The Trump opera they are all talking about

The Trump opera they are all talking about


norman lebrecht

June 04, 2017

The artists are soprano Rebecca Nelsen, presently an ensemble singer at the Wiener Volksoper, and the German tenor Eric Stoklossa.


  • Rich C. says:

    Post this on the day of another London terror attack in which your mayor says it has nothing to do with Islam ……. and Trump is the idiot?

    • Craig says:

      Maybe you should think twice about commenting on things you know nothing about, for instance London, but also, as I can probably guess, most things.

    • Tatiana says:

      I think it is really brilliant that opera is being used as it originally was intended, not about fat ladies singing about love, but a political statement. It was clever, witty and a good laugh in this day and age where everything is far too serious.
      Even Opera can poke fun of itself, if only others could do so as well.

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    It does not have anything to do with the Islamic faith which is peace loving. Unfortunately a very small proportion of imbeciles are trying to bend it to suit their own evil ends. Mayor Khan knows what he is talking about as he is Muslim.

    Did you blame all Roman Catholics for the evil actions of the IRA?
    You can’t have one rule for one religion and another for a different religion.

    • John says:

      Lighten up, Elizabeth. It was clever.

      • Steven Holloway says:

        Elizabeth was responding to Rich C who, like Trump in his impertinent tweet, has ripped Mayor Khan’s words out of context. And she is entirely correct. Read or listen to the statement made by the national association of Muslims. Listen to ALL of Khan’s statement. And understand that there is NOTHING in the Koran or the other sacred teachings on Islam that in any way promotes or justifies these terrorists attacks. You might start by getting a copy of the Koran with an index and look at the one mention of ‘Jihad’, what it says and what it means. It’s verse IX:20. From the explanatory note in my scholarly edition: “Mere brutal fighting is opposed to the whole spirit of Jihad, while the sincere scholar’s pen or preacher’s voice or wealthy man’s contribution may be the most valuable forms of Jihad.” God only knows, we see the most gross ignorance of the teachings of Jesus rampant today, most patently in the U.S. The relation of the terrorists to Islamic teachings is exactly the same thing. Do you by chance recall that the Rev. Franklin Graham, son of Billy, issued an open letter to George W. Bush urging him to carpet bomb the entire Middle East with nuclear missiles? Is there any difference? Which is worse? Does that sound like something Jesus would say? And, no, I’m not Muslim. I’m a Caucasian Englishman and retired historian who happens to have in his library the essential works of all the major faiths. And I’ve read them.

        • Ellingtonia says:

          You obviously haven’t read,………..but then another academic lecturing the masses on what true islam is about is to be expected. You should have descended from that ivory academic tower a few times during your career to see what real life is about!

          • Mike Schachter says:

            Like so many of our useless intelligentsia just an attempt to make excuses for terrorists.

          • Steven Holloway says:

            Addressing what I wrote would have been rather more conducive to conversation about the issue than just linking to a right-wing magazine of no consequence other than to those of kindred views.

        • Ellingtonia says:

          I offered up an article that objectively assessed and source referenced the aims and objectives of islam. The fact that you determine it “right wing” seems to suggest that only you, who I assume have left leanings, are qualified to comment on such issues. I note also that you do nothing to suggest an alternative interpretation of the aims of islam through the pronouncements in the koran. And please, give me a break, retired historian indeed, in what way does that qualify you to dismiss the ideas of others which are at odds with your own. I am a retired (did lots of jobs in my career) and have an array of books in my collection on the various faiths as well as historical empires, I am particularly interested in the Lithuanian empire which is very eloquently described in Norman Davies’s tome………..see, its easy to play that game!

          • Mike Schachter says:

            Of course the Koran has several passage encouraging Muslims to kill infidels but that doesn’t fit the “narrative”

          • Steven Holloway says:

            Your reading is at least consistent. The author of the article you cite, who has rather had his day, is now one of the most rabid promoters of any and all right-wing views going, a conspiracy theorist par excellence. This is hardly a secret, and ‘objectively’ is risibly inappropriate a word to describe his writings. And you have Norman Davies book of excerpts on Lithuania taken from his Lost Kingdoms — the same Davies much taken to task for downplaying anti-semitism and the Holocaust in Poland in his God’s Playground: A History of Poland.

            The Koran is, as I’m sure you know from your own reading, rather lengthy, so this is hardly a place to offer an exegesis. I did give a parsing of the one verse on ‘Jihad’, and that is what you should be addressing, not requiring more from me. How many jobs you had in your working life is a sheer non sequitur.

      • Elizabeth Owen says:

        I was answering Rich C’s daft comment.

        • Steven Holloway says:

          Mr. Schachter, you do know, I suppose, that the ‘intelligentsia’ (now a rather outdated term, for it some time back came to be used in referring to anyone with a more than elementary education and thus rendered a meaningless word) were a prime target of both the Nazi and Soviet regimes, both identifying such people as a dangerous source of opposition? You might find that worth thinking about.

    • Una says:

      Well put, Elizabeth. I’m of an Irish Catholic background from London with Muslim neighbours. None of us are terrorists! And last night was not about Islam. Most Muslims were at home having their one meal a day after 9.30pm with it being Ramadan – something even Sadiq Khan is observing. We as a family got sick and tired of the superior English accusing my family as being part of the IRA. You can’t paint everyone with the same brush.

      • Steven Holloway says:

        Well, some English, Una. I’m London born and bred, and there’s never been a time in my adult life when I didn’t have Irish friends — and that, to me, has been a blessing. Three from Dublin, one from Buncrana, one from Ballymena….and I loved ’em all. I’ve never met anyone from the Republic who looked askance at me because I’m obviously English — ‘Received Pronunciation’, as it was called — and sure as hell no one who was an IRA member or supporter. The Irish people I found I couldn’t befriend were Ulster Protestants who couldn’t have a conversation without starting on religion, whatever the subject was supposed to be, and who, to be frank, displayed a pretty obvious bigotry where Catholics are concerned.

    • Steve P says:

      Nothing to do with Islam, the religion of peace. Better stay indoors and hide under your bed if that’s your position.
      Oh, yeah, Trump is gonna take the lead on this…and pretty much everything else that needs fixing in this PC world gone leftwing crazy.

      • Steven Holloway says:

        First, Trump is already being sidelined where international affairs are concerned. Secondly, he may not be in a position to take the lead in yet another golf match with his buddies by the time Comey has finished testifying and Robert Mueller has finished his investigation. As David Brooks wrote in his recent column, Trump is like a seven year-old in a classroom — and, I might add, apparently learning nothing.

        • Steve P says:

          You are going to be tremendously disappointed all around by this investigation. And Comey? Please…
          Trump is absolutely the leader right now. Only guy to call out spineless politicians for choosing globalist multiculturalism over national interests.

      • Fran Johns says:

        So, Steve, better not read the Old Testament in which God commands the annihilation of the people of Canaan. “As for the towns of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not let anything that breathes remain alive. You shall annihilate them—the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanite” and the burning alive of daughters who are prostitutes. And maybe we should round up crazy young white American men with guns and bombs, who, with the exception of 9/11, have killed far more Americans than any Muslim has – Charles Whitman, Timothy McVeigh, Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, Adam Lanza, James Holmes, Charles Manson, John Hinkley, James Huberty, Patrick Purdy, Patrick Sherrill. Shall I go on?

  • Wiener says:

    Lächerlich , unbedeutende drittklassige Sänger , die sich wichtig machen.

  • Cyril Blair says:

    This is perfect. Bravo! Even the ending is perfect: “Is your house making you fat?” Exactly the kind of story teaser you hear on the local news in the U.S.

  • William Osborne says:

    This is wonderful! Also interesting to see highly trained opera singers using variants of the bel canto voice. And compliments to a country so cultured in classical music that it can creates such parodies for a sizable audience….

  • Mike Schachter says:

    This is another example of the liberal middle classes wanting to make themselves look superior and virtuous. What else matters, after all?

  • Tom says:

    Really great video! So funny! Can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

  • Michelle Lynn says:

    Brilliant and hysterical! No matter your political view, one can appreciate the humor and intelligence, not to mention TALENT, that went into this video! GREAT! 😀

    • Norm Zamcheck says:

      This is a brilliant little piece, and will win new fans to opera as a vital, current
      artistic force. Sad political wing nuts cannot appreciate a little levity at the expense of their god. Bravissimo young artists!!!!

    • Steven Holloway says:


  • gail shulman says:

    Thank you so much for this. This is exactly the sort of art that brings down authoritarian regimes.

  • Roxanne says:

    I found this extremely well done! It is exceptionally witty and quite polished. The singing was wonderful!! I was happy to see that both of these excellent singers have already had impressive careeers and have performed in such esteemed venues as the Salzburger Festspiele and the Met! I have listened and shared multiple times since the video was posted on June 1. It’s better than therapy!!!

  • DavidC says:

    Witty and well done.

  • Barbara says:

    Funny and well done. Thanks.

  • Marg says:

    Saw it yesterday and immediately posted it to my FB page as I thought it was brilliant Too bad all the ranting pro/anti Islam folks cant do their rants on some other page and make comments related to the posting which is an opera spoof. We need some humour in this difficult world, for heavens sake.

    • Steve P says:

      A severed head joke and more representatives of the religion of peace committing atrocities in U.K. have definitely put a damper on humor around here lately.

  • Frances Leona Lawren says:

    I found this to be a well done, well sung, and delightful satire! We need music, satire, humor, and intelligence to deal with this present world situation. I am a citizen of the USA, and I loved this! I laughed heartily and well for the first time since the stolen election put the orange moron in the White House!
    Thank you to the creators of this wonderful piece, thank you to the singers, and please do not be discouraged by the negative comments and in-fighting of the pro- and anti-Muslim comments. They really should take their battle elsewhere.
    I enjoyed the positive comments about this work, and truly did not understand the negative ones. Perhaps they are mostly from those who are not living with the nightmare of Trump in the White House.
    Please do follow up with more of your delightful work!

    • Steve P says:

      What nightmare? I get a chuckle every day from something President Trump does to tweak media or flip off the establishment. He’s doing great things and America is going to be great again. It sure beats feeling like my country and my race have become the brunt of every piece of bad news over the past 8 years. Maybe someone should write an opera about that; where’s my pen and paper…

      • Petros Linardos says:

        Steve, if you feel like, would you mind writing in a few sentences what has improved in the US as a result of Trump’s election?

      • Petros Linardos says:

        Steve, what do think about Trump’s conspicuous silence after the Jan 30 shooting at a Quebec Mosque, that left 6 Muslims dead and 19 injured? And what about the recent incident in Portland, where the three people stood up to defend a black and a Muslim girl from a bigot, and two of them got killed and one seriously injured? For the latter there was only a late and muted response from the @Potus account mostly managed by his staff, and that had no trace of Trump’s distinctive style.

        • Steve P says:

          Economy and employment have definitely improved. Looking forward to SCOTUS reaffirming POTUS immigration control. Energy resources are on the rise and single family housing starts – not apartments – are improving, too. Prospects are so good Fed is likely going to raise interest rates soon. And the stock market – whew! I am watching my investments (meager as they are) balloon in a glorious way. What a great time to be a US citizen!
          Muslims being killed by non-Muslims is not a trend. Therefore, I would expect a leader like President Trump to stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by aberrant behaviors of a few insane individuals.
          Anything else? I’ve got plenty to say about gun violence in gun-free areas as well as weapon violence that could have been prevented by an armed citizenry.

          • Petros Linardos says:

            Thank you very much for a sober reply, even though I mostly disagree.
            My most important disagreement is about Trump’s silence with regard to the Portland incident: two people who lost their lives represented some of the best of American values and richly deserved the president’s recognition.

          • Steve P says:

            What do you disagree with? The only possible argument you could have is with SCOTUS conclusion – and once Ginsberg recuses herself it is a slam dunk for Trump.
            The fact you choose not to believe Trump’s sincere condolences to the victims in the Portland attack says more about you than about President Trump.

          • Fran Johns says:

            So I guess those congressmen who were shot should have been carrying, right Steve. BTW, have you ever served in the military in combat? Or are you by any chance a police officer? If not, perhaps you should try serving before you spout off about how effective untrained citizens are in a shooting situation.

          • Kat says:

            For whom has the economy improved? The recent stock market reports, ridiculous trade wars, and the growing ocean between the 1% and the 99% has not worked for me. Deregulating workers’ safety and bargaining rights, wage stagnation, deregulation of banks alà 2008, debt, and increased healthcare costs resulting from deregulation do not help the 99%. Extreme trickle down economics hasn’t worked and has dramatically increased the defect. As a result, Ayn Rand fanboys in the senate propose cutting programs like Social Security and Medicare that all working people pay into.
            Thousands of American citizens in Puerto Rico are still suffering after hurricane Maria, our nation is a laughing stock, Trump’s failure to participate in green energy research and production while allowing coal companies to pour poison into our air and water means that countries like China will become even more powerful while we sink into the bad old days.
            Racial and gender violence has increased. The Republican Party is awash in indictments and prison sentences for fraud, bribery, money laundering, and worse.
            Economists say we are in for a major recession. On top of that, cutting Obama era regulations on lenders could mean bank failures again. Voter suppression, over 2800 lies, ignorance, fear, human rights violations, ruining the environment, attacks on democratic institutions like free speech, universal sufferage, and an independent judiciary, alienating our closest allies, gutting healthcare for veterans, aiding with self-proclaimed nazis, major security breeches, emoluments violations, only working 3 days a week and napping on those days and threatening citizens in the opposition are not good things. Be honest. It’s realky about a cult of personality for you guys. You love that he’s a racist, misogynistic, hypocritical, and overall venal person. He’s the Joker and the Republican Party are his henchmen. You are compliant in a would/be autocrat and his enforcers. You are being gaslighted and mocked by this party. Know better do better.

  • Steve P says:

    After watching, I have to admit: the dude in red shirt certainly can sing.
    Otherwise more blah blah blah. Enjoy your chuckle, lefties – you are losing.

  • Forest Hunter says:

    I have a problem with this video. I can’t stop watching it! Or making my friends watch it! I laugh out loud every time.

  • Kat says:

    Very funny and clever. It brightened my day.