A friend and I went to a small theater in Rockville to see the Victorian Lyric Opera Company (specializing, as you might expect, in nineteenth century opera) perform Richard Strauss’ The Gypsy Baron.

The plot is suitably preposterous and if all you know of this particular Strauss is the music used in 2001: A Space Odyssey, you’ll be very surprised if you see any of his light opera or operettas. The performers and the orchestra (which was live) were amateur, but the music is so fun, it carries you along. The libretto was translated in English in (more or less) rhymed couplets. This made it rather like a traditional musical, only instead of the music being written by an irritating Andrew Lloyd Webber wannabe (or, even worse, actually trying to remake an opera), it’s by Richard Strauss.

It’s not the same as seeing a professionally produced and well-budgeted opera at the Kennedy Center, but it was fun and it scratched my itch for opera.

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