My Year of Opera 12: Once More With Feeling

Yes, as in the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I’m a bit fan of the show and I was always skeptical when people told me there was a musical episode. I figured it would never work but, of course, it did. I’ve watched it many times, actually bought the soundtrack for it (nerd!), and for a while season 6 was the only collection of Buffy I had on DVD. Recently Amazon had the complete series for a screaming deal so we bought it. Yes, even though the whole show is available on Netflix, we bought the discs anyway. To celebrate its arrival, we were naming our favorite episodes and “Once More With Feeling” became the clear winner for what we’d watch that night.

Personally, my favorite episode is “Doppelgangland,” but you didn’t ask.

Now, when I say I “watched” this, I’m sort of lying. My wife and her parents watched the episode while I was sewing a dress for Daria in the other room. I could hear it, though, and am comfortable enough with it that I didn’t need to see it again. It has been a rough month so I haven’t had the time to take in a lot of new longer works.

There is some impressive musical stuff in the episode. I use the “I’ve Got a Theory” song in my theory classes so we can talk about what “theory” means. I used to show “Walk into the Fire” to demonstrate counterpoint (7 people in 4 different locations, each singing their own emotional take on the situation; take THAT Mozart!) but now that Buffy is too “vintage” for my students I end up showing “A Man’s Gotta Do” from Dr. Horrible.

I should point out that this is the second entry by Joss Whedon in the “My Year of Opera” project which elevated him to the same status as Sondheim (the other composer I’ve watched twice for this occasion). Have no fear, I’ve exhausted the Whedon musical ouvre. Until Avengers 2 comes out. That will be a musical, right?

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