The Case For Cultural Appropriation


Since Korea is in the spotlight these few days, here in a 9m19s video clip are Koreans doing some absolutely first-class Cultural Appropriation.

Whatever you think about opera, I don’t believe any person of feeling could fail to find this performance inexpressibly thrilling.

The aria—tagged here as E strano, “It’s strange …,” but also called Ah, fors’è lui, “perhaps he’s the one” (from the words at 1m48s)—is from Act One of Verdi’s La traviata. Violetta’s a lady of pleasure. She’s just met Alfredo, and without yet quite knowing it, fallen in love. In the aria she’s being pulled two ways: back to her light-hearted life of dances, parties, and frivolous affairs, forward to Alfredo , who shows up under her balcony at 6m25s.