Friday, Glenn treated his audience to a not-to-be missed retelling of the classic story.
Listen to this segment, beginning near mark 8:00, from ‘The Glenn Beck Program’:
PAT: Are you going to another opera in the meantime over the weekend? You going to hit the opera scene?
GLENN: Just because I do a father-daughter date and I do the things that my daughter wants to do, I don’t know why you have to mock me for that.
PAT: It’s pathetic.
STU: We seen you — you’re woke Glenn Beck, right? So this is you opening up to new cultures.
GLENN: No, I’ve gone to operas since my daughter started getting into this.
STU: Oh yeah, the whole thing is bullcrap.
GLENN: Okay, so let me tell you, this is the third installment, the third time I’ve gone to the opera with my daughter.
PAT: The last time I heard about this, I think it’s The Nose in New York.
GLENN: Lincoln — Kennedy Center?
PAT: And all they did was sing about a nose the whole time.
GLENN: No, a nose with feet that came out of the nostrils. It was really great. I am convinced that that is somebody who was high with his friend and went, you want to screw with the people that all think, oh, oh, I understand what this is all about? We’re going to write the dumbest, craziest, and we’re just going to say this is what it’s about, and you watch. They’ll all jump on.
Because I watched that thing and we want, come on, people! And the people were like, oh, isn’t this brilliant? It’s a nose with nostrils coming out so it can stand up and walk around and singing about communism. No, it’s not wonderful.
STU: And it was feet coming out of the nostrils.
GLENN: Yeah. That’s how it walked. So anyway. That was the last one. Before that I saw the Wagner Ring Cycle. I don’t know which one. But it’s the famous one, I guess, with the tree and the sword. That’s all I remember from it. It’s like, where is my sword! Five hours of where is my sword. It’s right there! See the tree? (Laughter.) It’s the only other thing on stage that isn’t the tree! Laugh. Oh, my gosh.
JEFFY: That was at the met.
PAT: He was apparently very, very near sighted.
GLENN: Oh, my gosh. Where is my sword? Shut up. I almost ran up onstage. Here. Here it is! (Laughter.) So Madame Butterfly comes to town here in Dallas. And my daughter —
PAT: Is this a traveling Broadway thing? Don’t know?
GLENN: I don’t know. Let me preface it with you’re not going to want to go after I describe what I’ve seen. But if opera was like this, I would go more often. It was really amazing. It was really amazing. The people that were singing were just — this woman, I guess, is the person that you want to see as Madame Butterfly. I didn’t even know what the story was about. I read it in Wikipedia on the way.
And it was really amazing. But may I just say this: If your story is about a 15-year-old beautiful, delicate, flower, a girl who is virginal, young, soft, beautiful, delicate, little, frail, youth, glowing, and so she comes out in the first act. The first guy comes out, he’s supposed to be an American, and he’s a big, hairy, Italian opera singer, singing in Italian, and he’s the American, and he comes out and he talks about, (singing) oh, my beautiful flower, she’s coming, she’s coming, I can’t wait to see her I’m going to marry her, she’s not going to, it’s a fake, no, don’t marry her, like, that she’s a beautiful flower, so delicate, don’t crush her petals, no, no, no I’m going to marry her because I love here even though I’m going back to America– (singing deep tones).
So I’m waiting for this beautiful, delicate flower, and it’s a 40-year-old opera singer.
And she comes onstage and she’s like, (singing) I’m a little flower. And I’m like, no, honey, you’re not! No!
PAT: Isn’t she somewhat rotund as well? Corpulent?
GLENN: I would describe her as an opera singer. Stick some horns on her and you’ve got the standard opera singer. So she’s bigger than the American guy. Okay. And she’s like, (singing) oh, I’m so young and small and fragile. No, honey, no you’re not. So then she’s — she’s singing to the guy who’s going to marry her, and then her uncle comes, and she’s got these Japanese family, these relatives, who are strangely all white people, and they all come on, and they’re all singing, (singing) we’re the family at the wedding. We just love the wedding. And then the uncle comes, and the music changes, and it’s dark.
STU: Are they really explaining this, by the way?
GLENN: No, it’s almost — it’s almost that. Yes.
STU: Okay. Sorry.
GLENN: So you don’t have a problem — it’s not deep. What I’ve found is the lyrics are not deep.
STU: They’re just saying the thing that’s happening.
GLENN: Sometimes. A lot of times. Most of the time. It’s not real subtle, you know. And now it may be the translation, because you’re watching the translation up above the stage.
STU: You’re not even watching the show.
GLENN: Yeah, you’re watching, and okay, that’s what she’s saying. Well, you didn’t translate that. What the hell is that? What did she just said?
PAT: Do they normally have the English translation?
GLENN: Some do and some don’t. Opera is really weird. There’s no microphones.
PAT: I thought you just had to know it or not.
GLENN: No. Some don’t.
GLENN: And they get really snotty, and they’re like, if you don’t know it —
PAT: But we in Dallas. We want to know.
GLENN: New York was like that.
PAT: They would to know the words.
GLENN: New York was like that too. I went to the symphony in — with my other daughter on our father-daughter date Saturday. I almost broke my neck getting up so fast. I couldn’t believe it. I come from radio, it’s the pops and the orchestra and the guy comes out and shaking the hands of everybody, and standing up and he just walks up, and all of a sudden as he walks up to the platform, everybody jumps to their feet, and he points, and there’s a snare drum roll. And I’m like, what the hell, and they start playing the national anthem. I couldn’t get up fast enough. Everybody was standing up. I thought, wow, welcome to Texas.
JEFFY: No kidding.
GLENN: They do not do that in New York. National anthem? What? Anyway, so then —
GLENN: Then the uncle comes on, and the uncle is mad because she gave up her religion to marry him and become a Christian, and so he’s mad. And all I can think of is, he’s also in an enormous black man.
JEFFY: The uncle.
GLENN: The uncle. You have the beautiful flower who is not Japanese, she’s Chinese; not 15, she’s 40. She’s thought delicate. She’s sturdy.
STU: Casting maybe.
GLENN: I’m thinking, casting is not a problem in — in opera. I think you’re supposed to —
STU: It’s just voice quality?
GLENN: I guess. I don’t know. It’s the only place when you — I mean, what, it’s all — that’s all it is. It’s about the music. I really want to know the history of opera. Did it just start out — because the acting is horrendous in almost every opera I’ve ever seen.
STU: Because it’s not about that. Right? It’s about —
JEFFY: A musical, right? On Broadway. A Broadway play.
GLENN: Could it be, and I apologize to everyone who’s a musicologist and knows anything about opera.
STU: The three people that are out there.
GLENN: I thought it may have started — the guy wrote the music, and it’s like, this is great, let’s get together Saturday and invite friends and blah-blah-blah, and they did that for a couple of weeks and somebody said, you know, it would be cool if we dressed up like the people. And they’re like, you got to make costumes. Okay. We’ll dress up. Kind of like, you know, a Star Trek convention where people are dressing up. They’re like, I’ll dress up as the character, and eventually they’re like, you know what? I should pick up a knife or a fake knife and pretend it’s that. Okay. And then it just started — somebody said, I could build a set, and we could — you’re pretending. Why don’t I pretend? But nobody ever thought, let’s actually do a real performance. It’s really about the singing. The rest of it is just — because we had extra time on our hands. I’m not sure.
STU: Surely that’s in a history book somewhere about opera.
GLENN: Either that, or they just have the worst directors, actors, and everything else.
PAT: Not good casting people.
GLENN: No. But really good.
PAT: Yeah, because your initial thing was —
JEFFY: It was incredible.
GLENN: It really was.
PAT: Doesn’t sound it. Does not sound it.
GLENN: Pat, I bet you would like it.
PAT: No way.
STU: You liked La-La Land.
GLENN: You did.
PAT: Only because I’m so varied in my tastes. I’m so deep. This is complex.
GLENN: This is the Dallas Opera Company, I guess. I don’t know anything about it. But this is the Dallas people. I don’t think this traveling — maybe she is traveling. I don’t know. But this is absolutely tremendous. It’s really, really good.
PAT: I’m sure they’ll thank you.
LENN: None of the guys are going to listen to these reviews.
STU: Safe to say.
PAT: Dallas opera, you’re welcome.
GLENN: You’re welcome. Actually — [Laughs.] — I know they’re not listening so I’m not saying this because they care. It was really good. I went home, I woke up Tania, and she said, how was it, and I always explain about going to the opera and I said, this one, Honey, I want to go again. They may not let me in. I may have to wear a disguise, but I want to see it again. It was really, really good. Really good. And I’m clearly not the biggest of opera fans.
GLENN: We were just talking about the opera is a wild place to go. I mean, on a Wednesday night in Dallas, Texas.
JEFFY: If you want to party.
GLENN: A few people in tuxedos. Every guy was in a tie and jacket. It was really formal.
PAT: That’s unusual. Because we do not do that for anything anymore. Even Broadway, nobody dresses up for.
GLENN: No. Especially in Dallas.
PAT: In Dallas it’s more so.
GLENN: In Dallas, there’s cowboy black tie, can which means you wear a shirt, a tuxedo.
PAT: And jeans.
GLENN: And jeans. We don’t even do black tie here. And it was amazing. And the theater here, it’s like the Winspear theater or something.
GLENN: How many theaters have we been to?
GLENN: We’ve been to some of the most beautiful theaters in the country. This is by far the most beautiful theater I’ve ever seen, and paid for by private money.
GLENN: It is beautiful. Beautiful. Unbelievable theater. Must have cost those rich people a fortune.
PAT: If only Foreigner would play there, I’d get to see it someday.
GLENN: They’ll take anybody. I asked, do you rent this place out? And she’s like, yeah — only in Texas. Yeah, we’ve even done birthday parties here.
I’m like, who the hell has their birthday party here? I want to know that.
JEFFY: Ross Perot.
GLENN: Yeah. Probably somebody like Ross Perot.