A Sober Look at "A Very Drunken Christmas Carol"
Review of A Very Drunken Christmas Carol at Seattle Opera
Written by Teen Writer Roy Callahan and edited by Yoon Lee
Seattle Opera’s A Very Drunken Christmas Carol is a festive and chaotic journey through the world of opera. The audience follows the Drunken Tenor, a talented and recognized singer who’s fallen into the bad habit of arriving to shows unprepared, stressing out his duet partners, and drowning himself in alcohol. After yet another messy performance, the opera star is called on by a mysterious voice and thrust into the classic trials of the Christmas Carol. Though an appealing concept, the opera suffers greatly from poor plot development and mediocre comedy, leaving audiences with a heaving pile of disappointment.
The Christmas Carol archetypes of past, present, and future underpin a widely underwhelming story which does nothing to grip the audience. Jumping into the past we meet an innocent Tenor who enters the opera scene under questionable guidance from his mentor and partner, the Baritone. The Baritone passes on his dubious habits of carrying a flask at all times, offering sips before performances for extra confidence, and entering duets wholly unprepared. This easily predictable storyline carries no energy, simply serving as an unsatisfying and unoriginal plot point. The lack of chemistry and heavy-handed dialogue between the tenor and the Baritone further weakens the story. The Drunken Tenor (Robert McPherson) in A Very Drunken Christmas Carol. Photo courtesy of Seattle Opera.