Wednesday, 14 May 2014

A night at the Opera

I inadvertently mentioned at home that my boss had given me two tickets to the opera followed by a booked table at a great restaurant. I really shouldn't have done that. I really shouldn't ...

Next thing … we were sitting in one of those private balcony seats watching a lot of people on stage shouting at each other in song and walking about as if they’re constipated.

What was all that about?

I've never understood opera, and after that performance I understood it even less.

I smiled and feigned enjoyment. In order to educate myself in one easy lesson I quickly read the brochure we were given at the entrance to find out how many intervals there were, and whether this theater had a bar or not.

As there wasn't much else of interest to read I resigned myself to glancing at the summary of the plot of this play, or musical, or whatever it was that we were watching.

Apparently there's this fellow called Orlando. He's the one with tight trousers and a squeakee voice. He is a knight and he loves the lovely Princess Miranda. One day as Orlando was riding through the forest on his way to visit Miranda he bumps his head against a low lying branch from a tree and falls from his horse.

He is found dazed in the forest by a young and beautiful peasant girl called Amnesia, who takes him home to her lover Memorandum. She and her lover look after the handsome Orlando and nurse him back to health. But sadly, his forest experience has wiped his memory of the love of his life, Princess Miranda. He now has eyes only for Amnesia ... no wonder he's so forgetful.

Amnesia is confused and doesn't know who to love more. Her faithful Memorandum who stood by her all this time, or the forgetful Orlando who has declared undying love for her but doesn't even know who he is.

Meanwhile, Princess Miranda back at her palace, not having seen Orlando for such a long time, presumes him dead, eaten by a vegetarian dragon, and she falls in love with a restaurant waiter called Risotto.

On the day she was to marry Risotto she invites the whole town to the palace and ... as it happens ... Orlando the forgetful Knight, Amnesia his girlfriend, and Memorandum who originally loved Amnesia, are all invited as guests.

Upon seeing Orlando, Princess Miranda recognises him and falls in love with him all over again, pushing her Risotto to one side. I don't blame her ... a risotto isn't much fun is it?

Anyway ... Orlando now regains his memory and declares his undying love for Princess Miranda. After all, better marry a rich Princess than a pauper like Amnesia ... what?

Amnesia is beside herself with indignation and embarrassment. She turns to her former lover Memorandum who now is himself rather annoyed and has turned his affections towards Risotto. Or was it Orlando? By now I was totally confused. Maybe it was Princess Miranda.

As you would expect in any good opera; an argument erupts between Miranda, Orlando, Amnesia, Memorandum and the side-lined Risotto. They all break out into song each out crying each other louder and louder. At one point a chorus of about thirty people turn up on stage and join in the screaming as if their lives depended on it. I'm not sure who the chorus represents, perhaps it's the other wedding guests, but it all added up to the noise.

"Do you love me?" screams Princess Miranda in Italian. "Mi ami?" she sings at the top of her voice.

"Mi ami?" responds the handsome Knight Orlando even louder.

"Mi ami? Mi ami? Mi ami?" Amnesia and Memorandum ask each other over and again accompanied by the choir of thirty as well as Miranda and Orlando.

"Doesn't anybody love me?" screams the side-lined waiter Risotto who feels rejected like a half-eaten meal.

At this point a duel breaks out between the Knight Orlando and the waiter Risotto. Orlando uses his sword and shield whilst Risotto uses his serving tray as a shield and a breadstick as a sword.

At one point in this duel accompanied by a crescendo of music and singing, Orlando is hit in the eye by Risotto's breadstick.

Orlando falls to the ground holding his chest and singing ever so loudly.

“Son morto … son morto …” which means I am dead.

Instead of calling for an ambulance and taking him to the ER room at the hospital; the rest of the cast, including the chorus, join in the singing.

The more they sang, the more Orlando screamed "son morto" still holding his chest although I clearly saw he was hit with the breadstick in the eye.

Suddenly Risotto breaks into the finale song ...

"Mangerò Mangerò Mangerò ..." he sings " All'alba Mangerò ..." and he ends with an ever lasting "Mangeeeeeeeeeeròòòòòòòòòòò !!!!!!!!" 

The audience stands up on its feet to rapturous applause which lasted over 7.58 minutes.

I really enjoyed that evening at the restaurant afterwards. Best chianti I had for ages.


  1. Yeah, it would have been the best Chianti I ever had too. Did you remember to bring earplugs for the finale? (Sorry about the screeching cat sound...I was having an off day.)

    I DID enjoy your version though!

    1. I wish I did have earpugs. Or at least the cork from the Chianti bottle.

      God bless you Mary.

  2. Hi Victor! My Dad loved the opera. I was the only one of his children who would go with him. I knew things were bad when I fell asleep during Otello. My dad didn't mind! He was just happy someone would go with him.

    This is great: "rejected like a half eaten meal." Brilliant!!

    Sorry you couldn't fall asleep. Probably too much screeching :)
    I do love wine, so I guess the promise of a good meal and a glass of red would carry me through. You are a brave soul!

    1. Why do they have to shout so loudly I do not know. The chianti was nice though.

      It was so nice of you to go to the opera with your Dad.

      God Bless you Ceil. Thank you for your return visit.

  3. All I know and have learned is that some people really do honestly enjoy and probably even love that type of musical shows but for the words in me, I just can't explain and/or understand how that could be possible.

    Personally speaking, I know that I would sooner enjoy a beer and a delicious snack to go with a good country song on the side. LOL :)

    God Bless

    1. There's nothing better than a good country song and a beer or two.

      God bless.

  4. Naughty man but alas, I will admit operas are not my forte either!!
    Victor, you make me smile, keep it coming!

    1. Hey it's great to see you visiting again Noelle. Thank you.

      God bless you.

  5. You always sprinkle a line of literary genius in your comedy, and this one was it for me in this post:

    "Doesn't anybody love me?" screams the side-lined waiter Risotto who feels rejected like a half-eaten meal.

    Too funny. God bless you.

    1. Hey Michael, as long as it makes people smile, I'm happy to write. I wouldn't call it genius though. You're too kind and generous.

      God bless you too.



God bless you.

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