The Libretto to My Second Opera
by, Dec-14-2011 at 03:11 (255 Views)
Here is the libretto of the Prologue and Act I of my second opera. I'll put up Act II at a later date. So, until then, tell me what you think:
The King's Horn
A Short Comic Chamber Opera in a Prologue and Two Acts
The palace. The baby king's bedroom.
The king's parents are in there admiring their new son.
King's Father: Just to think that our new baby boy would one day become the King of this entire country.
King's Mother: Look how beautiful he is!
King's Father: He would make a fine ruler.
King's Mother: Look at his little face!
King's Father: A fine ruler indeed!
King's Mother: I should flatten down that little tuft of hair on his head. (She goes to get a brush and tries to flatten down his hair but finds a horn growing out of his head.) What's happened to him?
King's Father: How on Earth is this possible?
King's Mother: A horn! Our baby has a horn growing out of the top of his head! This must have been from your side of the family!
King's Father: How could this be my fault? You're the one who gave birth to him!
King's Mother: He will be picked on at school.
King's Father: Ridiculed! He will be tormented for his whole life by voices chanting "The King has a horn! The King has a horn!"
King's Mother: He will be turned into a freak show! He will have to be kept in hiding. There's no other choice.
King's Father: He will have to wear thins crown for his whole life so no one finds out this terrible truth! If anyone sees him like this his life will be a catastrophe!
Many years have passed.
Another room in the palace. The King (now an adult) is not wearing his crown so the horn is clearly visible. There is also a laptop computer on a table in the room.
There is a knock on the door. The King puts his crown on.
King: Enter! (a barber rushes in and kneels down at the King.)
Barber: I saw your tweet, your Highness.
Barber: Well the broadband network is incredibly fast, your Highness.
King: Now, pay attention, Barber—
Barber: It is such an honour, your Royal Highness, to decrease the length of your royal hair on your Royal head! I have brought my very best too quality pair of scissors—
Barber: —that I use for the most special occasions. My! What a most superb crown, your Highness! It shimmers like the sun setting on the horizon of a calm sea, but with the majestic power of a lion—
King: Now, please—
Barber: —And this fine palace you live in! It must be the biggest and grandest in the world! I truly am ashamed that I have taken such a long time to arrive, your Royal Highness, I had so many customers but none as important as you! I am so honoured by your gratitude towards people like—
King: Be quiet and pay close attention, Barber!
Barber: (Very startled) Yes, yes of course! As quiet as a mouse!
King: I have this secret that ha seen kept hidden since my birth. If you tell anyone you will have your head chopped off!
Barber: Oh! (Jumps up in alarm.) I am a talkative chap, your Highness, but I will meet this challenge to protect your honour!
King: This secret of mine … is … (the King is no longer acting strong and proud as his secret is revealed) I have a horn.
Barber: A horn? Is that all? What fine music you must play!
King: No, you stupid simple man! The horn is growing out of my head! (Out of anger, here moves the crown.) This is why I never go out in public!
Barber: (So frightened he goes and hides under the table.) Oh how grotesque, your Highness! I am terribly sorry for this terrible misfortune! (Crawls out and stands up.) Wait until I tell my wife about this! The King has a horn! The King has a horn!
King: No, you foolish barber! That's exactly what I told you not to do! All I want from you is for you to keep your mouth shut and style my hair to conceal this bloody horn!
Barber: Yes, yes, your Highness! I solemnly vow that I will never speak to any living soul about this tragedy! (The Barber unpacks his gear and proceeds to cut the King's hair.)
The town outside the palace.
It is sunset and people are walking home from work including the Barber.
Barber: What a privilege it is for me to be the King'd royal barber! But this secret I have to keep will be unbearable. I just have to tell someone!
Villager 1 enters.
Villager 1: Good evening, Barber.
Barber: Good evening. You don't look particularly well tonight,
Villager 1: I'm not. My neighbour has been practising his horn all afternoon. It has given me the most frightful headache.
Barber: (Looking a bit stunned by what he's heard.) Horn? Head?
Villager 1: (Looking slightly confused with the Barber's reaction.) Um… The horn gave me a terrible headache.
Barber: Oh yes! Of course! Delightful then. I thought you were talking about the King's—the thing's! Sorry! The things that are worrying me today! Mustn't tell anyone of course! Well then! I'll see you around! I have to head off now. No! Not head off! Sorry, sorry! I need to go now. I don't want to lose my—the upper seventh of my body.
Villager 1: (Very confused now.) Sorry, but I can't get my head around why you're acting so strangely today.
Barber: (Panicking.) No! Don't say that! There's nothing wrong with his head! It's perfectly normal!
Villager 1: (Extremely confused.) Okay then… Good night.
Barber: Good night. (He waits until Villager 1 has left before he calms down.) What am I doing? How can I keep this secret to myself? I almost mentioned the … the … his secret!
Villager 2 enters
Barber: But I think I got away with it that time. I have to be careful!
Villager 2: Got away with what?
Barber: Oh! Nothing! Nothing! There's no secret! Anyway, how are you?
Villager 2: I'm fine, thank you Barber.
Barber: How is everyone? You don't know anything about any horns do you?
Villager 2: Horns? Ha! Funny you should mention that! I was just looking for my prize billy goat that has escaped from my farm for the third time this week. If you see him, let me know. He has the biggest horns on his head that you've ever seen!
Barber: (Looking stunned again.) Horn? Head?
Villager 2: Yes his horns are quite marvellous.
Barber: So you know too? (Panicking) Oh this will be the end of me! If the King finds out—
Villager 2: What happened with the King?
Barber: So you don't know about the King's … the King's …
Villager 2: No…
Barber: Sorry did I say "King?" I meant "Sing!" Yes I'm off to a concert where they sing and play horns and—no! Not horns! No horns at all! Not in this concert!
Villager 2: Is anything troubling you?
Barber: Oh dear, oh dear. No everything's fine! Everything's fine! I'll keep an eye out for your goat. Well, I must run off now. Busy schedule tonight!
Villager 2: Okay then. Goodbye!
Barber: Goodbye. (Waits for Villager 2 to leave while he calms down.) Oh no! Oh dear! I'm in terrible trouble now. I've nearly told two people about our monarch's monstrous secret! The pressure is building up inside me!
A young shepherd boy and girl enter singing and skipping
Barber: I feel like I'm going to explode, and out will come the words—
Young boy and girl: (Singing a nursery rhyme) Jack and Jill went up a hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.
Barber: (To himself) Crown? Do these kids know about this secret as well?
Young girl: Jack must have got a nasty bump on his head.
Young boy: He might have grown a horn!
Barber: Horn?! Head?! Crown?! (Panicking) Soon the whole world will know this tremendous secret that I have to keep hidden!
Young girl: What secret?
Girl and boy: Tell us! Tell us!
Young boy: We won't tell anyone.
Barber: Argh! This is just too much! I have to run away from all civilisation! I will live in an isolated cave for the rest of my life!
Young girl: (to boy) I think the Barber's being silly. (They both giggle and run off.)
Barber: I feel like a volcano ready to erupt. The molten rock from down below is pushing up, forcing its way out. The pain of not being able to talk is just too much!
The Barber runs off stage
End of Act I