Originally planned in 1689, finally built in 1725, the Opera House is one of Bully Harbour's greatest architectural achievements. Despite countless hardships during the construction process - discovering a lake beneath the foundation, multiple fires, countless hauntings, and wives who only pack tuna sandwiches without condiments for lunch - the completion of the building was a major cause for celebration and confusion, since few beasts at the time knew or remembered what opera even was.
The building itself is shaped rather like an upside-down U, with the main performance hall inside the U. Between the "pillars" can be found the seating and entrance halls, while in the curve, the stage is set. The U itself describes the main hallways of the Opera, with, again, the pillars being where the audience mills about, the kitchens being somewhat below that, nearer the curve, and the curve itself hosting the performer's rooms and props storage. In the yard outside, a small rickshaw business has set itself up to deliver Insanely Rich to and fro their Area , as the Opera House is located significantly south of their usual habitat; it lies, in fact, very near Satire Square, the main piazza for artists of all sorts - usually hungry ones who wouldn't mind stooping to some purse-snatching in the dead of night after an Opera has sufficiently unsettled one's nerves.
The Opera is most famous for its peanuts, which are without a doubt the best in Bully Harbour, if not the Imperium itself.
It also has flying buttresses. So nyah.
History of OperaEdit
Opera was discovered in 1454 by the esteemed slaver/merchant Kindler Opera, who traveled the world looking for beasts with special talents and little money. These beasts he would enslave, selling them to others who had no talent but quite a lot of money. During his last voyage, he picked up the Imperium's first famous soprano, Viscae-Elle Tumalto Lowandorf, a female weasel who made Bully Harbour's glass artisans very wealthy after her performances. Being foreign, nobeast could understand a word of her songs, but all agreed afterwards, and often with socks and pawkerchiefs in their ears, that it had been a lovely performance all in all, and that they were happy to have experienced fine art at last, though they were disappointed they would not physically be able to experience it for a good couple months at the least. These agreements were usually in writing, or shouted very loudly at close ranges.
It was Q. Amadeus Beetleborb who composed the Imperium's first four dozen operas, most of which had very poor story lines, though the music itself has become legendary. Because the very definition of opera was, at the time, "a monologue sung in a foreign language," and because Q. was not fluent in anything but English and did not allow anybeast else to write his songs, not a single word of any of his operas has any meaning whatsoever in any language. Q was the first to make use of other vocal ranges, such as tenors, baritones, and carps, although in the early 1500's this latter range was renamed to bass. Since then, other ranges, such as alto, contralto, and the whispery scene-shifter, have also been included.
Noted Singers of 1726Edit
- Véroniqué Chapténoné, weasel
The diva of the opera, Véroniqué lost her charm (and voice) years before the opera opened. However, her grandparents pay over half the Opera's bills.
Esmaladrada Dereguardos, wildcat
For such a tiny creature, often unfindable inside an average-sized coat, Esmaladrada has both a huge voice and a huge name. Opera-goers have been known to leave the show after a few of her numbers upon concluding that they must be going mad, since there's no way a cloak can be singing and moving around on its own.
Tiffany Most, stoat
Without a doubt the sweetest singer in the Opera, Tiffany's shows always sell out, although her name is unflattering on the playbills and as such, her roles are few and far between.
- Jesse Dewonagras, ferret
Jesse was hired because no matter how bad he sings, he always looks perfect. A good portion of the female audience only come to get a glimpse of him, rather than for the peanuts.
Kenneth Piclean, stoat
Kenneth has been in love with Bethany since she first cold-clocked him in grade school. He's been chasing after her all these seasons with little luck, though he hopes his recently discovering flair for singing draws her attention.
Bethany Pollyanders, ferret
The only female in a section that should be filled with them, this tough girl isn't above stomping her fellow Altos' toes when they're off pitch. Her idol is the once renown Marianna Totiavalla and her current arch-nemesis is the prissy Véroniqué.
- Miles Mistoffelees, weasel
Noted for his expert use of vibrato, his voice has often been likened to the softness of mole fur and silk combined. Though once the Minister of Niceties, Miles usually plays the villain role.
T'ames von Schmell, ferret
The Opera's prize stuck-up foreigner, T'ames defies the stereotype by being distressingly thin. It is concluded that he absorbs his nutrients from the air rather than through eating food. So long as he keeps singing good, however, nobeast really cares.
Duke "Wanderer" Witherheld, weasel
Nicknamed "Wanderer" by just about everybeast who's seen him perform, Duke has a nasty habit of making his character always seem lost and confused on stage. Nevertheless, he is one of the more powerful tenors in the Opera. Baritones
- Lilian Cordachi, rat
Who says females can't play a baritone role? Nobeast, especially since Lilian took the stage. She may not be a true baritone, but who wants to argue with her personal armed guards?
Tom "Dr. Fiddle" Waft, fox
Though Tom has been known to make grown pirates weep, he constantly fiddles with his paws, making himself appear nervous and guilty. In 1725 he played the original role of "Sweety Ted"; of the two singers to sing the Finale, only Tom took the final bow that night.
Straightfaced Harry, fox
It is said, "In perfection there is nothing but perfection", and Harry takes this seriously; He sings perfectly, but at the expensive of not doing anything else. Such as blinking.
- Gruff Troused, rat
Every Opera needs its token oldbie to teach the young'uns what-fer and Gruff is just the beast to do it. His sharp tongue and low voice keeps the bass section on key and out of this world.
Benjamin Low, fox
Not in fact named for his sonorous voice - which is said to be capable of rattling the chandelier fittings - Benjamin is an unfortunately short member of the species Vulpes Vulpes. This makes him the second most popular target for pranks in the Opera House.
Flightly McWitt, stoat
Though a newcomer to the Opera House, Flighty seems to have taken on the role of Wisest Beast Present. He is often looked to for views on taxes, youngsters and the quality of the Opera House's peanuts these days. Most frequently by his fellow Bass, Mr. Troused. Whispery Sceneshifter
- Peach Thorgeson, marten
Every Opera has one - the little runt of a beast who's always sweeping up somewhere, hiding away from the world... But at a moment's notice, Peach can fill any role needed of him in a production, any range, male or female. It is said that he is, to voice, what Q. Amadeus Beetleborb was to the violin. Yet this does not stop the other singers from playing pranks on him constantly.