When asked if you had plans for the weekend, it’s strange to say “I am going to an opera about drones.” Your friend might be surprised that you thought to come up with a creative excuse for not wanting hang out. But you’re actually going to see GroundedGeneral Dynamics, the weapons manufacturer, sponsored the drone-opera that premiered last week at Washington’s Kennedy Center.
It is a sign of the increasingly dystopian and impossible-to-satirize times in which we live. The story of flying robots killing machines, administered by gamers from the Las Vegas suburbs is told in an artistic medium that was once considered to be the highest form popular culture. Now, it’s considered a strange hobby for rich nerds such as Frasier, who owns more than one tuxedo and buys art at silent auctions. They also know who Frasier is.
Opera directors should not be snoozing up to aristocratic patrons. Instead, they must thank Chevron or the company that made the F-16 fighter plane. Theater types complained about the association with General Dynamics earlier this year. Terrorist sympathizers also gave a harsh pre-review to the “killer robot opera”.