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Subject: Re: French Nineteenth Century Opera Rarities Set in Floods that have Cast Members who are Opera Singers?
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 1 Sep 2017 15:16:57 -0400

text/plain (122 lines)

If we go back to 17th century England, we do get this gem of a lyric in Dido And Aeneas:

"Thus on the fatal Banks of Nile,
Weeps the deceitful crocodile."

But also, there's an early draft of Un Ballo In Maschera where Renato considers killing his 
former best friend by throwing him to the alligators - (and perhaps to cry some "alligator 
tears??") - hence this lead-in to "Eri Tu":

"Non è su lei, nel suo 
Fragile petto che colpir degg'io. 
Altro, ben altro sangue a terger dèssi 
L'offesa! . . . 
Il sangue tuo! 
E lo trarrà il pugnale 
Dallo sleal tuo core, 
Delle lagrime mie,


On Fri, 1 Sep 2017 19:35:51 +0200, David Geary <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Charlie Handelman has a bootleg tapeof the performance.
>What wikipedia doesn't mention is that the alligator had an upset
>stomach, caused by listening to Occhipinti's music all evening, and
>vomited the prompter up . The prompter survived, but vowed never to go
>near a theater again, and went into a monastery.
>  David
>> "Il aligatore nel diluvio universale," by Michelangelo Occhipinti.
>> Premiered at La Scala in
>> 1847, survived for only one performance.  Cast:
>> Noe - Giuseppe Grischio
>> Sposa di Noe - Angela Bruttina
>> Hammo - Alfredo Nerofaccio
>> Shemmo - Carlo Topolino
>> Giapetto - Piero Pierpotolico
>> Jehova - Luigi Lablache
>> Aligatore - Se Stesso
>> Conductor - Ungello Fischiabene
>> From Wikipedia:
>> "Il aligatore nel diluvio universale" was one of the most notorious
>> fiascos in La Scala history.
>> The audience was not pleased with the opera, and the whole performance
>> was hissed and
>> jeered.  The overture was met with a shout of, "Che sbaglia!," and Angela
>> Bruttina was so
>> abused by the gallery that she fled the stage in tears and could only be
>> persuaded to
>> continue with a promise of a nice dinner afterwards at Milan's best
>> restaurant.  Lablache, in
>> a letter to a friend, said that he was thankful that he remained offstage
>> the entire time and
>> he refused to appear before the curtain, although his solo, "Il mondo e
>> screwed," was the
>> only piece that met with applause.  None of the elaborate scenic effects
>> worked.  The
>> specially-installed system of pipes for the flood malfunctioned and at
>> one rehearsal flooded
>> the orchestra pit, drowning a clarinetist.  The management had, at
>> considerable expense,
>> imported a real alligator from the United States and its appearance at
>> the conclusion of the
>> flood was greatly anticipated.  Unfortunately, it escaped from its leash
>> and ate the prompter,
>> which inspired much hilarity in the gallery and the greatest applause of
>> the evening.
>> After the performance there was a riot in the theater, and the composer,
>> Occhipinti, had to
>> flee the premises through an underground tunnel to the hotel across the
>> street.  A large and
>> unruly crowd remained under his hotel windows throughout the night,
>> shouting catcalls and
>> obscenities.  Occhipinti was so traumatized by the experience that he
>> suffered a breakdown
>> from which he never recovered.  He blamed the alligator for the fiasco
>> and maintained to
>> the end of his life that he should have used a python.
>> No trace remains of the music or the libretto, as the score and all
>> orchestral and vocal parts
>> were burned by the La Scala management.  Verdi attended the dress
>> rehearsal and said,
>> some years afterwards, "Questa fu propria brutta."
>> MDW
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