Column: 'Les Miserables' Reflects Real Life Lessons

By: Roshan Palli, Student Body President

Another opportunity to support the arts begins this week, with the opening of Les Miserables. Presented by the UK Opera Theatre, this marks the first production of the classic musical in Lexington.

Les Mis has a wonderful score, likely one of the best Broadway has ever seen. What really gives Les Mis staying power, however, is its story. Sometimes heart-wrenching, sometimes beautiful, always engaging and valuable. (If you would like a cleverly abbreviated version, check out “Dream and Shout” on YouTube.)

So what can we learn from the struggles of “the wretched ones?” While Les Mis is partially about injustice and suffering, it is also about love and compassion. About virtue. About perseverance.

Life can be tough. School, jobs, relationships: they can all cause us to struggle, to stumble on the road to where we are going. That is why we relate so well to Valjean. Sometimes we feel like inmate 24601, and sometimes we feel like the mayor of the town. Whatever path we set ourselves on, the only thing we know for sure is this: it will be long. Our goal, then, should be to live our lives according to our virtues, caring for those important to us, so that we can end our lives in the kind of peace that Valjean is afforded.

What does that mean for you? Well, that could be a deeply personal question. Whatever the answer, and whatever struggles college throws your way, I hope that you reach out to the people around you. That is my one issue with Valjean. He is always trying to do it alone. You do not have to do that. Your friends, your family, your community. Find a group that will be there for you whether you need help studying or overthrowing the 19th century French government.

With this in mind, go see the show! Support your fellow students as they take on this epic production. UK Opera Theatre is truly one of the best programs in the country. Supporting them, as well as our other esteemed arts programs, produces a more deeply held appreciation of refined culture, enhancing and broadening your college experience. Shows begin at 7:30pm from October 10-13 to 16-20 and at 2:00pm on October 12, 13, 19 & 20. Student tickets cost $20.50, and for a show like this, it is well worth it.


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Last modified: July 3, 2014