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Thread: Losing the plot

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triplets View Post
    It’s really difficult on any level to accept that people are going to interrupt their lives and burst into song. Witness the decline of the Movie Musical and the Broadway Musical. It requires a willing suspension of belief on the part of the listener. If we are willing to make that leap, itjust one more step to accept farcial Opera Plots that are thin justifications for great Music.
    The Broadway Musical is hardly in decline. Quite the opposite. At any given time, you will find more musicals than straight plays playing both on Broadway and on the West End stage.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

  2. #32
    Senior Member Belowpar's Avatar
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    case in point, Phantom of the Opera

    "The box office revenues are higher than any film or stage play in history, including Titanic, ET, Star Wars and Avatar."

    http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/facts-figures/


    NB I didn't say it was any good.

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  4. #33
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belowpar View Post
    case in point, Phantom of the Opera

    "The box office revenues are higher than any film or stage play in history, including Titanic, ET, Star Wars and Avatar."

    http://www.thephantomoftheopera.com/facts-figures/


    NB I didn't say it was any good.
    Glad you didn't. I saw it and was bored stiff. Come back Lon Chaney! Let's have a real scare!

    Lon_Chaney_Phantom_of_The_Opera_Cropped.jpg
    Last edited by DavidA; May-17-2018 at 19:33.

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  6. #34
    Member Gallus's Avatar
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    I find the plot of the Magic Flute more tolerable than that of Mozart's other operas as it appears so obviously allegorical that I don't care about its narrow realism anymore than I would in a Kafka short story. Figaro, which is more about depicting human passions than making a philosophical point, is an entirely different matter and I'm exasperated by the silly and stupid melodrama: people hiding behind chairs, reveals about long lost parents, the crossdressing for absolutely no reason...

    That said, the closet scene is still incredibly amusing.
    Last edited by Gallus; May-18-2018 at 20:16.

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  8. #35
    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallus View Post
    I find the plot of the Magic Flute more tolerable than that of Mozart's other operas as it appears so obviously allegorical that I don't care about its narrow realism anymore than I would in a Kafka short story. Figaro, which is more about depicting human passions than making a philosophical point, is an entirely different matter and I'm exasperated by the silly and stupid melodrama: people hiding behind chairs, reveals about long lost parents, the crossdressing for absolutely no reason...

    That said, the closet scene is still incredibly amusing.
    Hasn't it occurred to you that Figaro is a farce in which the ruling classes are lampooned?
    Last edited by DavidA; May-18-2018 at 21:36.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Hasn't it occurred to you that Figaro is a farce in which the ruling classes are lampooned?
    Yes, which doesn't make it any less ludicrous.

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    Senior Member Faustian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidA View Post
    Hasn't it occurred to you that Figaro is a farce in which the ruling classes are lampooned?
    It has occurred to me and I still find myself agreeing with many of Gallus' sentiments.

    Die Zauberflöte is not only by far my favorite Mozart opera but one of my favorite operas period, and not just for the delightful and radiantly beautiful music. I find myself connecting with this fairy tale that raises questions about the nature of life and death, about mankind's progression from nature to culture, from unreason to reason, and it's creative fusion of those opposites far more than with the content of his other operas. I think some of the commentary about the work being full of Masonic symbolism is almost certainly right, but I also think this Masonic element usually has been overemphasized. It limits the opera too severely to it's own period, and makes mere allegory out of what is a universal and profoundly true mythic statement about renewal, rebirth, and regeneration.

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  12. #38
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Last edited by Larkenfield; May-19-2018 at 01:16.
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  13. #39
    Member Gallus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faustian View Post
    It has occurred to me and I still find myself agreeing with many of Gallus' sentiments.

    Die Zauberflöte is not only by far my favorite Mozart opera but one of my favorite operas period, and not just for the delightful and radiantly beautiful music. I find myself connecting with this fairy tale that raises questions about the nature of life and death, about mankind's progression from nature to culture, from unreason to reason, and it's creative fusion of those opposites far more than with the content of his other operas. I think some of the commentary about the work being full of Masonic symbolism is almost certainly right, but I also think this Masonic element usually has been overemphasized. It limits the opera too severely to it's own period, and makes mere allegory out of what is a universal and profoundly true mythic statement about renewal, rebirth, and regeneration.
    I see the Magic Flute as the apotheosis of the Enlightenment and all that entails (including Freemasonry), the opera is almost a literal staging of Kant's famous line about "man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity".
    Last edited by Gallus; May-18-2018 at 23:11.

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  15. #40
    Senior Member Faustian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gallus View Post
    I see the Magic Flute as the apotheosis of the Enlightenment and all that entails (including Freemasonry), the opera is almost a literal staging of Kant's famous line about "man's emergence from his self-incurred immaturity".
    That's an excellent way of putting it, and on one level I do believe it absolutely is. But at the same time it is so much more. I also see many of those archetypes present in the work that would later be defined by Jung: Tamino is the archetypal male hero, befriending his "opposite" in Papageno, encountering the "anima" in the Queen (who has the dragon slayed for him and and then expects him to free her daughter from distress), discovering the "Wise Old Man" in Sarastro, integrating the experiences by passing with his princess through fire (the archetypal male symbol) and water (the archetypal female symbol) and finally finding the completion of his "Self" in the sevenfold circle at the end.

    Or you can look at all this mythologizing on a more personal level: Pamina is a child maturing. Before birth, the child and mother are one, and after birth a process of spiritual separation begins and the child finds other relationships, primarily with a new commanding figure in the father. Psychologists distinguish between mother and father principles. The mother, physical source of being, is nature while the father is culture, discipline and law. The mother's love is protective and unconditional, the father's is won through obedience. Seen in this way, the Queen of the Night is not evil, however she may appear to some characters on stage, and Sarastro is not simply a personification of good. They are personifications of ambivalent forces, and Sarastro's kingdom does not so much oppose the Queen's as compliment it. Remember, the power of the Queen's intuitive gifts of the flute and bells still work in Sarastro's land of reason.

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  17. #41
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faustian View Post
    That's an excellent way of putting it, and on one level I do believe it absolutely is. But at the same time it is so much more. I also see many of those archetypes present in the work that would later be defined by Jung: Tamino is the archetypal male hero, befriending his "opposite" in Papageno, encountering the "anima" in the Queen (who has the dragon slayed for him and and then expects him to free her daughter from distress), discovering the "Wise Old Man" in Sarastro, integrating the experiences by passing with his princess through fire (the archetypal male symbol) and water (the archetypal female symbol) and finally finding the completion of his "Self" in the sevenfold circle at the end.

    Or you can look at all this mythologizing on a more personal level: Pamina is a child maturing. Before birth, the child and mother are one, and after birth a process of spiritual separation begins and the child finds other relationships, primarily with a new commanding figure in the father. Psychologists distinguish between mother and father principles. The mother, physical source of being, is nature while the father is culture, discipline and law. The mother's love is protective and unconditional, the father's is won through obedience. Seen in this way, the Queen of the Night is not evil, however she may appear to some characters on stage, and Sarastro is not simply a personification of good. They are personifications of ambivalent forces, and Sarastro's kingdom does not so much oppose the Queen's as compliment it. Remember, the power of the Queen's intuitive gifts of the flute and bells still work in Sarastro's land of reason.
    You've made explicit here the meaning of feelings I've had about Zauberflote but have never worked out in my own mind. I might attribute my failure to do so to the fact that I've spent little time with the opera since my early infatuation with it many years ago. Back then I was busy discovering some of these same archetypes in Wagner, and reading what you've said here brings home the remarkable resemblances between Tamino's hero's journey and that of Siegfried-Parsifal in Wagner's pentalogy. Tamino's trials, of course, are a gentle, comedic Enlightenment version of the treachery, temptation, pain and literal death Wagner's twice-incarnated hero must undergo to renew the Spear and Grail's sacred marriage.

    I'm more grateful to you for this characteristically concise exegesis than I can tell you. Now it remains for one of us, or someone, to draw out all the parallels between these profound masterworks. I suspect it's been done, don't you?

  18. #42
    Senior Member Sieglinde's Avatar
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    The real mystery of Il trovatore, in 90% of performances I have seen, is "why the HELL would Leonora pick the tenor".


    For stupidest plot, it's probably Ernani. How Genre Blind IS that guy?


    And then there's Iris. Just reading the synopsis made me facepalm.

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