It causes me to wonder, is it madness to laugh?
To laugh in the face of adversity, can surely be considered madness. A good kind of madness. To blow off the stress of a difficult situation, to stare adversity in the face and defiantly choose to laugh. Yes indeed, laughter is a good kind of madness.
Like insanity, laughter separates us from reality, if only for a brief moment. It pulls us out of real time, into our own explosion of joy
Nervous laughter is that strange phenomenon, that demonstrates how we unconsciously use laughter as a coping mechanism. When we’re a bit on edge about something, we instinctively laugh. It’s the body’s wisdom to release stress in this way.
Yes Lucia, laugh. Laugh for it’s all gone so terribly wrong for you. Laugh and get at least a moment’s reprieve from the tragedy of it all.
For those of you who don’t know Donizetti’s famous opera Lucia de Lammermoor, the story goes: Lucia has been forced to marry a man she’s never met by her evil brother Enrico, who convinces Lucia her beloved Edgardo has been unfaithful, at which point she murders her new husband and understandably goes mad. Pure opera drama.
For those of you who might be even mildly interested in opera, this current performance at Seattle Opera is not to be missed. It’s a Lucia like you’ve never seen before. It’s got all the drama, the beautiful music, the fantastic staging and rousing chorus, and most importantly extraordinary dramatic acting matching exquisite musical ability. It’s a night at the opera you’ll never forget.
And there's that laugh in the midst of it all.
Photo: Rosarii Lynch/Seattle Opera