Monday, February 16, 2009

Methadone Lescaut

If today is Monday, we must be talking about music. Because it's "Music Monday."

Opera is a surprisingly robust art form. While Fosco is certainly a fan of the traditional repertoire (especially the Germans), he does appreciate contemporary opera--especially the ways in which composers have relied upon both recent history and cinema as sources of inspiration. And while Nixon in China is hardly Parsifal, there is clearly something vital in the exploration of our own cultural myths and tragedies.

Sadly, due to the financial crisis (among other things), two very promising contemporary operas have recently been shelved: Philip Glass's bio-pera of Walt Disney and the Charles Wuorinen-composed Brokeback Mountain opera ("I just can't quit you"). However, there remains one bright spot for contemporary opera: here comes the story of Anna Nicole Smith!

Commissioned by Britain's Royal Opera, the opera:

will have music by respected British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage. The libretto is by Richard Thomas, co-creator of "Jerry Springer: The Opera," an earlier merger of highbrow and lowbrow culture. It is due to run in the Royal Opera's 2011 season.
Now Mark-Anthony Turnage is a very serious composer (Fosco adores Three Screaming Popes) and the Royal Opera is a very serious company, so we must conclude that, as trashy as all this sounds, this will be a very serious opera.

And yet, if you've ever watched this clip of Kathy Griffin discussing her "Hollywood Squares" encounter with Anna Nicole, you will have to wonder about the wisdom of a (non-comic) opera (btw, this is Fosco's favorite Kathy Griffin "bit" ever).

The other important thing to learn from the above clip is that a Little Richard opera entitled "Whoo Dat Dawg?" would be mightily entertaining...

But, whether this opera ever makes it off the ground, I think the question we need to be considering is "who next?" Personally, I would love to watch a Lindsay Lohan opera. Think about it--we already have a pretty decent three-act structure:
  • Act I: Lindsay as promising child star.
  • Act II: Lindsay as the crotch-displaying party girl who squanders her early promise.
  • Act III: Lindsay is redeemed through the love of a good woman.
(No, this is not a tragedy. Fosco prefers his operas, like his massages, to have happy endings.)

If necessary, Fosco will write the libretto himself (although he would rather just sit back as an "assistant producer" on the project). As for the composer, I have a pretty good idea... Do you think John Mackey would be willing to add Fire-Crotch: The Opera to his oeuvre?


Anonymous said...

Whoohooo! If anybody goes to see Fire-Crotch, can you get me a t-shirt? It's personal...

The BeeMaster

Word verification - raters:
A team so bad its fans have taken to wearing TWO eye patches.

(Actually, I messed up my first post and had to do it again. The new word verification is: outiouti. Have at it.)

Jill said...

This was funny! You made me laugh out loud. Kathy's great too.

FOSCO said...

I don't know what outiouti means, but I am going to start saying it when I leave the room: "Outiouti."