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Subject: Re: Plot failures (was perfect operas)
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Fri, 10 Aug 2018 10:21:46 -0400
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Oh, sweet Jesus. Poor health has prevented me from writing here much of late, 
but not even being 1/2 paralyzed can keep me from groaning one last time about 
people complaining about operatic plots and story lines.  If you find them far 
fetched, unbelievable, etc. that's YO/UR problem.  Clearly geniuses such as 
Donizetti, Verdi, Mozart, et al. were able to see not only past any perceived 
deficiencies but create worlds which they believed in and graciously invite us to 
enter into with them and ESCAPE FROM REALITY.  

Applying ones own logic into just about any opera is missing the point. To 
question, say, Leonora's logic or motives with "Well, I'd never have done that" is 
useless, and makes little senseI, ultimately serving as nothing more than a battier 
between you and the composer.  I find such complaints the equivalent of having 
the greatest chef prepare his greatest delicacy for you, while you complain about 
the china.  This is not only insane, but, unless you're a teenage noble woman in 
fictional 15th Century Spain, your input into her behavior is ultimately irrelevant.  

It is amazing to me that we can accept fantasy and all manner of super hero and 
sci-fi scenarios today in our cinema features far more readily than we can tales of 
gypsies and curses, not so far removed from our own era. 

Cammarano, who began Trovatore's  libretto, was one of the most respected 
librettists of his time.  He was struck by Gutierrez’s early 19th century play, El 
trovador, viewed by critics and public alike  as a revelation and which enjoyed 
wild success in its day.  It's still considered among the first and greatest of 
“modern” works commentating upon the corrupt irrationality of rival political and 
social factions seeking dominance and complete control of their world.  Still pretty 
relevant stuff today. To up the dramatic ante, it's also a harsh commentary upon 
the blind rage vendettas that needlessly took so many lives for centuries.  Again, 
there is much relevant to the world we presently find ourselves in.
 
It's too easy to look at things at surface level and make fun of them.  Opera, 
however,  frequently demands more of us, makes us look beneath that surface 
serving, below "skin level" which is but one of the complexities that makes it 
unique and an all consuming art form for so many of us. Far from being a silly 
opera, Trovatore is an enthralling, timeless  masterpiece - one of Verdi's greatest 
achievements and a work that, despite being wrongfully maligned (though 
sometimes skewered brilliantly with thought and love) has passed the test of time 
and can provide one hell of a Night at The Opera!

p.

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