Curiouser and Curiouser

From the Dallas morning news, a curious title for a review:

Houston Grand Opera’s ‘Billy Budd’ sails straight

Um. What? Because, you see, Benjamin Britten…not to be indelicate, but…

I understand that critics don’t always get to title their articles. So perhaps the editor, not the critic is culpable here. But I can’t decide if this is

-funny (intentional) or

-rude (some conservative Dallas editor throwing in his homophobic bias) or

-ironic (completely oblivious about Britten) or

-in poor taste (some combination of the above). Because:

…there's more than a hint of homoeroticism…

Yeah, yeah there is. And Britten was very famously gay. So: What’s the deal with:

Houston Grand Opera’s ‘Billy Budd’ sails straight



Empiricus said...

Just for clarification, it must be said that Billy Bud is about a sailor named Billy Budd. However...

Personally, I think it's an H.M.S. Pinafore jab. Or maybe a Family Guy reference. Or an anti-war (via the Navy) slogan.

Anonymous said...

Curious is indeed the right word for this review. However, I wonder if this is a reference to Melville and not Britten. Having read "Billy Budd" and a lot of Melville's output, there is without doubt "more than a hint of homoeroticism" in his stories.

e.g. chapter 3 of Moby Dick when Ishmael is forced to sleep in the same bed with the cannibal, Queequeg. classic.

Sator Arepo said...

Ewf. Good point, Gustav. Didn't think of that.

Also: no one liked my title? Bi-Curiousers?

Murderface said...

Oh dear, "Bi-Curiousers?" Really? I wasn't aware that Detritus was titling posts with rebuses these days. What is this, Cricket Magazine all of the sudden?

Anyway, I figure that DMN's title is funny on both references. I can't believe that even their arts staff would be unaware of either/both Britten's and Budd's orientations.