Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Keeping Busy...

I have tried to keep busy during the past couple of days-- despite the horrific lack of a fainting couch on which to lie consumptively.

After all, an idle mind is the Devil's handiwork, and you can't make a silk purse out of a pig's ear after leading him to a stream and trying to make him drink... or something like that.

Anyway, I took the time to write a Great Tragic Opera while I was indisposed. Everything's sung in 14th century Italian and it has absolutely everything required for a really great opera: a beefy blonde soprano with braids, a chorus of Greek dwarves beating anvils, a mysterious letter sent terribly astray, dueling, sorcery, poison, love affairs, suicide, beheadings, insanity, stake-burnings, prison, abductions, stabbings, arson, treachery and unrelenting revenge.

Veleno e Decapitazione
(A Tragic Opera in Three Acts with Flourishes)

The mad Count di Vino, suspecting a gypsy has practiced sorcery upon his favorite chambermaid, has the old woman burned at the stake. Before she dies, the woman curses the entire di Vino line, down to the infant son, who has clubfeet and a harelip. Marcellina, the gypsy's daughter then takes revenge by trying to poison the Count's oldest daughter, who is spared when she elopes with the gardener and moves to Vienna. In her frustration, Marcellina stabs the Count's chambermaid, poisons the priest, has a love affair with the Countess, goes insane, kidnaps the Count's infant daughter, Julietta, and raises her with the gypsies to await a day of reckoning.

Act One
When the opera opens, many years have passed since these dire events occurred, and the scene opens in the middle of the gypsy camp. Julietta, who now weighs four hundred pounds, sings "Sono un fiore molto piccolo e fragile" (I am a tiny and delicate flower) as she is surrounded by a group of suitors, who take turns stabbing each other to win her heart. After half the camp is dead, Julietta promises to wed the first survivor who can successfully exact revenge on the Count, whom she does not realize is her father. Realizing the impending tragedy, Marecellina then burns herself at the stake in a fit of remorse. When she discovers this, Julietta attempts to stab herself, but misses. In a rage, she sets fire to the gypsy camp and poisons the remaining gypsies.

Act Two
The scene opens at the Count's palace. He and his remaining family are being entertained by a travelling chorus of Greek dwarves who beat anvils and sing "Tutto che va morire" (Everyone's gonna die). The Count's son, Leonardo, is now a blind young man who has escaped from prison, where he was sent for stabbing his mother. Unbeknownst to his father, Leonardo has abducted Julietta and imprisoned her in the tower room where she lives on bread and water. After the show, Leonardo poisons the dwarf chorus in the middle of the night and then asks Julietta for her hand in marriage. She agrees to marry him, but only if he will poison his father, cut off his head and set fire to the castle. Meanwhile, a local hermit mails a mysterious letter which is accidentally delivered to the butler instead of Julietta, for whom it was intended.

Act Three
The scene opens to a duel between Leonardo and his father the Count, who has discovered he is being poisoned. Leonardo stabs him and cuts off his head before setting fire to the castle, which holds the rest of the family. He is then arrested and sent to prison, where Julietta smuggles herself in a bread basket. They sing their undying love and then stab each other in a murder-suicide pact. As they lie dying, the butler delivers the letter to Julietta. In it, she reads that the Count was really her father. In a fit of remorse, she stabs herself, stabs the butler and sets fire to the prison while singing "O, merda! ché disastro!" (Oh, shit! What a disaster!)


I think it will be a hit.


Anonymous Brett said...


6:56 PM  
Anonymous tim said...

Let me borrow your creativity sometime :-)

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Professor Twain said...

Illness-related delirium can have a dramatic impact on the brain. Seek immediate medical attention.


Or, seek immediate consultation from Professor Twain.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Mr Anigans said...

it's brilliant!

9:44 PM  
Blogger Larry Jones said...

A moving masterpiece, L. I laughed, I cried, and cried some more. These themes are common to us all, and we can learn so much about ourselves through your beautiful work. I can hardly wait to witness it in person, especially Julietta's aria, as she contemplates the Count's severed head "Se soltanto avevo saputo che questo era la mia testa del padre." (If only I'd known this was my father's head.)

10:36 PM  
Blogger captain obvious said...

Yeah... I'd pay to see that.

10:53 PM  
Blogger roselle said...

a four hundred pound woman in a bread basket???
i'm already booking my plane ticket to florida for the spring opening of Veleno e Decapitazione!

11:57 AM  
Blogger L said...

Brett: thank you sir :)

Tim: you need help writing an opera?

My Dear Professor: I think I've always been a bit delirious! Hey! I talked to John (ceterisparibus) yesterday, and he said you made it out to the last art whore outing! Sorry I missed you

mr. anigans: that's what I thought :)

Larry: maybe you should write a sequel :)

captain obvious: yeah, me too actually

atractiva: I think it will really rake in the big bucks-- even more than "Springtime for Hitler"

8:33 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

You haven't mentioned who was composing the music. May I suggest Alf Clausen, musical director for "The Simpsons," who penned some memorable Broadway-style hits for the show. I'm sure grand opera would be a breeze for him.

2:21 PM  
Blogger glomgold said...

Does the harelip sing well? That could make or break the piece!

8:09 PM  
Blogger L said...

Paul: that sounds Perfect :)

Glomgold: unfortunately, I think the harelip gets in the way :o

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

My only suggestion would be to maybe add one more scene of people stabbing themselves and singing, and then have the lovers cut off their own heads at the end - after they stab themselves and sing. But I really like the stabbing and singing parts :)

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Mariana said...

I really feel there's a very profound moral lesson in this oeuvre; but I will leave it to the author to do the explaining.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Comfort addict said...

Love it! Can I write the tunes?

9:33 PM  
Anonymous -c said...

A fine opera indeed! I would have enjoyed a few more mistaken identities and maybe a pair of siamese twins connected at the shoulder disguised as a beautiful bride...
Thanks for the laugh! This was hilarious!

9:33 PM  
Anonymous happy and blue said...

I like this and would go to see it. It could use a bit more senseless violence though. And some happy bunnies that hop around and don't get hurt..

9:33 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

I want tickets for opening night! Oh, I also might want a date with Marcellina. Any woman who can accomplish all of that stuff in one act is definitely worthy of a Happy Meal at McDonalds!

9:33 PM  
Anonymous rainypete said...

Add a sex scene or two and soem explosions and you could sell that to Hollywood for serious amounts of money. They make worse movies almsot hourly!

9:33 PM  
Blogger L said...

lisa: well, that's what makes a really great opera!

Mariana: I think the body count speaks for itself

Comfort Addict: sure! it's bound to be a hit now!

-c: thanks! but, you're right... I really should have put some siamese twins in there somewhere. sigh

Happy&Blue: heh heh

mark: you'd have to watch your back around her, though

rainypete: darn it! not only did I forget the siamese twins, but I also forgot the sex scenes and explosions!! I must be losing all my brain cells

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Rich said...

You're like a spring breeze, Gravitar.

My computer reads to me and it calls you "Gravitar". You are only the second person I've met on earth by that name.

Do you have any idea how I might link up to you? It's a bit over my expertise at the moment. Any suggestions will be appreciated. I've imposed on Lisa too much already. She's a jewel but I hate asking her again.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous NPR Junkie said...

Get thee to Broadway right away, sister! I see big things in your future!

9:34 PM  
Blogger L said...

Rich: Perhaps I should change my name to "Gravitar"; it has a lovely ring to it...

Npr Junkie: ooohhh! I hope you're right!

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Gravitar, it sounds like a superhero name. I never got any special superhero name, consider yourself honored. :)

9:34 PM  
Blogger L said...

lisa: oh, I am :) I always wanted to be a superhero

9:34 PM  

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