Bellini wrote a Slipped Disc opera

Apparently.

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  • Actually, this is a Regietheater production. It ends with Norman, pen in hand, chasing a band of Druids through the forest for an interview about a recent scandal at the Rome Opera….

  • The Guardian once reviewed an opera called Doris Godunov. I can picture her: Tsarina of all the Russia’s resplendent in a floral pinny and curlers.

  • Its proof-reader may have had better days, but Chelsea Opera’s artistic standards are very high, and it deserves wider recognition and support. I have no connection with COG other than as a regular attendee, but I thought that their recent Nabucco and Mose in Egitto were as good as anything I’ve seen in London for quite a while.

  • There’s an opera company in the Netherlands that once staged a performance of Donna Giovanna. The Elviro, Anno and Zerlino were all strongly cast. Not so sure about the Leporella, Ottavia, Masegtta and Commendatora…..

        • At last: something here that made me smile. But actually, the answer is YES. Wagner’s very first completed and published opera, Die Feen, ends on a very happy note indeed, with the main protagonists Ada and Arindel united in immortality, so that they can love each other till the end of time. The next one, Das Liebesverbot, ends with a sort of ‘love is all around’, amid general revelling. Up next: Rienzi. Well, yes, there’s trouble afoot. Rienzi is a political drama, set in 14th century Rome. Lots of stirring rhetoric (as you would expect from a Tribune), crowd scenes and an ending that has the title character and two others meet their death as the beams of a burning building (the Capitol) fall on top of them. I’m sure that made someone happy, not everyone likes a man who speaks up for the people against the overweening power of the Church. After Rienzi, the first of Wagner’s really great operas: The Flying Dutchman. It’s a story with a lot of negatives in it: divine retribution, a spell of very bad weather, spectral sailors, human greed, superstition and a jilted suitor, as well as a persistent buzzing noise, produced by a roomful of spinning wheels. Still the end, although it involves a double death, can be described as happy, since it releases the Dutchman from his curse and sends him heavenward, with the fey Senta (who is single-handedly responsible for his redemption), by his side. More multiple death, I’m afraid, in Tannhauser. (I’m not sure you expected all this, Ted, but I’m happy to oblige). It’s about a man who has tired of being held back by his adoring goddess Venus and of endless great sex and gourmet food, and wishes to rejoin the human race. This proves not as easy as he first thought. It’s a somewhat convoluted story about sin, punishment and ultimate redemption (Wagner was big on redemption) which ends with, you guessed, several deaths; most notably of Elisabeth, Tannhauser’s mortal (well she would be) girl friend, Of Venus, who mysteriously disappears altogether, and of the great man himself. It also features a knarled wooden staff which, at significant moments, sprouts fresh leaves. Not all sweetness and light and the scent of many roses, I admit, but when redemption is in the air, who cares?
          OK Ted, I think this is enough for you to be going on ith. I can continue some other time (if you want me to) for there’s lots of merriment and all’s well that ends well still to come.

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