Elizabeth I. Riseden ~ The Camel in ‘Aida’

oper9Oh, dear, I’m in trouble. Last month I took my granddaughters to Aida in San Francisco. The Chandeliers glowed a proper shade of skin-flattering rose, the seating and carpets, plushly serene, remain utterly appropriate. We took our seats, the girls self-consciously out of jeans and tops, but nevertheless as proud as peacocks with their new pale dresses and tiny heels. I wore my teal velvet cocktail suit of uncertain vintage. I did have the sense to leave gloves and hat behind, and my cane fit just right in the niche between seats. In reverie, I recalled the divine Leontyne Price’s Aida here long ago. Now everybody knows it’s de rigeur to cast a live camel, together with palm-waving Nubian bearers in the triumphal march. With suitable pomp and circumstance the procession began. My grandchildren, schooled in proper use of forks and knives, may never speak to me again, for I was so carried away with my imagined escape of the camel into the audience, bearers fanning palm fronds dutifully following, that I laughed out loud. Indeed I not only laughed out loud, I hooted and guffawed, causing those around us to stare. (No, I know it never could have happened. The orchestra pit is in the way, and what self-respecting camel would dive into that abyss.)



Elizabeth I. Riseden was a native third generation resident of Ely, Nevada. Her poetry also appeared in Tattoo Highway and she was the first contributor to both Danse Macabre and DM du Jour (this very flash). Liz passed some years ago but is fondly remembered by us here at DMHQ as we begin our second decade of coloratura macabrely.

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