Monday, March 13, 2006

Plus ca change.....

i came across this bit today while finishing up reading Marriage of Figaro.
This brought to mind current events:

Figaro: Weary off making sick animals worse and determined to do something different, I throw myself headlong into the theatre. Alas, I might as well have put a stone round my neck! I fudge up a play about the manners of the Seraglio : a Spanish author, I imagined, could attack Mahomet without scruple, but, immediately, some envoy from goodness-knows-where complains that some off my lines offend the Sublime Porte, Persia, some part or other off the East Indies, the whole of Egypt, and the kindoms of Cyrenaica, Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers and Morocco. Behold my play scuppered to please a set of Mohammedan princes - not one off whom I believe can read - who habitually beat a tattoo on our shoulders to the tune off 'down with the Christian dogs!'

this long monologue(there's a lot before and after this) of figaro's is not included in the opera. cause really, at that point(near the end) who wants to sing or hear what would probably be a twenty minute aria about Figaro's life up to that point. yippee!

side note. Beaumarchais didn't write Abduction from the Seraglio, from what little background info i've read i get the impression that he wrote both Barber and Figaro with the intention that they be made operas, so maybe he threw Abduction in there to get someone's attention.? i don't feel like digging right now, but it struck me as amusing.