[intro-text size=”25px”]Opera—the ultimate entertainment for the cultural elite; a big bore for everyone else. Yes, even I, a man who will listen to anything from Breaking Benjamin to Boxcar Willie, avoided opera like a communicable disease. But once I took the time to dip my toe into the clear waters of this masterful genre, I was never the same (in a good way). My first time experiencing an aria was an epiphany of epic scale.[/intro-text]

But enough about me. Cleveland not only has its symphony, it has its opera. The Cleveland Opera Theater is presenting a production of Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca on May 8th and May 10th. The show has a plot any death metal fan would enjoy. Torture, murder, suicide, and many other forms of dramatic mayhem all tossed into one. Here’s a quick rundown: It’s 1800 and Napoleon’s on the move. When he decides to head for Rome, all hell breaks loose. The main guy is getting the screws put to him in order to drain some information. His girlfriend cracks and spills the beans. Then she gets herself together and kills the dude who’s bustin’ up her boyfriend. But the boyfriend gets killed anyway, she gets caught, and there’s more than enough misery for everybody.

This opera never was much of a critical success—that’s probably why it has lasted so long. It packed the house when it opened in 1900, and is still one of the most popular productions today. So get some culture at the Cleveland Opera Theater by taking in Tosca. Then go home and put on an Eminem album to lighten up.