Reviewing Opera Enthusiast Fiction

November 13th, 2013

Ruby Washington/The New York Moments

Matthew Polenzani as the Duke and Irina Lungu  as Gilda in “Rigoletto” at the Metropolitan Opera.

The premise driving my article “Liberating the Librettos” was that opera-enthusiasts inevitably become so included with the stories of our favorite operas that we cultivate elaborate fantasies about what transpires to the people following the curtain goes down. My conviction was borne out by the insight, thoughtfulness and wit of the a lot of feedback that readers, all fellow opera-enthusiasts, sent in.

As I wrote in that piece, for opera supporters these bigger-than-like people turn out to be like folks we know and care about intensely. This is why opera enthusiasts have such passionate reactions, professional and con, to productions which update the configurations of the stories and even change the identities of the people.

Some of the responses received me pondering. One reader pointed out that in the M?rim?e novel that was the supply for Bizet’s “Carmen,” we locate out that Don Jose, the younger soldier who goes to damage in his enthusiasm for the gypsy Carmen, turns himself into authorities at the stop. But what will take place to him? Even much more intriguing to me is what will occur to the good-hearted Mica?la, the devoted female from Don Jose’s hometown whom he experienced been sweet on? In the opera, she attempts to rescue him and deliver him home to reconcile with his dying mother. She fails. How long will it take her to rebound? Will she?

Another reader also suggested that some of the answers to our speculations can be found in the literary sources for the librettos, pointing as a very good case in point to the Murger novel that was the inspiration for Puccini’s “Boh?me.” Nevertheless, as I replied, if we are going to perform this match of speculation, relying on literary resources is form of cheating. The opera purist in me believes that fantasies of what occurs following the curtain goes down need to be based mostly only on clues found in the terms and audio of the opera.

A single reader, Joe Ryan of Lima, Peru, speculating somewhat mischievously about the aftermath of Strauss’s “Rosenkavalier,” suggests that youthful Sophie will find out that Octavian, the dashing young gentleman she fell for, “actually is a female” and not just played by 1. There are intriguing implications about this fantasy, which would spin the opera into a a lot more Freudian dimension.

Nonetheless, assuming Octavian is and remains male, what occurs to these two young people who satisfy throughout the finest love-at-first-sight duet in all of opera? We can assume that Octavian’s older lover, the sensible and admirable Marschallin, soon after nursing her wounds above the breakup of this affair, will most likely have an additional a single. And an additional, given that her organized marriage, we gather, is unfulfilling. But you have to consider that Octavian may well commence to uncover Sophie, for all her youthful allure, a minor immature soon after the experience of his consuming affair passion with a realizing older female. And Sophie might find Octavian impulsive and unreliable.

There ended up lots of speculations about the aftermath of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly,” which does seem to be the opera that, far more than any other, has generated the most spin-offs into novels, performs and musicals. And who will wind up with whom at the conclude of Mozart’s “Cos? enthusiast tutte” is a issue that retains opera lovers chatting, because the operate finishes with this sort of tantalizing ambiguity.

Anyway, this has been enjoyable, and informative, for me and I thank everyone for using element.

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