Monday, September 24, 2012

Classic Art, Modern Flare

Under-40 music fans intimidated by opera no longer have any excuse to avoid it.
Tempo, the Minnesota Opera's hip, young fan group, provides wonderful preview events to help patrons understand each opera of the season, as well as connect with fellow opera lovers and the Twin Cities arts community.
Their most recent event, Cio Cio Sassy, to promote the upcoming Madame Butterfly, was a wonderful example of Tempo's accessible interdisciplinary prowess. Held at Seven Sushi Ultralounge and Skybar in downtown Minneapolis, Cio Cio Sassy featured a synopsis of the opera, as well as brief performances of some of the music that will be included in the show.

The headlining feature, however, was a fashion show of pieces based on Madame Butterflyand created by local designers (and perhaps some of the nosh and specialty cocktails included in the event).
The butterfly theme was clearly each designer's strongest influence, with many looks featuring large, wing-like bows and sleeves. Kimono-like elements were also prevalent, with patterned silks, obi-style corsets and elaborate geishan hairstyles everywhere.
Most intriguing were the two men's looks. One seemed very much Qaddafi-meets-Aragorn, with a chained cross-body sash and lithe armor feel. The other was Chuck Bass on steroids, with an
uber-fitted patterned suit and enormous pastel bowtie.
Brief, fun, and community driven, Tempo events are a wonderful chance not only to see what the opera is up to but to witness the Twin Cities arts community as a whole collaborating to create amazing interdisciplinary work.
While Tempo's events are nearly finished for this year's season, which closes with the performance of Madame Butterfly later this month, I encourage you to check out their future events. You never know what they'll be up to next.
+ Minnesota Opera's Madame Butterfly opens on April 14. For tickets and more information visit