When Complementary Spouse Britt Shirley and I saw "Spamalot" in Las Vegas, the Wynn hotel had built an entire Spamalot store, filled with t-shirts, toy catapults, rabbit puppets and, yes, tins of Spam. At the Dresden Dolls concert in Tampa last month, there were a dozen different styles of t-shirts for sale; my favorite said "Fuck the rock & roll circus; this is the punk cabaret."
When Britt and I arrived at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center Saturday Evening to hear Dame Kiri Te Kanawa (and, sadly, many annoying people cough), I was a little shocked to see a large merchandise table set up in the middle of the lobby.
Has the merchandise trend become so pervasive that even opera singers sell t-shirts and hoodies, I thought?
I peeked at the merchandise. It was a bunch of general music-themed items -- ties and jewelry and books and CDs. There were no Kiri items, except for a few CDs. I assume that the merchandise table is the same one that the performing arts center or the local opera guild trots out at all events.
Well, I later thought, why can't Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, our greatest soprano, have her own merchandise table? Why can't she have her own toys and t-shirts and keychains? Shouldn't she be able to make a buck off of all this stuff, just like everyone else?
Here are my thoughts for Dame Kiri Te Kanawa t-shirts:
- I'M KRAZY FOR KIRI
- HOT DAME!
- ANYTHING YOU CAN SING, SHE KANAWA SING BETTER