michigan to an office in Michigan. You’ve seen it all buddy. I wish you could see me standing over you as you, chained to a radiator in an abandoned warehouse, tremble in fear.

Yours very truly,

Nicholas Bitonti

P.S. - Don’t fall and crack open your skull while watching pornography on the toilet, ’cause that’s the only way you can feel anymore.

P.P.S - Oh, and be sure to slam your car door when you return home from the Post Bar at 3 a.m.

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