its own punishment

“Of all the noises known to man, opera is the most expensive.
MOLIÈRE

Just have to tell you about … my ex (Torbjörn) and his relationship to opera.

Before we met I don’t think he even listens to classical music, but he was a good sport … we both went to opera (Carmen) and ballet (Giselle). Which he claimed to have enjoyed.

So one Christmas we spent with my mum in Kiel, Germany and on Christmas Day mum wanted to go see Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” and no problem. Torbjörn wanted to come along. So we bought the tickets.

“How wonderful opera would be if there were no singers.”
GIOACCHINO ROSSINI

The setting for the opera had been moved forward to the 1950s… and very smartly done.  The storyline of the opera is a bit all over the place.

It is set over just one day (as indicated by its subtitle ‘A Day of Follies’) – Figaro’s wedding day. The curtain rises on Figaro and bride-to-be Susanna, fitting out the new room that their master the Count has given them. Susanna reveals that the only reason the Count has made such a generous gift is to keep her nearby – he plans to seduce her, re-instating the lately abolished ‘feudal right’ which allowed a lord to have his way with a servant girl on her wedding night.

Figaro is furious and vows to outsmart the Count. Together with Susanna, the abandoned Countess and the page boy Cherubino (who adores all women, especially the Countess), they put in place a cunning plan to ensnare him. Expect disguises, mistaken identities, and a lot of hiding in (and under) things…

“Opera is like amateur golf. Most of the time it’s pretty awful,
but on those rare occasions when everything falls into place
and you make a great shot, it feels amazing.”
MATT DOBKIN

Both mum and I enjoyed the event very much and when mum asked Torbjörn what he thought about it.

Torbjörn looked at me … and said; It was great, but who f..k was Figaro????!!!!.
(sorry for the language)
Absolutely Priceless!!!!!

“Going to the Opera, like getting drunk,
is a sin that carries its own punishment with it.”
HANNAH MORE

19 thoughts on “its own punishment

  1. A fun piece and as always great quotes. I think I would be as confused as Torbjörn was, but I do know who Figaro is. I just can’t figure out what happened to Cherubino. 🙂

  2. So funny! I have never actually been to one, thinking they are probably not my cup of tea, but sadly I do know about getting drunk 🙂 🙂 Have a great week, Viveka!

    • Girl, once in life you have to see an opera … and then something that is easy to understand with light music, like Carmen … one of my favourite. So easy to follow and the music is fantastic. I’m not a huge opera fan, but I like Verdi’s because of the wonderful music and Mozart’s because they are very light and funny. I wish the same … spent the morning in the laundry room. Done and now the sun comes out. Lovely. CoffeeTimeHug

  3. *huge smile* I am probably the biggest opera aficionado in the big wide world !! My darling parents risked taking me to the ‘Estonia’ Opera Theatre when I was just six – Madame Butterfly that evening. After I did not want to go home. I was a very, very good girl and had a return visit the following week . . . and the passion has never stopped ! Thank God both of my husbands were ‘afflicted’ the same way . . . so, wherever we travelled in the world, tickets had probably been procured half a tear before . . . wonderful memories. Love rather classic ones . . .perhaps ‘Lakme’, ‘The Pearlfishers’ and ‘Il Trovatore’ the ones I could watch the most . . . For some reason never much cared for Paris Opera, but La Scala and Covent Garden , especially the latter I still dream about . . . and the very solid Australian Opera . . . . smile, smile, smile . . .

    • Wow, you … have been around in the Opera world. I saw Madame Butterfly at Royal Albert Hall … and it was so beautifully done … with real waterlily ponds. I more a ballet fan. Otello I saw the first time at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo (with the princely family members0 – otherwise, I haven’t been to any famous opera houses. Not even to the Met – been to NYC at least 10 times, but never made it. I started to listen to classical music when I was around 20 … and opera came even later in my life. Still, Carmen is my favourite up there with Tosca.

      • We would have fun talking ! I have not been to the Monte Carlo one but loved the little La Fenice in Venice when it was still there ! Oh yes, Tosca for me also and Othello and Macbeth 🙂 ! We were immensely kicky to have long annual business trips and be able to ‘hide’ all the costs as ‘business expenses’ !!! Well, our own ! Taught our daughters the same way but began with Gilbert & Sullivan’s Mikado as all their friends loved such . . . and now, I am happy to say, the next generation also appreciates . . .

      • Had a very handsome Greek “boyfriend” living in Monte-Carlo in the early ’70s. He brooded my views on art, music, food and wine … to the maximum. Even dancing. Macbeth I saw as a play, but far too heavy for my taste. I like light-hearted art more, even if Othello doesn’t belong to that category. I think it is fantastic when parents try to educate their children in all arts. When I was at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art 1,5 year ago – there was a mum with her 8-10-year-old daughter and the daughter went around with her smartphone and took images of the art she liked. My heart melted.

    • Opera is an ocean. Or many (!) oceans. I don’t like the contemporary operas much. That’s compensated by modernization of plot – sometimes good, rarely – very good, but in most cases -awful… But Verdi – any time, any work. I recommend!

      • I don’t like contemporary music … but I don’t mind that they move around the settings of the opera to different centuries. I all down to the singers in my book. But I would struggle with Tosca set in the ’80s. I have seen great setups with Otello in different centuries. Because really the story for most operas are timeless. Thanks for your visit and great comments. Welcome back!

    • Lucky you … I saw my “LoverBoy” (Jonas) from Vienna on Saturday. I think the concert was in 2019. God that … man, he didn’t have to ask twice for anything. Happily married now with a year old baby boy. But that wouldn’t stop me. *laughing. I hope you will be able to fulfil the plans. Be careful out there. MondayHug

  4. I introduced my children to the arts at a young age, but held off a bit with opera. When my younger son was about 15, I suggested we go to the opera. He got dressed up in suit and tie and looked quite handsome. The thing he remembers about the opera: all the older women there who smiled at him and told him how lovely for a young man to escort his mom to the opera. Years later he took his girlfriend and was shocked to tell me she had never been before!

    • What a lovely story …. it was my mum who introduced me to opera – through an open kitchen window and me standing on the car park outside our apartment building. They were playing “Va pensiero” from”Nabucco” G. Verdi on the radio … she turned up the volume and there was I standing listen to the most beautiful piece of opera music. That’s why I love Verdi’s operas.
      There is SO many people that never been to the opera … I tell them I know that at least once in a life time.

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