Archive for ‘ July, 2010 ’

Nano-opera: Evgeny Onegin

Pride and Prejudicesky.

Nano-opera: Gounod’s Faust

In Act I, a geezer wants to off himself because he’s a geezer. Handsome bass devil who sings better and is several feet taller talks him into sticking around, exchanging youth for some dubious duties later on. Spotting a beautiful, young woman who is actually just a soprano and neither of those things, he agrees, drinks a potion and becomes a handsome, young man who’s actually just a tenor and neither of those things. The soprano’s brother sings goodbye for a long time before marching off to war. A crowd has formed so that the devil has an excuse to sing some more, the crowds get revenge by bursting into singing of their own, and finally our unhandsome tenor fails to woo our unbeautiful soprano.

Before Act II, the audience members adjourn to Pauline’s for pizza and beer.

Nano-opera: Die Walküre

(If I’m any good at this, it will be obvious that my nano-operas owe a great debt to Anna Russell. There’s no point trying to outdo Dame Russell’s great analysis of the Ring of the Nibelungen, which you must immediately view here, here, and here if you haven’t already. My own humble effort here is just a summary of the recent San Francisco Opera production of the second episode of Wagner’s famous soap opera about gang warfare and a dysfunctional family.)
In Act I, twins separated at birth find each other in a forest, but the female twin’s husband doesn’t take kindly to sheltering the guy who’d done in a bunch of his gang before the opera and suggests they take it outside the next morning. Said guy is weaponless and figures he’s a goner, but then he falls in love with his twin sister, they pull a magical sword out of a tree, and it’s not looking good for hubby.
Between acts, the twins do the nasty.
In Act II, Al Gore is wearing a pirate-style eye patch and flirting with his daughter from Security in the penthouse boardroom while instructing her to help his son kills his twin sister’s hubby so that junior can get busy saving Valhalla Inc. Daughter’s all over it, until Tipper arrives and asks, “WTF, Al? Incest and infidelity between the kids? I don’t think so. Junior’s got to go.” We can tell she’s pissed, because she doesn’t even bring up the thing about the masseuse. We can tell Al’s worried about an expensive divorce, because he doesn’t even bring up the thing about global warming. He makes nice with Tipper and calls off the hit-daughter, explaining he made a bad deal a couple operas ago and Valhalla might be going belly up—something about a ring, some giants he’d contracted to build a subdivision until one of them got killed and the other became a dragon, and a lot of nonsense about needing to hire a whiz kid he doesn’t know to save Valhalla, without getting HR involved or anybody writing a job description. Daughter’s not buying it, though, so she belays Al’s belay. Al’s stuck doing his own dirty work, so he whacks Junior’s magical sword with a spear, then whacks the ungrateful hubby while Daughter makes off with other daughter.
In Act III, still more of Al’s daughters are staffing up Security for Valhalla Inc. Daughter stops by with other daughter, now preggers from that quickie between acts, hears Al’s still pissed, and sends her preggo sister off to play with her broken sword in the dragon’s ‘hood. Al reads her the riot act, fires her, and gives her a heavy-duty date-rape drug. She whines about the unfairness of it all, so on his way out he staffs out setting a ring of fire around her to protect her until her nephew’s old enough to leave dragonville and come rape her.