Monday, 24 September 2018

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 theatre 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.

Now please pay attention. This is quite complicated.

Apparently there's this fellow called Gelato. He's the one with tight trousers and a squeaky voice as if his ... are caught in a bear trap. He is a knight and he loves the lovely Princess Miranda.

One day as Gelato 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 unconscious from his horse. And it's good night for our brave squeaky knight.

Gelato is later found dazed in the forest by a young and beautiful peasant girl called Amnesia. She takes him home to her lover Memorandum. She and her lover look after the handsome Gelato 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 Gelato 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 her squeaky knight for such a long time, presumes him dead; eaten by a vegetarian dragon; and feels that her love for her Gelato cooling off as each night passes.

So she gives up hope of ever finding a knight with whom to spend a night.

Eventually, she falls in love with a restaurant waiter called Risotto. Their love develops into a recipe for happiness ever after. Princess Miranda decides to marry Risotto.

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

The music rises to a crescendo. (That's Italian for a gradual increase in loudness in a piece of music; and not the name of another character in this opera. Please pay attention!)

On one side of the stage stands Princess Miranda with her beloved waiter Risotto whom she is about to marry.

On the other side of the stage stands the dazed forgetful knight Gelato, his newly beloved peasant Amnesia, and her previous lover Memorandum.

In the middle of the stage is a crowd representing the whole town folk singing in unison something in Italian which I do not understand. Hopefully, it is the menu of the restaurant we are due to visit later after the show.

Upon seeing Gelato, Princess Miranda recognises him and falls in love with him all over again, pushing her Risotto to one side. (How fickle can you get?) I don't blame her though ... a Risotto isn't much fun when you have Gelato on the menu; is it?

Anyway ... somehow, on seeing Miranda, Gelato suddenly regains his memory and declares his undying love for his Princess. After all, better marry a rich Princess than a pauper like Amnesia ... what?

Amnesia is beside herself with indignation and embarrassment. (I never understood what beside yourself means; do you?)

Anyway, Amnesia now turns to her former lover Memorandum for affection and forgiveness and a bit of a cuddle and hugs and ... However, Memorandum who is now rather angry at having been spurned by Amnesia turns his amourous glances towards Risotto. Or was it Gelato? By now I was totally confused and getting rather hungry. Maybe it was Princess Miranda he fancied.

As you would expect in any good opera; an argument erupts between Princess Miranda, Gelato the squeaky knight, Amnesia the peasant, her ex Memorandum and the side-lined Risotto the waiter.

They all break out into song each out crying each other louder and louder.

At one point a chorus of about thirty people standing in the middle of  the stage join in the screaming as if their lives depended on it.

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

"Ti amo. Ti amo. Tu mi ami?" responds the handsome squeaky knight Gelato even louder.

"Mi ami? Mi ami? Mi ami?" Amnesia and Memorandum ask each other over and again accompanied by the choir of thirty or so town folks.

"Ti amo. Mi ami?" scream Miranda and Gelato.

"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 Gelato and the waiter Risotto. I can't quite make out the reason for this duel. But apparently you must have one in each opera. It says so in the brochure they gave us when we entered the theatre.

Gelato uses his sword and shield whilst Risotto uses his serving tray as a shield and an Italian breadstick as a sword. He also keeps throwing bits of mortadella at Gelato. (Not cool - nor sporting thing to do).

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

Gelato 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 Gelato screamed "son morto" still holding his chest although I clearly saw he was hit with the Italian breadstick in the eye.

Suddenly Risotto breaks into the finale song ...

"Mangerò Mangerò Mangerò ..." he sings " All'alba Mangeeeeeeeeeeròòòòòòòòòòò !!!!!!!!" 

(Caruso and Pavarotti would have been proud of him. But they were not, because they are both dead).

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.

NOTE: Lulu (see below) is sharing this post with her friends. Why not do the same and share the laughter around with your loved ones? 

18 comments:

  1. A night at the opera, how wonderful! I like your take on it.

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  2. Oh Victor! I enjoyed this hilarity more so than anything in a long time. You rock!

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    1. I am so pleased it made you smile, Mevely. Laughter is good.

      God bless you.

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  3. I BELLY LAUGHED! Since I did not write today, I am putting a link to this on my FB page. OH MY, Victor!!
    Blessings!

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    1. Oh thank you so much Lulu for telling others about me. Let us share the laughter around with our loved ones.

      God bless you, my friend.

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  4. Now I know why I am never interested in going to an opera...to much like real life! Boy meets girl falls in love, cheats on her, sees her with someone else falls back in love with her and it is usually in a language that I do not speak or understand.
    But this one I loved because I was laughing so hard that I was crying :D

    BTW...Gelato needs a size larger costume he is usually a baritone :)

    Blessings~

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    1. So glad you liked my offering, Jan. Gelato was not cool at all, despite his name !!!

      God bless you, my friend.

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  5. Incredibly clever and absolutely a hoot, Victor! Yes, I will share to my Facebook feed - I deleted my Twitter account several weeks ago.
    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you so much, Martha, for sharing this. I write humourous stories to attract new readers who then, hopefully, read my more serious Christian articles. Studying my statistics, I can see many NEW readers visit this blog in this way.

      God bless you, Martha.

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  6. Wow that is some story. Those names crack me up. I've never been to an opera.

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    1. Neither have I, Happyone. I saw opera for a short while on TV and fell asleep. I do like some of the music though, like the Triumpal March in Verdi's Aida.

      God bless.

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  7. Never been to an opera but I love your version. Very entertaining and funny. I could have used a guide with all the characters listed so not to get confused. :)
    Thank you for the humour, Victor and have a nice evening.

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    1. I never quite understood opera, Bill, nor been to one. They don't like it when I go there with a packet of fish and chips in hand. Not the done thing apparently.

      Have a pleasant evening. God bless.

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  8. I've been to a ballet but not to an opera.

    I do like listening to music of the three tenors …
    and I did enjoy your story, many thanks.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Ah ... you've been to the ballet, Jan. I never understood that either. Perhaps you could explain something to me. Why do they all walk on tip toes? Surely it is easier to employ taller dancers? And why do men wear those tight trousers? They put me off when I'm eating sausages and mash.

      God bless.

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  9. Love the giggles!! I am not an opera fan for all of these reasons!! Thanks Victor!

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