I thought I had posted this earlier, but apparently not. Maybe some electronic glitch got in the way, since I can't see any reason why the authorities would object to it.
Anyway, I was wondering a bit about the Guglielmo (or "Guilielmo")-Dorabella duet. A lovely duet. I was wondering what Guglielmo was up to: is he merely following Alfonso's orders, going through the motions (as Don Alfonso himself does in singing the lovely "Soave sia il vento" one minute and laughing sarcastically at the women the next)? Or is he perhaps being carried along by the role he is playing (all the while expressing sympathy with Ferrando in asides). This duet is IMO even more ambiguous than the corresponding baritone-soprano duets in Figaro ("Perche, crudel, finora") and DG ("La ci d.," natch), and perhaps Zauberfloete ("Bei Maennern").
I was also thinking last week about the plot in general -- which has historically been maligned as "artificial" -- I myself did so in a post to Standing Room, but afterwards had second thoughts. A lot of the story has to do with viewing from a different perspective people you think you know and love. The opera poses the question: how would the ladies relate to their lovers if the latter suddenly became strangers? Is that not what the disguise business is all about? Looking at the lovers from a different perspective, the ladies have to ask whether they really know them. Likewise, Guglielmo and Ferrando are asked to see their sweethearts under a different aspect. In other words -- forgive the jargon -- how does a mutual change in perspective affect the relations between the self and the other?
Don Operatico, baritono quasi cantante
Catholic University of America
E l'universo intero
mi parve un riso allor!
"And the entire universe
seemed to smile upon me then!"
(Corrado, Maria de Rudenz)
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