By Sir Denis Forman [Forman, Sir Denis]
This a bit of irreverent advisor to opera summarizes the plots of 17 of the world's nice operas, together with Aida, l. a. Boheme, and Carmen, and describes their characters, artists, and composers.
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Extra info for A Night at the Opera
She says. I will do my best he replies. The courtroom fills. Many get the black cap. Chénier is called. His defence speech is prolix but he maintains he is not a traitor not guilty. Evidence? says the President. The accusation is a lie I fudged it all says Gérard. OK says the Public Prosecutor you stand down I will make the same accusations. My God says Gérard I am a true son of the Revolution and I can’t stand this mindless hatred distorting French justice. The crowd shouts shut up Gérard: to the guillotine with Chénier.
LOOK OUT FOR Act I MINUTES FROM THE START 19: Un di, all’ azzurro * 21: Su dalla terra ** 23: E dissi ** 24: La notte il giorno * Chénier’s manifesto19 – a switchback in itself – starts with a strenuous contest between Chénier and the upper strings as he describes the beauties of nature. 23 The rent-a-mob break in to the sort of chorus24 suitable for the lower classes, in unison. On the nose but effective. Act II MINUTES FROM THE START 2: Temer? Perchè? * 5: Credo a una possanza * 7: Credi all’amor ** 11: Viva Robespierre!
Unfortunately the score lacks the guts demanded by such a high-tension story. A great deal of it is film music – not in the sense of the Hollywood track that was put on sound films but something much superior, the sort of score Prokoviev composed for Ivan the Terrible or Carl Davis assembled for Stroheim’s Greed. It is a restless score: from minute to minute it mickey-mouses not the action but the emotion. Giordano is also a tonal fidget and often seems incapable of staying in the same key for more than a few bars.
A Night at the Opera by Sir Denis Forman [Forman, Sir Denis]