The great thing about opera is that you get to talk about anything, really. The Paris Opera has just announced some cancellations planned over the next few days; the world premiere of a ballet by Wayne McGregor,
Genus, and Medea's Dream by the Angelin Preljocaj as well as a performance of Tosca, currently receiving a big success at l'Opéra Bastille (the dance evenings play at l'Opéra Garnier).
Why is that?
Well, I know it sounds desperately cliché but the employees are going on strike over pension reform.
I'm so fed up with how selfish and dumm the French people can sometime act (thank God, they're not always like that). We have one of the best health-care systems in the world, a fantastic state-run pension system, we damn well know it's ruining us and killing the entrepreneurs thus causing a cycle of poor economic growth (our Prime Minister got busted by our new president/God a couple of months ago because he admitted on a radio interview that we were, indeed, facing a recession), we know all that, everybody knows, and yet, instead of sharing the burden, the French have that tendency to keep it all to themselves.
I can't emphasize enough how I love our Social Security, how I love our maybe so-old-fashioned state-run pension system.
Yet, some "troupes de mouches", to use this XIXth century vocabulary I love so much, go on strike and protest all the time instead of thinking of the Greater Good.
No wonder many across the globe see us as little midgets yelling around like crazy.
If you think about it going on strike and protesting on a regular basis is really kind of a French trademark.
How sad a reputation is that.
Mise à jour du 31 octobre:
La grève qui dure à l'Opéra de Paris, ça mérite bien un mini-article de Renaud Machart dans Le Monde daté du 1er novembre.