Wednesday, December 28, 2005

...but first

Ok, I have been posting pure fluff for weeks (the Hebraically inclined among you may now start chanting "ma nishtanah ha lailah hazeh...") and am thinking it'd be a good time for a wee hiatus, at least until Wozzeck. Er, unless I go to Lucia and have to eat my words about Villazon because according to pretty much everyone, Filianoti is actually more, better, faster...anyway that's on Friday. Surely I can muster more of a hiatus than that.

First, though, Ariadne Obnoxious has tagged me for her meme. How can I say no?

Four people currently living most likely to produce an interesting & stageable brand new opera plot & libretto (ie, you would go to see it!):

1. Lorrie Moore. She loves opera and references it in her stories. She's free of the stuffiness that can drag a libretto howling to the depths of boredom. And of course she's just a stupefyingly good writer.
2. Tom Stoppard, fer fuck's sake. I mean, c'mon.
3. Richard Greenberg, maybe? The Violet Hour had a certain operatic quality. And of course Take Me Out fairly cries out for Zambello/Gunn/Burden. Two words: shower scene. And the baseball/democracy speech was really pretty much an aria without music.
4. Wes Anderson, though I can't imagine he'd have the least interest. Maybe I'd just like to see him direct a production, not write one.

Four books you could buy at a regular bookseller's like Borders, Barnes & Noble or on Amazon, that, if re-worked, would be most likely to produce an interesting & stageable opera libretto, (ie, you would go to see it):

[Okay I semi-wilfully misread and did not pick exclusively books. Borders sells dvd's as well, right?]

1. last season's brilliant slap in the face, The Pillow Man. I assume one can buy the script. The role of the brother pretty much screams for A.D. Griffey to start warming up and giving T.M.I. interviews to the Times. Katurian could be maybe John Relyea or someone, though I'm having a lot of trouble coming up with an operatic equiv for Jeff Goldblum.
2. Edna Millay's Conversation at Midnight, heavily cut. I am definitely cheating, as it is long out of print. Oddly both of my suggestions are basically all male, though there could be a trouser role in the Millay.
3. Alice. Flo could be played by Sue Ellen Kuzma of the Sellars/Mozart/DaPonte stagings, and her aria "Mel, Kiss my grits!" would be a winning audition piece for sure. Vera would be kind of Lily Pons role. This actually is not in bookstores, not on DVD, vergogna! But in any case I'm kidding. I'll pick a real one. Oh wait but how about Sanford Sylvan, if he could be convinced to shed his customary quiet dignity, as Mel? Or no, get James Maddalena! He'll do it. He's like the Mikey-from-the-Life-Cereal-Commercial of opera. He'll try anything! He was in the Harvey Milk opera for the love of god. Voigt might could play Flo as well, finally getting to show the world her comic chops. Ok seriously, I'll shut up.
3. Do you think Catcher in the Rye would make a good opera if Salinger weren't hiding in a shack in Connecticut eating cardboard and suing people for thinking about adapting his works or whatever he's doing? No? Ok, it was just a suggestion.
3. Say, would there be any way to stage Hitchcock? Vertigo, starring LHL who is the only soul haunted enough to be Madeleine. Or Kozena, maybe. Jimmy Stewart is also hard to operatize.
4. The Last Picture Show? I don't know, at this point I'm just picking favorite films because I'm not the world's biggest novel reader. Anyway, near as I can tell, I've worn this one out...

5 comments:

Ariadne said...

ohmygod! i've created a monster!!! (actually, i think the monster was already there...)

did i say omigod???

well, my only comment would be how 'bout we try getting Tom Stoppard (that's a GENIUS suggestion) to write a libretto for a Hitchcock opera. Nothing happens to Rosenkrantz & Guildenstern for the first 1.90 Acts, then suddenly they are are Dead because they got their eyes pecked out by melevolent swarm of Birds? That's actually not half bad...

ow! those *were* good ones. now i have to do your memeorama. (where's that merlot?)

Sarah said...

Oh my. Magdalena as a Hitchcock blonde. Yes please!

Brett said...

So much better than mine, though I can definitely think of some great movies and plays that would make interesting operas. And I'm definitely going to do your opera meme below at some point.

Ariadne said...

Please, do, Brett! We'd like to see it and ps, I really think your Tess of the d'Urbervilles (libretto by Bruce Springsteen) is a contender!

Daniel said...

As a composer of operas myself, DO GO ON so I can steal--er, borrow--your ideas.