time to change the way we view music and the arts

It’s Gonna Be Justin -Memphis Hopes

Opera, Opera Everywhere. Unlike my last post of dysfunctionally depressing proportions, you’d be surprised how quickly the media world can shoot out an equally surprising and intriguing story for our teeth to sink into. One local town opera organization is trying for a pop star connection of genuine nature.

So who here, born anywhere within the span of the 1980s-early 1990s, doesn’t remember the explosion of the boy-band *NSYNC? Justin Timberlake is one of the few band members to have stayed amply afloat in music and entertainment, far past the band’s career apex. Booked ventures of Timberlake’s cross mediums of music, live acting, comedy and film. None of those variances have left him worse for the wear in terms of leagues of fans. Even if you were more of a Backstreet Boys fan, there’s no denying opinions are probably flying around on all parts of the like/dislike spectrum. 😛

Well for something to ponder over the remainder of your Memorial Day Weekend that may have Justin Timberlake fans screaming like their former nine year old selves, the reason his accolades need mentioning is because of the recently initiated effort by the Memphis Opera to recruit Justin Timberlake for a role in the run of Die Fledermaus by Johann Baptist Strauss that Opera Memphis is planning to do in the near future. (For those that don’t know: Justin Timberlake was born in Memphis)

News of the potential deal is spreading like wildfire across arts channels and local Memphis news. I find the little “letter” addressed to Timberlake on Opera Memphis’s Facebook Page just flattering and humorous enough to believe that the campaign will work. (Of course, requesting additional support from larger media figures like Ellen DeGeneres doesn’t hurt.)

Here’s the message:

Dear Justin Timberlake,

It is no secret that you have climbed every mountain you have come across. You are an absurdly talented singer and dancer, a bona fide movie star, a gifted comedian, and a canny entrepreneur.

Only one mountain remains…

The most daunting of them all…


You heard me.

And Die Fledermaus is the perfect opportunity for you to conquer that final mountain. Some of history’s greatest comedians have played or wanted to play the role of Frosch (Sid Ceaser, Dom Deluise, Bill Irwin, Billy Connelly, Zero Mostel, Danny Kaye, and the list goes on.) To have a Frosch who could also sing? Unheard of. Revolutionary. Refreshingly dope.

This is a chance to celebrate the city of Memphis, the art form of opera, and the general awesomeness of life itself.

Maestro Timberlake, you could go down in history as the man who convinced an entire generation that opera doesn’t suck. You have that power. We beg you to use it.

As Gandhi said, be the awesomeness you want to see in the world.

We really, truly and sincerely hope you’ll come out to play.

All Our Best,
Opera Memphis

PS. We think you’re neat.

“Refreshingly dope” is particularly amusing, no? Further elaboration on Timberlake’s potential part as a jailer named “Frosch,” can be viewed on the “News Channel 3 – Memphis” clip below.

If something does come of the effort, I will be curious to see how much the word opera starts popping up in mainstream, everyday conversations. Timberlake has successfully forded the waters of authentic, talent approval without much ado about personal drama. So do I think this a worthwhile attempt to make opera relatable/approachable and strengthen a local scene? Yes. I do. I will be following this grassroots effort rather closely.


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