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Subject: Newly Discovered Strauss Opera: It's Delicious!
From: "paolo (G. P. Padillo)" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:paolo (G. P. Padillo)
Date:Fri, 5 Dec 2008 11:35:39 -0500

text/plain (97 lines)

Newly Discovered Opera By Strauss Pronounced Delicious!  
by J.P. Donnegan
International Musicologist Review Daily
5 December 2008

For over a week the hushed air of top secrecy has surrounded the 
authentication process following the discovery of an opera previously alleged 
to have been composed by the great German composer Richard Strauss.  The 
opera, a romantic comedy, has long thought to have been destroyed by 
Strauss himself in the 1940’s with debate among some leading musicologists 
who’ve alleged the work had not been written by Strauss at all, and others 
alleging no such work ever existed.  

Musicologists Dreyfus Bertrand and Joan Kaye Hershey-Calliope headed an 
international team summoned to verify and authenticate the work, the 
autograph of which was discovered just over a year ago in the basement of 
the Internationale Jugendbibliothek München.  Following a year of extensive 
examination, the process is now complete and the official announcement is:  
There is indeed a new opera by Richard Strauss waiting to do be discovered by 

The work in question is in a single act, with a prologue.  The opera is 
titled “Carpaccio.”  Carpaccio, centers around Marie Therese 
Ariadnedaphnebella (“Madeline”), widow of a wealthy Venetian restaurateur 
who raises the eternal question:  which element of a dinner engagement is 
more important; the appetizer/cocktail hour, or the dinner proper?  Madeline’s 
dilemma is made all the more deliciously difficult by her two suitors, rivals for 
her hand.  First, is Hermann Bacchus, a local purveyor of international wines 
and cheeses, world renowned for his dazzling miniature creations combing 
exotic meats, seafood and vegetables encased in pastries or enrobed in 
cheeses, pierced through their hearts and fastened together by means of 
miniature swords bearing the fanciest of ribbon flourishes.  His most dazzling 
creation, however, is his simplest:  Raw beef, sliced so thin it’s practically 
diaphanous . . . . transparent, dressed with but a drizzle of olive oil, lemon 
juice and a gentle sprinkling of his beloved Parma Reggiano.  Such simplicity, is 
balked at by the servants, and houseguests but Madeline’s eyes moisten as 
Hermann’s meat is presented delicately before her.

Madeline’s second suitor, Hans Jäger, is a handsome local whose game hunting 
abilities are legendary, capable of field dressing a wild boar in the blink of an 
eye and, within the hour, have it roasting upon a spit its fragrance wafting 
through the village, watering mouths and moistening eyes. Jäger extols the 
virtues of his roasts, hearty and succulent and accompanied by soufflés of 
such height and delicacy they all but lift themselves from the table on 
invisible, fragrant clouds.  

All are entranced as each hero sings his own praises, as a panel at the rear of 
the stage rises, revealing an actual working kitchen, dozens of cooks, busily 
and dizzily frantically putting together that evening’s meal, a celebration of 
epic proportions wherein Madeline will announce her decision as to which 
element is most important . . . and which hero she will become bride to.  

Complications arise with the unexpected arrival of a young pastry chef from 
the French countryside, one Renè Mignon, who appears in the kitchen, 
shutters himself behind a screen where rapidly he whips eggs into a frenzy, 
grinds almonds into flour, assembles butter, sugar, adding shavings from 
enormous blocks of 86 percent cacao chocolate simmering in cream, adding a 
final touch of a wild and strange orange liqueur; quel mysterieux!  With the 
deft hand of an artiste, Mignon blends all into a creation of such delicious 
breadth and velvety depth that Madeline is rendered incapable of preventing a 
certain biological response she’d hitherto rarely known.  Elated, she bursts into 
a rapturous ode, as, mouthful after mouthful, she extols the glories of the 
virtuous young Mignon.  

All assemble for her decision, Madeline checks her watch and notes the 
passing of time.  Gazing into her mirror to adjust her coiffure she announces 
her choice:   young Master Mignon, who has captured her heart.  

Bacchus and Jäger, call it a day and depart for an evening at Harry’s Bar for a 
Bellini and some . . . Carpaccio. 


* * * * 

Naturally, with a discovery of such magnitude, bidding wars for the world 
premiere were received from a dozen international houses but a random 
drawing reveals the work will be a co-production between the 2010 
Glyndebourne Festival and the Miami/Dade County Community Civic 
Orchestra/Light Opera Association and Gilbert and Sullivan Society. 


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