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As I mentioned yesterday, Francesco Rosi’s 1984 film of Bizet’s opera Carmen is likely the best way to give opera a try. It is a good movie qua movie, and Carmen of course has some of the catchiest songs among all operas. Carmen is more like an American musical than most operas, where, frustratingly, the best hook is only used once, maybe twice in an aria. In Carmen, however, the good tunes are pounded on, over and over:

And:

It’s kind of like Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Evita, which only has 1.5 good songs, but keeps banging away at “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” so it’s satisfactory.

Placido Domingo has the Fred MacMurray role in Carmen as the sap who doesn’t get any of the contenders for greatest song of the 19th century, but still gets some pretty good arias

Carmen is a French opera about Spain. Is there a word equivalent to Edward Said’s term “Orientalism” about how northern Europeans like Bizet thought about southern Europeans?

By the way, my idea for how to improve Evita is this: Weber and Rice’s big idea for the story of Juan and Evita Peron is to interject the Argentine leftist radical Che Guevara (Mandy Patinkin in the Broadway debut, Antonio Banderas in Madonna’s film version) as an on-stage commentator. But not all of Weber and Rice’s critique of the Perons’ centrist populism comes from the left. So Che ends up making conservative critiques of the Perons as well, which dilutes his impact. Moreover, this downplays Argentina’s tragic dilemma between left and right that empowered the Perons’ centrism.

20th Century Argentina was not a terribly competent society at solving its problems, but it was a highly talented society, which makes its tragedies even more tragic.

So, my idea for fixing Evita is to divide Che’s role into two: feature two critics of the Perons: Che as the young leftist, and a blind sage, Jorge Luis Borges, as the old rightist.

 
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  1. Kylie says:

    Carmen definitely has some of the catchiest songs among all operas. I don’t think they could have done this with, say, Das Rheingold:

    • LOL: Jim Christian
    • Replies: @Anonymous
  2. Anon[213] • Disclaimer says:

    I like classical orchestral concerts, and the occasional chorus as in Beethoven’s 9th, an annual tradition at Christmas in Japan, is nice.

    But opera seems like the story and goings-on would be too hard to follow because of the language difference, and I don’t want to have to study before my entertainment.

    That time that Ralph Fiennes took a Shakespeare year off to tour with his version of Coriolanus and Cymbeline I attended both in Tokyo, and I kept looking around at the Japanese audience wondering what they were thinking. I admit that in that case even I did a little homework in the form of reading the plays ahead of time. It must have been completely incomprehensible to audience members with no English ability.

    • Replies: @Laurence Whelk
    , @Dube
  3. Good idea. Maybe Nicólas Gómez Dávila would be an even better impersonation of the conservative latin American voice – because he is more political, than Borges was. Plus: Gavila is explicitly on the side of – reality, if that sounds interesting here.

    Gavila impressed rather conservative German playwright Botho Strauß and his leftist counterpart Heiner Müller (Müller being a leftist cynic and very much a reality-man, with a knack for down to earth conservatives as – Davila and Ernst Jünger and Carl Schmitt.

    Ah – opera-fan and conservative & witty blogger Michael Klonovsky (his blog is called acta diurna – a German compendium if ever there was one) loves Davila and quotes him regularly.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicol%C3%A1s_G%C3%B3mez_D%C3%A1vila

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  4. Carmen is a French opera about Spain.

    Carmen is a French opera about Seville.

    The Barber of Seville is an Italian opera about Seville.
    The Marriage of Figaro is an Austrian opera about Seville.
    Fidelio is a German opera about Seville.
    The Duenna is an English opera about Seville.
    Betrothal in a Monastery is a Russian opera about Seville.
    El Barbero de Sevilla is a Spanish operetta about Seville.
    The Alvin Show is an Armenian-American operetta about David Seville.

    Where are the Czechs?

    https://atdspain.com/en/news/why-do-so-many-operas-choose-seville-background
    https://www.quora.com/Which-opera-is-set-in-Seville-in-Spain
    https://www.spain.info/en_US/reportajes/sevilla_ciudad_de_opera.html

    There are claimed to be 153 operas set in or inspired by Seville:

    https://www.terratraditionsconsulting.com/the-explorador/traditions-culture/seville-and-the-opera/

    Seville didn’t get her own opera house until 1991:

    https://www.nytimes.com/1991/05/13/arts/seville-long-a-plot-backdrop-now-gets-its-own-opera-house.html

    • Replies: @slumber_j
    , @dvorak
    , @Agathoklis
  5. Old Prude says:

    How many other operas have generated spoof songs. Toreadora Don’t Spit on the Floora, and Why Do Babies Cry Out So Much (They want Thier Boogie with a Carmen Touch). The overtures to Barber of Seville and William Tell are the only pieces of opera that compete with Carmen in the awareness of the masses

  6. The three best gateways to opera:

    1. Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd – The Barber of Seville
    2. The Marx Brothers’ A Night at the Opera – Il Trovatore
    3. Benny Hill – Carmen

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
    , @SFG
  7. Busby says:

    You need some STP.

  8. theMann says:

    The first rule of introducing anybody to Opera is not to wear them out. Succinctly put:

    I have a German speaking friend who actually sat through the entire Ring cycle once when he was younger, in part to build his language skills, and he admitted he was exhausted by the experience. And I have sat through some pretty screechy Russian Opera for the same reason. Of course, some of it is really interesting:

    In any case, DON’T WEAR PEOPLE OUT. Keep it to two act Operas that are fun to watch. Die Fledermaus is the best introduction, especially if you have audience sing alongs. Die Zauberflote, Cosi Fan Tutti, and then maybe Otello are all reasonable works for the new listener. As much as I like Carmen, Don Giovanni, Aida, many other Operas, the days when I would sit through a live performance of four acts of anything are long gone.

    If you check the Fathom Events calendar, the Met has both live and Encore performances that might be playing at your local theater. Unfortunately, their schedule this year is somewhere between crap and mega-crap, but it is a cheap way to listen. And since you will likely be the only person in the theater, you can get up to take a whizz without disturbing anybody.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Vinteuil
    , @Alden
  9. Your suggestion of Borges as the commentator is brilliant.

  10. Ano says:

    I fuzzily remember my music teacher once pointing out how French classical composers, when their music started growing tired out and stale, often turned to Spain, as a conveniently nearby source of exoticism and otherness, for a musical shot in the arm.

    Camille Saint-Saens’ Rondo Capriccioso comes to mind. (Orientalism in piano concerto No.5)

  11. njguy73 says:

    Nobody gives a crap if one group of Whites appropriates from another group of Whites.

  12. JAhd says:

    Opera is racist.

    • LOL: BB753
    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
  13. slumber_j says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Seville didn’t get her own opera house until 1991

    And it’s pretty great–right down the street from the bullring, and as far as I can tell named after it.

    From Steve Sailer’s original post:

    As I mentioned yesterday, Francesco Rosi’s 1984 film of Bizet’s opera Carmen is likely the best way to give opera a try.

    Or you could just watch The Bad News Bears. Also useful if you want to know what it was like to play Little League baseball in the 1970s: it felt like a documentary to me.

    There are claimed to be 153 operas set in or inspired by Seville

    As I used to say when I lived there for like six years, there’s a reason for that: it’s a small and absurdly picturesque city, in which the fancy people are all interrelated and tend to loathe and envy one another pretty openly, when they aren’t screwing each others’ spouses. Or, come to think of it, maybe especially when they are…

    I owned a couple of bookstores there opposite one of the main buildings of the University of Seville. It’s the old Fábrica de Tabacos where Carmen was employed, and my workplace was directly across the street from the main gate, where the first scene in the opera is set. The whole thing was ridiculous.

    • Replies: @Lot
    , @Buzz Mohawk
    , @obwandiyag
  14. Anonymous[648] • Disclaimer says:

    In Stover at Yale (page 327), Brockhurst lampoons the easy opera:

    “”First, music: I won’t ask you the tendencies and theories of the modern schools—you won’t know that such a thing as a theory in music exists. You know the opera of Carmen—good old Toreadore song. Do you know the name of the composer? One hand—Bob Story. Do you know the history of its reception? Do you know the sources of it? Do you know what Bach’s influence was in the development of music? Did you ever hear of Leoncavallo, Verdi, or that there is such a thing as a Russian composer? Absolute silence. You have a hazy knowledge of Wagner, and you know that Chopin wrote a funeral march. That is your foothold in music; there you balance, surrounded by howling waters of ignorance.”

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/46674/46674-h/46674-h.htm

  15. The British have always tended to group the French, Italians, Spaniards, and Portuguese together as Latins, at least until Edwardian times. They certainly don’t think of Gallic types as Northern European.

    But how do the French view other Romance language speaking peoples? As more akin to themselves than the Dutch or the English? Or less?

    • Agree: BB753
  16. France is not Northern Europe! It is less Southern than Portugal/Spain/Italy/Greece, so it is more honest, less corrupt, less nepotistic, and more competent — but it is not even close to Northern European standards.

    France also has a Southern European-style labour market: it is rigid and it’s very hard to fire people, which makes companies very reluctant to hire people. It is, however, not as crazy rigid as, say, Spain. Like the other Southern European countries, it has a split labour market with people who are safe and can’t be fired and other people (primarily young) who find it very hard to get into the labour market. Many of them have to turn themselves into one-person companies and work as “consultants” with much, much fewer rights than the people in the regular labour market.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  17. Jesus Christ Superstar was the one great rock opera. I never liked “Don’t Cry For Me”, but “One Night in Bangkok” from Chess (lyrics by Tim Rice, music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of Abba) is a terrific song. With rhymes like would a/Buddha, Tim Rice is a rhymester after my own heart.

  18. Evita only has 1.5 good songs?

    Wow. De gustibus non est disputandum.

  19. Anonymous[648] • Disclaimer says:

    Montesquieu wrote extensively about tendencies of north or south Europeans.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montesquieu#Meteorological_climate_theory

    I remember hearing a lecture by Phil Parker mentioning several of these observations and suggesting they were still worthwhile for US-based marketers to understand when thinking about how different countries might like their products.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_M._Parker

  20. PSR says: • Website

    Carmen is soooo long though. For first timers to opera I would recommend La Boheme. A classic 1996 performance featuring Mirela Freni and Pavarotti is available on YouTube.

  21. BB753 says:

    The French think of themselves as a race of their own, much like Englishmen do or used to do.
    In reality, with France being right in the middle of Western Europe, it is a blend of both South and North Western Europe.

    • Replies: @Simply Simon
  22. Anonymous[648] • Disclaimer says:
    @PiltdownMan

    The French see themselves as halfway between the Latins and the Germanic peoples. Which is basically correct in terms of ethnicity, language, and cultural traits. It’s what an outside observer would think also. (At least me.)

  23. syonredux says:

    Steve:

    As I mentioned yesterday, Francesco Rosi’s 1984 film of Bizet’s opera Carmen is likely the best way to give opera a try.

    Dunno. When I was in my teens, the only operas that I and my D&D-playing friends had time for were Wagner’s:

    Piltdown Man

    The British have always tended to group the French, Italians, Spaniards, and Portuguese together as Latins, at least until Edwardian times. They certainly don’t think of Gallic types as Northern European.

    On the other hand, Taleb doesn’t count the French as being part of the Mediterranean world…..

    But how do the French view other Romance language speaking peoples? As more akin to themselves than the Dutch or the English? Or less?

    Well, there is this quote from De Gaulle on the subject of immigration to France:

    In terms of ethnicity, it is appropriate to limit the arrival of Mediterraneans and Orientals who have since a half-century profoundly changed the composition of the French population. Without going so far as the United States by using a rigid system of quotas, it is desirable that the priority be given to Nordic naturalizations (Belgians, Luxembourgers, Swiss, Dutch, Danish, Germans). One could consider a proportion of 50% for this element.

  24. ” Is there a word … about how northern Europeans like Bizet thought about southern Europeans?” Once upon a time there was here in America (and it will help you always remember which chowder is which).

    The upper classes in Boston and New England generally used to refer to people and things that were swarthy, Mediterranean, and not quite us as “Manhattan” (used as an adjective). So, when Portuguese, et al., immigrants started making chowders that were tomato-based, they were (originally derisively) referred to as Manhattan chowder and the name stuck.

  25. Carmen of course has some of the catchiest songs among all operas

    The Simpsons agree. Of course, I am uncultured enough that, much like Jerry Seinfeld, I know everything I know about opera from watching Bugs Bunny.

  26. Anon 2 says:

    (1) I just became aware that there is a movie review website, called
    pluggedin.com, you will never see mentioned in the mainstream
    media. Reason? pluggedin.com reviews movies, videos, TV episodes,
    songs, and even games from what appears to be a Christian perspective.
    For example, the review of “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” describes
    in minute detail the sex content (e.g., what exactly Pussycat is wearing and
    what precisely she is doing to seduce Brad Pitt, what the hippie girls are
    wearing, etc), violence content, drug content, spiritual content, etc.
    I think the website will be of interest to many conservatives, especially
    the parents.

    (2) As I recall, a couple of years ago imdb. com eliminated viewer reviews
    of actors and actresses, leaving a huge void which was filled by a new
    movie review website where you could critique actors but I don’t remember
    what it was called and whether it still exists.

  27. Johnny789 says:

    People always look at me funny when I tell them that Evita is one of my favorite all time movies. I like that there’s only one critic from both sides. Isn’t that how most people think? Isn’t it frustrating for people to have to support everything someone says about something? Or else they’re described as being a Russian Asset?

  28. Lot says:
    @slumber_j

    “ I owned a couple of bookstores there opposite one of the main buildings of the University of Seville. ”

    Fancy meeting you here. I owned a couple Blockbuster Videos in Verona back in the 1990s.

  29. BB753 says:
    @PiltdownMan

    Here’s a good essay on the ethnic composition of France. Note that the French cluster somewhere in between Northern and Southern Europeans, with blurry outlines near bordering countries.

  30. @Lot

    Wow! That’s two of the best iSteve commenters who had their fortunes ruined by internet porn!

    • LOL: Cortes
    • Replies: @slumber_j
  31. Che Guava says:

    Steve, you are forgetting that the U.S.A. is not always the centre of the world. I would give Rice and Weber credit for the original Jesus Christ Superstar sooundtrack (I still remember the music teacher playing it to the class, I was six or seven at the time).

    Ian Gillan (as I later learned) playing Jesus was spectacular. Several others were better than the Hollywood film. Exceptions, the man who played Herod, the man who played Judas (would never be acceptable now, he was black), and the two who played Caiphas and Annaias. All of those were done well in the film.

    I recall being condemned as a fasciist by moronic western leftists for my luke-warm liking of Evita, as a joke.

    Seriously, Steve, there is not much there, and the original records from the Brit. productions will always beat the Broadway or Hollywood versions.

    Now. I will briefly go off-topic, please allow me, I will be concise.

    I was recently reading that the Jewish-empire underwear brand ‘Victoria’s Secret’ has hired its fhrst heavily overweight model.

    The article went through a litany of fashion-industry sins (I promised Steve to be concise), one of the last concerned ‘an Asian model awkwardly eating spaghetthi with chopsticks. One would presume the model in question to be not Asian, a ludicruos category, but Asian as in China and the arc around it.

    I eat pasta with chopsticks, everybody here does the same. Of course, for some types, a fork is better.

    I have never seen anyone grind a metal fork against a metal spoon.

    There is an old movie, called Tanpopo, it means dandelion, and, among other great scenes, an old lady is instructing her students how to eat pasta, Do not slurp your pasta’, then it cuts to a shot of an old, presoably intended to represent Italian man slurping his pasta.

    The director was murdered (claimed to be suicide) by mobsters, his wife never believed the terdict of suicide, the same for everyone I knew who was old enough tio having a valid opinion.

    Watch tanpopo, it is a mastterpiece.

    • Replies: @Laurence Whelk
    , @Anon
  32. Wilkey says:

    It’s kind of like Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Evita, which only has 1.5 good songs, but keeps banging away at “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” so it’s satisfactory.

    OMG. You’re dead to me. Dead to me, I tell you. And to think that I sent you money.

    I’m not sure I’ve ever even listened to the score from the stage production of “Evita” (probably not). It’s true that the versions of every song but “Don’t Cry for Me” that appear on your typical Lloyd Webber greatest hits compilations aren’t very good, but Madonna actually did a stellar job on the songs in the movie. “High Flying Adored” and “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” are terrific – Madonna’s timing and enunciation are perfect. In the stage version, iirc, “Another Suitcase” was actually for a different character, not Evita. Listen to the movie versions if you don’t believe me.

    “Oh What a Circus” and “Rainbow Tour” are also really good, as is “You Must Love Me,” a song written specifically for the movie for Oscar consideration, and which in fact did win an Oscar.

    One thing I like about making the Che character not entirely left-wing is that it allows you to fool yourself into believing that maybe he isn’t actually Che, the murderous raging Communist lunatic, but instead some other person who just happens to go by that name. I’m kidding myself, I know, but entertainment has always been about the suspension of disbelief.

    • Replies: @Richard of Melbourne
  33. @PiltdownMan

    But how do the French view other Romance language speaking peoples? As more akin to themselves than the Dutch or the English? Or less?

    France has no friends, only interests. —DeGaulle

    • Replies: @BB753
  34. It’s all in the production. The movie was more of a “traditional” production, not the trendy modern crap popular today, which puts things entirely out of context.
    There used to be VHS tapes available of good productions of Mozart’s Magic Flute which is kind even more like a Broadway musical. It’s difficult not to like something like this:

  35. Wilkey says:

    Totally OT, but Angela Merkel has announced that multiculturalism in Germany has failed. If only someone would have been around to predict it would fail. I’m sure she and her patrons and allies would have totally welcomed such advice with open minds and without any nasty allegations of racism.

    WHY DIDN’T ANYBODY TELL HER ???? !!!!

    But it’s all ok. It’s not like it was an irreversible experiment with the country’s very fate hanging in the balance. All they have to do now is return all the Turks and other Muslims to their home countries. Easy peasy, as they say.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
    , @nebulafox
  36. Wilkey says:
    @Wilkey

    My error. This article was actually from 2010 – before she let in millions of Muslim refugees. In a way That actually makes it even more potent, as it only reminds you of how blatantly full of shit most Western leaders are these days.

  37. Alfa158 says:

    And if that version of Carmen is too heavy, Benny Hill’s version is even more accessible.
    https://benny-hill.fandom.com/wiki/Carmen
    Not entirely inappropriate since Placido has now been alleged to have doing a more urbane version of Benny’s leering lecher schtick with the ladies. Who would have guessed?

  38. dvorak says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    The Alvin Show is an Armenian-American operetta about David Seville.

    😉

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  39. BB753 says:
    @syonredux

    In de Gaulle’s own words:

    “Nous sommes quand même avant tout un peuple européen de race blanche, de culture grecque et latine et de religion chrétienne.”

    “We are after all chiefly a white European people with a Greek and Latin culture and of Christian religion”
    https://arretsurinfo.ch/de-gaulle-et-lislam/

    Yet it was under de Gaulle’s watch, in between 1959 and 1969, that France was flooded by African immigration.

    Famously, one of the reasons he gave for pulling out of Algeria, as he later confided, was to prevent 10 million Algerians with French citizenship (Muslim Algerians were granted French citizenship in 1947) to storm unimpeded into France and take over the country, turning his native village of Colombey-les-Deux-Églises into Colombey-les-Deux-Mosquées in a couple of generations. Well, one could say he was only mildly successful, as in 1962, when Algeria became independent, there were already 350k Algerians living in France and nearly a million in 1969 at the end of his term. And a total of three million foreigners, half of them Europeans, mostly Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese. Then, chain migration came into place under his successors Pompidou and later Giscard.
    You can’t but feel that de Gaulle was all talk and no walk regarding the issue of immigration as in other political issues. He never delivered.
    As French laws prevents a racial survey of France, nobody knows how many Algerians and Africans in broad terms live in France, whether as citizens or legal or even illegal immigrants.
    Good job, “gaullistes”!

  40. BB753 says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Alas, de Gaulle was only interested in himself! In his delusion, he considered himself the living embodiment of France, as if he were a monarch. Remember the famous quote from Louis XIV? “L’état, c’est moi!” (I am the state!). Well, in his mind, de Gaulle’s version would be something like “La France, c’est moi!”, (I am France). Of course, under a Republic, you can’t say that though I’m sure he came to believe that silly notion along with his legion of sycophants and “gaullistes”.
    https://grammarist.com/phrase/letat-cest-moi/

    • Replies: @syonredux
  41. SFG says:

    “Is there a word equivalent to Edward Said’s term “Orientalism” about how northern Europeans like Bizet thought about southern Europeans?”

    Yup–Españolada.

    https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espa%C3%B1olada

    • LOL: BB753
  42. Mr. Anon says:

    The best 19th century Spanish music was French (Bizet, Chabrier) or Russian (Rimsky-Korsakov), just as the best 19th century Italian music was German (Mendelsohn) or Russian (Tchaikovsky). At least those two countries got back in the game with de Falla and Respighi in the early 20th century.

    • Replies: @Vinteuil
  43. Mr. Anon says:

    I’ve never much cared for Opera, but I saw the 1984 movie version of Carmen about a year after it came out and I liked it. I remember thinking at the time that the female lead (Julia Migenes,Igather) did a real good job, and that the Domingo looked too old and too fat for the role.

  44. @dvorak

    Thanks.

    But I am disappointed. Seeing the name “Dvorak”, I assumed you were going to inform us of a Czech opera set in Seville. Dvořák and Smetana preferred Slavic subjects and themes.

    One site I visited suggested that Spain and Turkey were popular settings for European operas because they were close enough to be relatable, but far enough away to not to be threatening to local mores.

  45. @Anon

    “…I don’t want to have to study before my entertainment.”

    Having lived with East Asians for a few years, my guess is the Japanese did exactly that, studied prior to attending the Shakespeare.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
  46. OFF TOPIC

    Trump trolls the Democrat Party by boosting the Green Party.

    White Core America Party will be as strong as the Green Party or more.

    A Biden or Warren Democrat Party presidential nomination will result in a huge surge of voter support for the Green Party.

    The corporate media will respond to the growth of the Green Party by pushing and publicizing White Core America to siphon votes away from the Republican Party and Trump in key Electoral College states such as Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia and many others.

    Go Go Go Green Party!

    White Core America Immigration Policy:

    IMMIGRATION MORATORIUM NOW!

    DEPORT ALL ILLEGAL ALIEN INVADERS NOW!

    ABOLISH REFUGEE OVERLOAD and the ASYLUM SEEKER SCAM NOW!

  47. @Niccolo Salo

    My wife is an immigrant.

    To some extent she learned her first English from watching Tom and Jerry cartoons, as well as other old time cartoons.

    Not long after we started dating, I took her to see Carmen. She was intrigued by how many of the songs she already knew.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
    , @Reg Cæsar
  48. Cortes says:

    Borges would be good but perhaps too highbrow.

    A better bet to spice it up might be

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Puig

    author of “Kiss of the Spiderwoman” “The Treachery of Rita Hayworth” etc. A story I heard about him (which I haven’t verified) had him go into exile after picking up an award while dressed in women’s clothing in a Theatre packed with military officers. He would give the show a little more pizazz than old JL Borges.

  49. @syonredux

    Well, De Gaulle was from the North. Marseille is a Mediterranean city if anywhere is, but, say, Lille is pretty Nordic.

    As to Steve’s question of what to call the romantic fascination with Southern Europe, perhaps “Meridonalism”?

  50. nebulafox says:
    @Wilkey

    Merkel doesn’t directly address the question of how many of the new immigrants want to assimilate to a culture that many of them view as decadent, effete, and dying, so self-absorbed that it can’t even procreate properly. However hard the German powers-that-be want to run from this question, though, it hangs in the air, thick enough that you can cut it with a knife. In a different time period with more manageable and carefully selected numbers, this might not have been a problem. But it is now.

    They also can’t run from an even uglier reality: ordinary Germans-who were never asked if they wanted this and know better than to tell the likes of the New York Times how they really feel about it all-are likely to respond to the predictable results (economic and social) of this little experiment with open borders in coming decades not with increased self-abnegation. No, there will be a very tepid and quiet, but unmistakable, willingness to consider certain ideas about ethnic identity and nationalism. Certain ideas that will drive the Usual Suspects absolutely bonkers. The Usual Suspects will respond in rather ham-handed ways which will just dig the hole deeper. Grab popcorn, folks, it’s going to be an interesting ride.

    • Agree: Wilkey
    • Replies: @Dube
  51. @Paleo Liberal

    My wife is an immigrant.

    To some extent she learned her first English from watching Tom and Jerry cartoons, as well as other old time cartoons.

    Not long after we started dating, I took her to see Carmen. She was intrigued by how many of the songs she already knew.

    My wife is an immigrant too.

    To some extent I learned my first Hungarian from talking to her, as well as other Hungarians.

    Not long after we were married, she took me to see an opera in Transylvania. I was intrigued by how much I enjoyed it, even though I hardly knew anything.

  52. @the one they call Desanex

    And Murray Head was involved with Jesus Christ Superstar!

    The Chinese tried to rip it off with: One Night in Beijing with a Chinese Opera feel but it failed, I think:

    This is much a much better song about Beijing:

  53. @Wilkey

    It’s kind of like Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Evita, which only has 1.5 good songs, but keeps banging away at “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina” so it’s satisfactory.

    But presumably the 0.5 is “Oh What a Circus”, a reworking of “Don’t Cry for Me”. It’s a rare opportunity (in pop music) to brush up on one’s Latin, albeit with ecclesiastical pronunciation rather than classical.

  54. @slumber_j

    This is the coolest comment section on the entire internet.

    • Replies: @slumber_j
  55. @Lot

    This comment section is like a great cocktail party.

    • Agree: Alden
  56. @Che Guava

    The article went through a litany of fashion-industry sins (I promised Steve to be concise), one of the last concerned ‘an Asian model awkwardly eating spaghetthi with chopsticks.

    Of course Asian girls eat noodles with chopsticks.

    • LOL: Paleo Liberal
    • Replies: @Che Guava
  57. Anon[382] • Disclaimer says:
    @Che Guava

    Chopsticks are better for spaghetti, as well as for salad, because you can place the entire mouthful back in the rear of your mouth, without anything hanging out. Also, you can pick up thing stray pieces of pasta or lettuce. Try that with s fork.

    • Agree: Che Guava
    • Replies: @Che Guava
  58. @syonredux

    Steve is talking about people like himself and Derbyshire: no natural musical abilities at all, and thus needing words and “tunes” to awaken their fitful interest.

    Wagner is precisely the one for people with musical taste and talent, and it is exactly right for you to highlight Siegfried’s Funeral March, which is, along with, say, the Ride of the Valkyries, the place where young people (I was 9) discover him. One moves on from there, and ends up, sooner or later, with the supreme genius exhibited by the Ring and Parsifal.

    Thank you for the quote from DeGaulle which reinforces my own experience of the French upper classes, which I know better than any other in Europe. They are not entirely comfortable with the fact that they are a Germanic people, but they know in the secret recesses of their souls that this is the sober truth, and one which is sometimes (as in 1940) even exhilarating, at least for some, and many more than would now admit it.

  59. Wilkey says:
    @Laurence Whelk

    Having lived with East Asians for a few years, my guess is the Japanese did exactly that, studied prior to attending the Shakespeare.

    Which is the only proper way to do it. Shakespeare is terrific, but not having to decipher 400-year-old language on the fly makes it infinitely more enjoyable.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Alden
  60. syonredux says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Thank you for the quote from DeGaulle which reinforces my own experience of the French upper classes, which I know better than any other in Europe. They are not entirely comfortable with the fact that they are a Germanic people, but they know in the secret recesses of their souls that this is the sober truth, and one which is sometimes (as in 1940) even exhilarating, at least for some, and many more than would now admit it.

    On the genetic level, the French and the Germans are indistinguishable. I know some French people who were rather annoyed when their ancestry tests came back 90% + “French&German”….

  61. @BB753

    I believe you are right when you state the French think of themselves as a race apart. My maternal great-grandparents came from Alsace-Lorraine, along with my paternal great-grandmother. My paternal great-grandfather came from the French canton of Switzerland. They did not consider themselves Teutonic nor of Latin derivation, even though the French language is.

    • Replies: @BB753
  62. syonredux says:
    @BB753

    Didn’t De Gaulle think that he was the reincarnation of Joan of Arc? I seem to recall reading that somewhere….

    • Replies: @BB753
  63. @Paleo Liberal

    To some extent she learned her first English from watching Tom and Jerry cartoons, as well as other old time cartoons.

    That would be quite the feat. Does she read minds?

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  64. res says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Is that one of the now vanishingly rare gold boxes above (?) Old Palo Altan’s comment? If so, it looks like the gold box functionality is broken and Ron needs to take a look at it.

  65. @JAhd

    I wonder what Dear Leader thought of the all black “Carmen” movie? It starred Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge. I saw it on tv late one night,years ago. I enjoyed it!
    I am reminded of the story of Dandridge collapsing in tears after being told by Otto Preminger that he will not give her a baby. Hollywood sure did some serious mindf’ing.
    Me? Dandridge wants my baby, she got my full attention.

  66. lanskrim says:

    Nietzsche was a big fan of Carmen.

  67. @Dieter Kief

    I love how Boston Brahminian Davila looks in that photo.

    And thanks for acta diurna – I have made it a favorite, at least until I get tireds of his overtly lengthy daily entires.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  68. @Reg Cæsar

    Sevilla has to be one of my favourite cities and it was always a great place to watch one of the most enjoyable spectacles on earth, bullfighting. I have not been there for more than 10 years so not sure if the locals have turned their backs on it these days.

  69. SFG says:
    @Niccolo Salo

    It is funny (and a little sad) how even low culture tried to pay respects to high culture, no?

    • Replies: @syonredux
    , @ScarletNumber
  70. SFG says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Most historical hatreds are with neighbors (the technology hasn’t been there for most of human history for England to have hundreds of years of warfare with Iran), so it’s not surprising a lot of them would involve genetically similar peoples. I remember they found the same thing with the British (I don’t remember if it was English, Scottish, etc.) and Irish a while back.

  71. @theMann

    I have a German speaking friend who actually sat through the entire Ring cycle once when he was younger, in part to build his language skills, and he admitted he was exhausted by the experience

    A big Wagner lover is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Opera buff buddy Antonin Scalia dismissed him, but she did invite her colleague to something which got him to reconsider, or at least take baby steps to.

    Takeo Fujisawa was the #2 man at Honda Motors, and the one who came up with the idea of selling motorcycles to non-bikers in America, which was quite effective. He was also a Wagner worshipper who dropped everything annually to attend the festival in Bayreuth.

  72. syonredux says:
    @SFG

    It is funny (and a little sad) how even low culture tried to pay respects to high culture, no?

    You can trace the process in the Star Trek franchise. In the original series (and in the films with the original cast), the cultural references were all highbrow:Milton, Shakespeare, Melville, etc

    But now, it’s all lowbrow crap…..

    • Replies: @anonymous
  73. Not Raul says:
    @syonredux

    Is Brittany an exception?

    • Replies: @syonredux
  74. slumber_j says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Yeah, I’ve always thought it’s pretty good in here.

    Extra fun fact about my former workplace: the great (but by that time sadly diminished) bullfighter Curro Romero (“El Faraón de Camas”) had an apartment in the same building. On the day of a bullfight of his, we’d see him and his cuadrilla emerge in suits of lights and pile into a Fort Transit van to make the short trip to the Real Maestranza bullring.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  75. @Old Palo Altan

    While I respect all of the subjects involved, I find your comment to be an excellent one, Sir. Simply clicking the “AGREE” button would not communicate the subtleties I wish to express.

  76. anonymous[698] • Disclaimer says:
    @syonredux

    wwebd said – Lesley Gore appeared in two mid-1960s Batman episodes as a henchwoman of CatWoman;

    In the second of the two episodes, Batman, having seen her only once, exasperatedly refers to her, speaking to the Police Commissioner and the Chief of Police, as “That Titian-haired wench” (her hair was red) —

    well,
    unless the archives of history have lost whatever records they may once have contained of “Titian-haired” being a crayola color at the time, I likely missed the brilliant reference to the supremely gifted Venetian painter.

    On the topic of opera, I do not think that opera stars care at all about the opinions of all but the best of aficionados. Some of the singers are good at reading the reactions of an informed audience and when the audience has been affirming them they will, as the opera goes on, take greater and greater risks. Everybody wins!

    Saying a four hour “opera is too long” , just because it is 4 hours, and regardless of the merits, as an opera aficionado,

    is like saying a 40 minute “batting practice” is too long, as a professional baseball player —–

    it is nonsensical.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  77. Thanks for the opera post. Under major Metoo attack, as high western culture. Speaking of gypsies

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  78. @Reg Cæsar

    Well, I forgot there weren’t many words in the Tom and Jerry cartoons, except the maid on occasion. Thomas!

    American TV, including cartoons, did help with her English. Perhaps the few words in the T&J cartoons made them more watchable at first.

    She did remember some classical music though.

  79. @syonredux

    I enjoy watching a French TV show called “Le Bureau des Légendes.”

    A lot of the main characters would have been perfectly at home in the Gestapo.

  80. syonredux says:
    @Not Raul

    Is Brittany an exception?

    Maybe. It was founded by Celtic refugees from Roman Britain.

    • Replies: @Alden
  81. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kylie

    After fifty years I can still remember the “lyrics” in song form!

  82. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @slumber_j

    I didn’t even know there was such thing as a “cuadrilla”, except as Natalie Hynde’s fracking company nemesis in the UK.

    https://cuadrillaresources.com/

    cua·dril·la
    /kwäˈdrēyə/
    noun
    noun: cuadrilla; plural noun: cuadrillas

    a matador’s team of assistants, including picadors and banderilleros.

    Now I’m going to start using that more. You probably created a monster.

    • Agree: slumber_j
  83. Anonymous[358] • Disclaimer says:

    As I mentioned yesterday, Francesco Rosi’s 1984 film of Bizet’s opera Carmen is likely the best way to give opera a try.

    No… good film-making and great music.. but the woman is ooogly. Seriously ooogly. One can’t help thinking Domingo is either crazy or blind.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
  84. @Wilkey

    Which is the only proper way to do it. Shakespeare is terrific, but not having to decipher 400-year-old language on the fly makes it infinitely more enjoyable.

    Which is what makes English the most difficult language for productions of Shakespeare. If this or that word or usage goes out of use in German, French, Italian, Tamil, Bahasa or Lao, well, it’s time for a new translation. Not so in English.

    Coming ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ with Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford (BOTH). By William Shakespeare with Additional Dialog by Sam Taylor. The Big Laugh Hit That New York Has Been Waiting For.

    http://moviessilently.com/2019/04/19/silent-okay-early-talkie-movie-myth-by-william-shakespeare-with-additional-dialogue-by-sam-taylor/

  85. BB753 says:
    @syonredux

    Well, transwomen weren’t a thing back then, lol! Anyway, de Gaulle is vastly overrated.

  86. BB753 says:
    @Simply Simon

    Even Teutonic-speaking Alsatians don’t consider themselves German. Mind you, neither do Germanic-speaking Swiss.

  87. Anonymous[358] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    So, my idea for fixing Evita is to divide Che’s role into two: feature two critics of the Perons: Che as the young leftist, and a blind sage, Jorge Luis Borges, as the old rightist.

    A singing Borges? No one will buy it, not even in Borgy and Bess.

    Make it Mussolini, and we have a show. Che vs Mussolini, with Evita in the middle. Incidentally, Che and Mussolini met similar fates.

    Now, SCARFACE would make a great musical.

    ‘I got octopus coming out of my ears’, ‘This Country is like a bit fat p***y’, ‘You got balls?’, ‘You cockroach’, ‘Who do I trust? Me’, ‘Who you calling a monkey?’, and ‘Say Hello to My Little Friend’ have broadway written all over them.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  88. Cecil B. DeMille’s Carmen (1915) starred opera superstar Geraldine Farrar. Interesting that Carmen was made during the silent era and became a major hit.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
  89. Dan Hayes says:
    @Anonymous

    Anonymous[358]:

    Nah. It’s Grand Opera where the leading damsels are beautiful and the male leads are handsome! Yah gotta believe!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  90. Anonymous[427] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    ‘I got octopus coming out of my ears’, ‘This Country is like a bit fat p***y’, ‘You got balls?’, ‘You cockroach’, ‘Who do I trust? Me’, ‘Who you calling a monkey?’, and ‘Say Hello to My Little Friend’ have broadway written all over them.

    Sadly, these would be improvements on much of what Broadway offers today.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  91. Dube says:
    @Anon

    Look for productions with the English translation projected above the stage.

  92. Michelle says:

    I prefer the Carlos Saura’s, Carmen. Starring the great, Paco de Lucia!

    • Replies: @Dube
    , @PiltdownMan
  93. BB753 says:

    While Carmen is fun (for an opera), I believe his masterpiece was “Les pêcheurs de perles” (The Pearl Fishers).

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  94. Dube says:
    @nebulafox

    Or there’ll be a new German literature in languages other than German.

  95. Mr. Anon says:

    Placido Domingo has the Fred MacMurray role in Carmen……….

    MacMurray himself however was brilliant in the Verdi opera Il Figlio di Flubber

  96. Anonymous[358] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dan Hayes

    Nah. It’s Grand Opera where the leading damsels are beautiful and the male leads are handsome! Yah gotta believe!

    Grand Opera doesn’t have close-ups. Silver Screen does. I remember seeing it when it came out. My sister dragged the whole family to it, and I kept watching the woman like Fred G. Sanford looks at Aunt Esther. It was painful, all the more so because the music is fantastic.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
  97. @slumber_j

    I was an astronaut before I became a world conqueror.

  98. @Peter Lund

    France has been ravaged by the austerity policies of you neoliberal ilk.

    Vive les Gilets Jaunes. Fie on you.

  99. @anonymous

    Ask Liszt about the Ring Cycle.

    Oh, oops. You can’t.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  100. Anonymous[424] • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Slut pride is empowering but it’s ‘rape’ to play the game.

    It’s like Snatch-22.

  101. Dube says:
    @Michelle

    Thanks, Michelle. I was about to post these scenes from the brilliant 1983 flamenco adaptation. (Keep rolling to the next.)

  102. Is there a word equivalent to Edward Said’s term “Orientalism” about how northern Europeans like Bizet thought about southern Europeans?

    Romanticism?

  103. @Michelle

    Saura’s Carmen was a brilliant idea, brilliantly executed.

    And it completely eliminates that inescapable feeling present in the original, that of a French opera composer exoticizing Spaniards .

  104. Deepy6 says:
    @the one they call Desanex

    Jesus Christ Superstar (the album version not the movie soundtrack version) was pretty great: Ian Gillian of Deep Purple as Jesus, Murray Head as Judas, Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene.

    Elliman, some may recall, had a #1 hit called If I Can’t Have You (I Don’t Want Nobody Baby). She was the only one from the original album who was also in the subsequent movie. Her rendition of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” is particularly moving.

    Elliman, BTW, was a Japanese/Irish multi-instrumentalist (including stand-up bass) from Hawaii. I like her a lot.

    Anyway, Jesus Christ Superstar was my introduction to Opera, much of which I like, especially when I hear it blasting from the local 7-11 as a deterrent to “aspiring rappers”.

  105. @Anonymous

    Fred once told Esther that she could stick her face in some dough and make gorilla cookies. Try saying that on modern network television.

  106. @Old Palo Altan

    Can’t imagine why that second sentence came out the way it did – I had drunk my usual half a glass of red last night, but no more. Well, a little more.

    But still.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  107. @scrivener3

    How race and culturally realistic is this “Carmen” story, anyway?

    Isn’t the Carmen character, Rom? (Of the Romani people: Note, we all use approved terminology around here, not any ethnically demeaning terms on iSteve, for sure.). Members of the Romani community interact with outsiders (Gadjo, in their language and language usage), but I was under the understanding that Romani culture and society was quite traditionally patriarchal and disaproving of women, especially, to have any manner of marriage or intimate relations outside their group? That male relatives, and Rom have a deep kinship network, would see to it that such norms are enforced?

    Just as Northern Europeans view the people of Spain as “hot-blooded exotics”, Spaniards view members of their Romani population as “hot-blooded exotics”, but isn’t the hot-bloodedness, romance-wise, confined to within the Romani community, which is quite insular? Or are Rom and Spanish more intermixed than I am reckoning?

  108. Vinteuil says:
    @theMann

    DON’T WEAR PEOPLE OUT. Keep it to two act Operas that are fun to watch.

    Four acts are fine if they’re short. Beecham is supposed to have asked the future Edward VII what was his favorite opera. Answer “La bohème.” Why? “Because it’s the shortest.”

    Of course, two short acts is even easier: I Pagliacci.

  109. Vinteuil says:
    @Mr. Anon

    …the best 19th century Italian music was German (Mendelsohn) or Russian (Tchaikovsky)…

    Well, maybe if you’re just thinking of instrumental music…or were you consciously dissing Verdi?

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  110. Vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    Wagner is precisely the one for people with musical taste and talent, and it is exactly right for you to highlight Siegfried’s Funeral March, which is, along with, say, the Ride of the Valkyries, the place where young people (I was 9) discover him. One moves on from there, and ends up, sooner or later, with the supreme genius exhibited by the Ring and Parsifal.

    What, not Tristan?

    Nietzsche, of course, would beg to differ. His praise of Carmen at Wagner’s expense in *Nietzsche contra Wagner* is hilarious and insightful.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  111. @Old Palo Altan

    It has the sound of a little splash of red wine indeed. I thought so at the moment I read it. Lovely sound.
    Ah – Wittgenstein as a Karthäuser monk does make sense. I guess he would have understood you. But he did not drink. Sober through and through except –  when thinking. That is not quite the Karthausian way – one of the true accomplishments of them is their her liquour – good till the last drop – the yellow one and the green one…

    Back to Ludwig Wittgenstein – he did not like the company of others.
      
    This little house was his only property after he had given away all his Austrian family-money and his possessions. – This Norwegian hut could only be reached by a rowing boat. He wanted it to be that way. – But – he could overlook the village nearby and the Fjord from there – no hideaway:

    https://www.nzz.ch/feuilleton/dem-eitlen-getriebe-der-welt-entfliehen-1.17505639  
    – Ah, he gave away this little house too, to a local during his last visit.
     
    Now a thought which might sound a bit shrill in your ears, so, I hope you don’t mind if I write it down anyway: What if the Church had no monopoly on transcendentality (God)? I think it would be not difficult to go from – Meister Eckhardt to – – – this idea. 
    I am quite sympathetic to this idea, as long as one does not draw the conclusion from it, that thus the Chruch would be unnecessary.  

    PS

    Michael Klonovsky wrote the perfect drunkard’s guide to the late GDR: Land der Wunder.

    PPS

    In the autumn of 1988, I was part of a delegation of Konstanz University. We had been invited to visit the Academy of the Sciences in East Berlin. We stayed in a guest house of the government. One morning, I went for a walk and saw a full palette of boxes standing in the middle of the not overly busy street. I was curious and tried to find out what these orphanized cardboard boxes contained and had a close look and – saw spirits, roundabout 795 or so bottles – a few boxes were ripped open…

    Even more curious now, I asked at our guest house, what that meant? Why nobody took care of these bottles – and why they were left in the middle of the road, etc.?

    They said this was their usual liquor delivery. And that nobody has yet found the time, to bring it in. Nothing to worry about, as long as it did not rain!

    Now, Klonovsky’s funny novel Land der Wunder about the end of the GDR shows it’s reader not least, how the central East Berlin spirits warehouse worked, and how he workers in it thought and lived… a true and very interesting and weird and curious example of ethnology at home.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  112. Anonymous[368] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    I can see PULP FICTION as a musical one of these days. A Popera.

    I wonder if Samuel Jackson character was partly inspired the black guy in 52 PICK-UP, another proto-Tarantino flick.

  113. Lot says:
    @syonredux

    “ I know some French people who were rather annoyed when their ancestry tests came back 90% + “French&German””

    Checked the site recently? They still have the big “French and German” category (while Finns don’t have to share), but they now have rougher sub-regional estimates.

    So 5 years ago if I knew nothing from family research I’d have no clue from 23andme if I had German or French ancestry or both. Now I know I have near-0 French* and substantial German from certain regions. And the subregional results from 23andme matched my family records, though not perfectly. When it wasn’t spot on, it was one subregion away.

    *23andme says 0 in its subregion chart, but common sense says anyone with old stock American and English heritage will have at least trace French ancestry, primarily from Huguenot migrations to America, some directly and some via England and Holland. 23andme is best at picking up recent ancestry.

  114. Mr. Anon says:
    @Vinteuil

    Yes, I was mostly thinking of instrumental music. Although Carmen is obviously an opera. I just don’t know much about opera as I’ve never much liked it. Most of my exposure to the music of operas has been orchestral suites derived from them. So I wasn’t even thinking of Verdi – no dis implied.

  115. Anonymous[155] • Disclaimer says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    The northern/eastern French are the descendants of the Franks, literal Germans, the people who gave the country its name. They are a historically a different people to the Occitans, Basques and Bretons who make up the rest of the population.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  116. Che Guava says:
    @Laurence Whelk

    Yes, of course. Men, too.
    Noodles always. For pasta, depends on the type of sauce, and type of pasta.

    I can see that you want me to see this overprivileged woman in the advert, at the moment, my phone and computer are not capable.

    Never having had any interest in the Victoria’s Secret shows, beyond how obscenely ludicrous they were, and how Miranda Kerr clearly had cheek implants, and married the likely homosexual Orlando Bloom for a very short time, I don’t care too much.

    Kerr had a time in adverts for Marukome miso and related products, their P.R. H.Q. is not far from my home, so if I am there before they switch the displays off, I will always watch. The one before the Kerr one was actually very good, weird, but I watched it more than once. Kerr’s, once only.

  117. Che Guava says:
    @Anon

    … but only conditionally re. pasta.

  118. @Dieter Kief

    A charmingly amusing response, Herr Kief – a “lovely sound” indeed.

    If I have any complaint about what you write in response it is only that you burden me with so many references or recommendations as to books and so on that, were i to follow each of them up, I would have no time for my own not inconsiderable interests.

    So I think I’ll concentrate on Wittgenstein and leave Klonovsky aside.

  119. @Anonymous

    That’s quite true, but they have ruled the others for centuries, so are the ones who really count, and set the tone. That’s what the master race does, wherever it goes.

    At the top the intermarriages have had their effect over the centuries. I know a proud Breton nobleman who is as blond and blue-eyed as Himmler himself would have wished.

  120. @Vinteuil

    Welcome back Vinteuil – I feared you had abandoned us.

    Alas, I find Nietzsche on Wagner boring and obtuse. He is just trying to even scores. I don’t need to tell you that he nevertheless was bowled over by Parsifal.

    He might have spared himself his worry that it was going to make people Christian – it hardly influenced a certain Reichskanzler in that way, now did it?

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  121. anonymous[698] • Disclaimer says:
    @obwandiyag

    You underestimate me.

  122. Alden says:
    @theMann

    Love Cosi Fan Tutti. Classic screwball Rom com. We saw it at a jr college music production. Explained it throughly to the 12 and under kids including marriage contracts. Took them they loved it . Who wouldn’t?

    Seville epitomized exotic Spain to the rest of the western world for a couple centuries.

  123. Alden says:
    @syonredux

    Celtic refugees yes. But not from Roman British. From Anglo Saxon Britain. When it became obvious the Saxons would win, many Celtic nobles and their tenants moved to Brittany. It wasn’t an invasion. It was arranged with the Duke of Brittany.

    Very revanchist very close by water. William conquer’s army of 10,000 was supposed to be half descendants of the British refugees who came back home in triumph

    Of course the people of Brittany and all down the Atlantic Coast were originally Celts. Most never left.

  124. Alden says:
    @Wilkey

    Some of the new editions of Shakespeare have a big glossary at the bottom of each page. It’s convenient for the reader. So many words are just a foreign language. There’ll have to be a complete translation in another couple hundred years.

  125. vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    I find Nietzsche on Wagner boring and obtuse. He is just trying to even scores. I don’t need to tell you that he nevertheless was bowled over by Parsifal.

    Oh, come now – boring? Obtuse, yes – he’s obviously trolling, as we’d say today. But Nietzsche contra Wagner is an endlessly fascinating masterpiece – Walter Kaufmann considered it his most perfectly polished piece of work, and I tend to agree.

    As for Parsifal, you’re right, of course: it bowled him over – which is to his credit, non è vero? And the stuff he had to say about it off the record is hard to fault.

    Cheers.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  126. @vinteuil

    At the moment I am 80 minutes into a complete performance of Carmen. And you know what I also am?
    Bored stiff.

    I believe even less of Nietzsche’s protestations after this not-to-be-repeated experience.

    I’ve read Ludovici’s translation: no polish there. I suppose I’ll just have to read the German original which, after all, is surely what Kaufmann (a lot of whom I read when I was a teenager – I admit I liked him) would have done.

    And now I am going to switch from Carmen to Tristan before I get so desperate that I’ll prefer even a dose of Mahler to this.

  127. @BB753

    Agree. But this is the best part:

    • Agree: BB753
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