Wired’s Dylan Tweney recounts his live-tweeting of Wagner’s Die Walküre at the San Francisco Opera. I cannot fathom how he escaped the opera house alive. Look, fussing with your phone constantly—even on “minimum brightness”—is kind of a dick move at any performance, but it’s borderline sacrilegious when it comes to Wagner, whose genius was in creating such an absolutely immersive experience through the fusion of music and drama. Which makes little intrusions from your neighbors that break the spell about a thousand times more grating. There’s a reason they typically don’t do late seating once the doors are closed—at Bayreuth, the doors are actually locked.
This might be a light-thrashing offense if he were putting out some kind of super-incisive commentary on this particular interpretation or the nuances of the performance, but apparently his followers were getting treated to such nuggets of insight as:
Husband is swilling beer & groping his wife while Siegmund tells his life story. It’s a long, sad story. Wed Jun 30 19:31:58 2010
Hunding says: you can stay in my house tonight, but I’ll kill you tomorrow. Wed Jun 30 19:38:49 2010
How’s Siegmund gonna defend himself with no sword?? Wed Jun 30 19:42:58 2010
O hey! There’s a sword stuck in that tree over there! Wed Jun 30 19:44:49 2010
Ok, this is weird: A brother-sister love song. Wed Jun 30 19:54:52 2010
More singing. Lots of trembling with ecstasy, etc Wed Jun 30 19:59:27 2010
Look, dude, the plot of the opera, and the fact that it includes singing, are pretty well established. They do not require on-the-scene reporting. If, in the third act, Brünnhilde and Wotan ended up talking it out and going to a father-daughter picnic instead of the whole “imprisoned in a ring of flame” denouement, that would’ve been tweetworthy. A summary of the same storyline the opera’s had for the past 140 years of performances? A link to the libretto really would have done the job.