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FULL Speed Dating Tonight! (Michael Ching) Shreveport LA 2023

Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO          Qries

Information on the Performance
Information about the Recording
  • Published by: Michael Ching  
  • Date Published: 2023  
  • Format: Streaming
  • Quality Video: 4 Audio:4
  • Subtitles: yessubs, ensubs, gensubs  
  • Video Recording from: YouTube     FULL VIDEO

SPEED DATING TONIGHT! is what I call a “new numbers opera.” Much of traditional opera is based on musical numbers: arias, duets, ensembles, finales. SpDT! is similarly structured but with some twists. First connecting material such as recitative is minimized. As for the songs and ensembles themselves, most of the material is not gendered and not limited to one vocal type. Even the order of the pieces is up to the producer. The cast needn’t be based on a 50/50 gender balance. (It doesn’t need to be binary either.) In the over 100 productions the smallest cast has been four and the largest around fifty. The goal is to have one hundred options, with the idea being that you use only the material you want for your cast. Currently there are 91 options–I count a true duet as two options, for example, but a piece with only a couple of response lines, counts as one option.

The opera starts and ends with a frame and premise that isn’t varied. At a local pub, the bartender (B), server (M),  Dating Coordinator (S or M), and busboy (mute or any voice) get ready for the event and greet the daters as they enter. We are introduced to two nervous characters (“I could just die”) and Dater #22 (B). He’s got a singing birthday card. The actual speed dating starts and the show ends when everyone has had their song, duet, or trio. There are a few subplots to hold the show together. The finale starts with the server commenting in a Brechtian manner about the event (“Daters are a lot like singers”). Dater #22, a failure so far, gives it one more try, and in a parody of the Pappageno/Pappagena duet, finally finds his true love, a fellow cell phone addict. The daters exit and the bartender and server decide to go have a coffee. Alone, the busboy, dances with their broom.

Michael Ching

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