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Subject: Re: Who said it ?????????
From: Mickie Southam <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Mickie Southam <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 20 Aug 1998 15:05:48 -0400

text/plain (146 lines)

After receiving several plaintive pleas from list members, I have done a
tiny bit of editing, and send these offerings to the list exactly as they
came to me.  I really wasn't being lazy, everyone,  but I have just started
a new job running a residence for senior citizens, and you just wouldn't
believe how those elderly folks wear me out !!!!!!!

From: Kenneth Wolman <[log in to unmask]>

At 04:35 PM 8/18/98 -0400, you wrote:
>To the List which has never let me down,
>Who was responsible for the quote "Longer than Parsifal, but not nearly as
>funny", and to what was he/she referring?   I would check the archives, but
>I am not sure I have the exact quote, and shudder to think of how many
>references to Parsifal I would turn up.

I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but it's related:

When _Camelot_ opened in Toronto in 1960 or '61 before moving to New York,
some Toronto critic said it was "Like Parsifal without the jokes."

From: Clifford Stevens <[log in to unmask]>

The story, as I heard it told to me, was that during a performance of
PELLEAS AND MELISANDE Rudolph Bing was heard to remark that it seemed
longer than GOTTERDAMERUNG and not as many laughs.


From: Jon Alan Conrad <[log in to unmask]>

I keep hearing different identifications of *who* said it, but it's almost
always a mini-review of the musical CAMELOT in 1960 (usually during its
out-of-town tryout).


From: [log in to unmask]

     Noel Coward, about the musical "Camelot"

From: Paul Pelkonen <[log in to unmask]>

I think it was Pfitzner's "Palestrina"--which is not longer but has been
described as "Parsifal without the jokes."


From: [log in to unmask]

Dear Mickie,
One of the times that a line like that was used was in the movie ONCE MORE
WITH FEELING (Yul Brynner as a Stokowski/Solti-esque conductor, Kay Kendall).
Gregory Ratoff played an agent who was trying to describe a really boring
concert and he said that (the line) about it.
Yours in Seattle,
Paul Gudas

From: Nick Perovich <[log in to unmask]>

I have heard the amusing dismissal of Pfitzner's PALESTRINA: "PARSIFAL
without the jokes."  Could this be what you're thinking of?  (Although it
seems to be a well-known quotation, I'm not sure where it comes from.)

Nick Perovich


From: David Hoffman <[log in to unmask]>

It's my definition of Cosi Fan Tutte.....

David Hoffman


From: "Madeline L. Millard" <[log in to unmask]>

It seems I recall George Bernard Shaw having said something similar. He
was an opera critic and, of course, his caustic wit is legendary.

I hope you post the answer when you find it.



From: "Andrew Cooper" <[log in to unmask]>

Do you mean "which well-known person ...?"  If so, I can't help.  If
you mean "which opera-l'er...?", then maybe it's me - I wrote:

"I started glancing surreptitiously at my watch ... 40 minutes to go
...didn't someone call this "Parsifal without the jokes"? ... sounds
more like Strauss without the tunes"

of Act 1 of Pfitzner's PALESTRINA at the Royal opera House last year
- see my Web pages (URL below)


From: [log in to unmask]

Hi Mickie,

I have it from a very good source that the quote is by Noel Coward at the
intermission of the opening of CAMELOT on Broadway.

The way I had heard it is that Mr. Coward said "My God, it's as long as
PARSIFAL, but without the jokes!"

Fond regards, list readers!

Ray Dooley


From: Houston Maples <[log in to unmask]>

I've always heard this attributed to Rudolph Bing, but it was Gotterdammerung.
Bing was asked why he did not give Pelleas et Melisande, to which he
riposted,  "Its longer than Gotterdammerung and not as funny."

But opera anecdotes have a way of attaching themselves to different people.
 I know I've seen the Lohengrin story, "When is the next swan?" attributed
to Melchior, although it was first told about Slezak.

Houston Maples

From: James Bodge <[log in to unmask]>

I always heard it was Rudolf Bing referring to PELLEAS ET MELISANDE.  He
was of course kidding, because most people would know PELLEAS isn't nearly
as long as PARSIFAL.  Even with Jimmy conducting.
Cheers from Boston:  Jim

You really are a fantastic group, and again I thank you for taking the time
and the trouble to answer my trivial question

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