Z: I feel like a bad man for not loving the opera.

She: I thought you liked the opera.

Z: I didn’t hate the opera. I just didn’t love the opera.

She: I enjoyed the opera. Of course, the cocktails probably helped.

Z: I wasn’t completely in it. At one point, when there was a dramatic silence, I almost screamed out, “You lie!” Apparently, I wasn’t swept away.

She: I don’t think I know enough about opera to be swept away.

Z: I definitely don’t. I’ve only seen one other opera, and I didn’t love that one either.

She: You don’t have to love opera. Just seeing the women in their gowns and the men in their tuxes was worth the price of admission.

Z: I feel like a bad man for not owning a top hat.

She: We were embarrassingly underdressed, but once I got over that I really enjoyed myself.

Z: But I love musical theater, so it seems like it should follow that I would love opera. Especially since this one, Séance on a Wet Afternoon, was written by Stephen Schwartz, who also wrote Godspell and Wicked. I love the man’s musicals.

She: So do I. Which is why I really liked it. Of course, I also have a thing for Ouija boards and men in tuxedos.

Z: I wish I could say I didn’t love it because I didn’t understand it, but it was in English.

She: It was?

Z: And the story was good, and it had a good twist at the end. I’m thinking the problem may have been that it was an opera.

She: No false advertising there.

Z: It’s impossible for me to watch someone sing in a big, operatic voice something like, “Open the door,” without thinking it’s a huge parody.

She: “Kill the rabbit, kill the rabbit.”

Z: There’s an opera I love.

She: So you would have liked it better if there were more jokes?

Z: Aria kidding? Of course, I would have.

She: How many sopranos does it take to change a light bulb?

Z: Is this a mafia joke?

She: One. She holds the bulb and the world revolves around her.

Z: I don’t really know if this is helping. You think you can improve high art with low humor?

She: You’ll like it even better if I sing. Do re me fa so la ti … How do you tell if a tenor is dead?

Z: How?

She: There’s still wine left in the bottle.

Z: Noble try, but you’re still not making me love opera the way I wish I did. I’m snobby about so many other things, why can’t I be snobby about this?

She: That’s OK; you’re in good company. Mark Twain said, “I hate the very name of opera — partly because of the nights of suffering I have endured in its presence, and partly because I want to love it and can’t.”

Z: It’s not like I fell asleep. This Twain dude is clearly uncultured.

She: Then there’s Molière: “Of all the noises known to man, opera is the most expensive.” But you know what I always say about opera?

Z: Given that we discuss it maybe once every 10 years, no.

She: It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.

Z: Yes, dear.

— When She and Z aren’t out attempting to get some culture, they can be reached at leslie@lesliedinaberg.com.