This past Wednesday, I went with Squirrelly Girlie the Elder to see the New Orleans Metropolitan Opera's production of Richard Wagner's The Flying Dutchman. The singers were good, but I was not impressed with the Opera itself. The music and the characters were so self-absorbed. The interaction between the characters was merely a vehicle (and a flimsy one at that) for getting to the arias. Every time a character opened his or her mouth to sing, it was as if that character had all of a sudden forgotten about anyone else around him or her and was just singing to hear himself or herself sing. It was musical narcissism and operatic bombast at its absolute worst. Wagner is just so obviously full of himself. I know that he can have flashes of musical brilliance, but his ego suffocates whatever talent he might have.