A HAPPY CHRISTMAS to all readers !
And in the festive spirit, we've been to the opera for a viewing of that seasonal classic, Infidelio, or The Scouser Lady Macbeth.
In case you don't know the plot ...
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Toni and Cheri, two tireless seekers after wealth, make their annual pilgrimage to visit the fabulously rich Silvio at the Palazzo Fribi. Cheri has let it be known that she’d like a large car for Xmas, but there has been a hilarious mix-up in translation and to her disgust, Silvio gives her a Japanese camper van (Nissan Dorma). She lets her anger be known, making a dreadful scene.
Silvio responds with the classic tenor aria Ou va la jeune indoue? (what’s up with her indoors?). Embarrassed, Toni replies in kind with his explanation: she had humble Scouse beginnings and is a bit keen on material possessions and status symbols. He sings La donna é mobile (she’s a terrible social climber).
But Cheri is still kicking up rough, and Toni reprimands her: Regnava nel silenzio (Shut it! You’re not the Queen!). Yet still she carries on, and Silvio is not impressed with Toni’s inability to bring her to heel, singing L'amour est oiseau rebelle (your lover is a disobedient wazzock). Toni leaves, ashamed by her behaviour.
Cheri recognizes that her tantrum is getting her nowhere and decides to try a different approach. She tells Silvio she has seen on Italian TV that he is the proud possessor of a magnificent instrument: is this true ? Silvio is visibly flattered and so, emboldened, she asks if she can finger his Magic Flute. Her host gets it out for her in a trice and she reaches for it eagerly: but he is taken aback and sings Che gelida manina (blimey, your hands are cold!)
However, she proves adept at playing the flute, and Silvio expresses his pleasure with her performance - Vesti la giubba (look at the gob on that!)
Suddenly, there is commotion: Toni has returned, bringing with him the unmistakable figure of Prescotti, whom he briskly introduces with Largo al factotum (meet my fat sidekick). They forcibly drag Cheri away from Silvio and his flute, and bundle her off in the Nissan Dorma. Silvio, who was beginning to enjoy himself, reacts angrily, and as the trio drive away the air is ringing with his final curse: Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre (you’re all toast, I can arrange rendition for the lot of you !)