mjj (flemmings) wrote,
mjj
flemmings

An evening out

I never go out in the evening any more, because these days I prefer spending money on restaurants and manga than on theatre and ballet (and there's an entry waiting to be written about how what I liked most about ballet and theatre and opera is now provided, more cheaply and in higher concentration, by manga.) Anyway all my friends are elsewhere and going alone is a drag. But last night I went to the opera with my s-i-l who regularly goes everywhere because all her friends are still here. It was Opera Atelier, whose specialty is early opera in very period settings. (This was why my bro didn't go with her, of course: he stayed home and watched a hockey game.) Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice: except it wasn't, it was Gluck's Orphée et Eurydice, the French remix revision that he did twelve years later for a Paris audience. Opera Atelier's director came before the curtain to introduce the work: "It's sung in French and it's utterly Germanic."

The French version of Che farò senza Euridice was full-stop throbbing emo:

J'ai perdu mon Eurydice,       I have lost my Eurydice
Rien n'égale mon malheur;     My misfortune has no equal
Sort cruel! quelle rigueur!       Cruel fate! What severity!
Rien n'égale mon malheur!     My misfortune has no equal
Je succombe à ma douleur!     I give way beneath my sorrow!
Eurydice, Eurydice,                Eurydice, Eurydice,
Réponds, quel supplice!        Answer me, oh what torture!
Réponds-moi!                      It is your faithful husband
Entends ma voix qui t'appelle.       Hear my voice that calls to you.

This struck me as vastly inferior to the Italian, except that when I actually looked at the original libretto it appears that the Italian is saying much of the same things. Just, my Italian sucks so I wasn't hearing them.

We were also told that the French version had an extra number of dances added to it to please the Parisian taste for these things. There was indeed a lot of dancing, not especially exciting to the untutored eye. The dance of the Blessed Spirits went on forever, and all that occured to me was that thunderstorms are not what one expects in the Elysian Fields so why were they there?

But mostly I did what I generally do at musical events- wool-gathered, happily poking at the current mental furniture- Aubrey Maturin, a 100 Demons fic, the body language of dragons- until something about the staging, I don't know what- there were no excessive costumes or masks or fantastic elements- said Perdido Street Station should be staged as a masque. Which would be cool. Because otherwise it'd look like some ripoff of FF and cheesy beyond belief. If they ever do it as a film it *will* look like a RPG and the audience's reaction will be settled just by that.
Tags: music, rl_07
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