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SATURDAY

“Scarecrow music” is how my Uncle George dismissed opera, and over the years I haven’t found much reason to disagree with him. Even rock opera has failed to find much favor with me, several songs from Tommy notwithstanding. But now, defying all expectations, comes, uh, Rocky opera: Les Moose: The Operatic Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Finally, high culture has been dumbed down to my level. Composer Alan Chapman has picked up on the cartoon’s Cold War subtext for a plot about Boris and Natasha trying to steal a jet-fuel formula containing mooseberry juice. Interestingly, in this Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia production, Bullwinkle will be played by soprano Sarah Blaze, and tenor Doug Bowles will perform as Rocket J. Squirrel. This is a gender switch from the original, in which June Foray voiced Rocky and Bill Scott was Bullwinkle. And since the actors will be doing double duty as the opera’s baddies (Bowles portrays Boris and Blaze plays Natasha), the proceedings promise to be even wackier than that classic episode about the Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam. The creators hope that their live version of 2-D animation will “instill a love of opera in a young person.” This may be asking too much, but it’s certainly a start. Now for a ballet based on Thunderbirds…. Moose and squirrel must die at 2 and 4:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Jefferson Community Theater, 125 S. Old Glebe Road, Arlington. $10-$20. (703) 527-0006. (Dave Nuttycombe)