> Re. Gabriel Kuper's question:
> The original was the Lady Novelist. There has been much discussion of various
> rewritings of Ko-Ko's List song (MIKADO, Act I) on SavoyNet recently. It is
> generally accepted that topical references may be written into both this and
> Mikado's song "My object all sublime..." in Act II. Gilbert himself did so.
Since most of you probably don't know this, there's a similar
tradition in Germany, in Milloecker's Bettelstudent. Ollendorf's
Act 2 aria, about corruption (in poltitics and elsewhere) originally
had about 20 verses (annoyingly, the Reclam edition omits most of them,
on the ground that modern readers wouldn't get them--I'd like to
at least be able to see them for myself).
The traditional way it's performed, is that only the first few verses
of the original are performed. Then, after applause, he comes back several
times for an "encore" on topical subjects. At the Gaertnerplatz
it is made very topical (Ollendorf has them written on a piece of paper.
For all I know they may be different at each performance)--the last time
I saw it, they were about French nuclear testing, and internal SPD politics.
(If I went regularly, I could start up all these political arguments that
are not allowed here, and claim they are all opera related...)