Monday, October 23, 2006

Last night at the opera...


On Sunday, we spent an diverting evening at the opera...well not exactly...we visited the 'Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar' (DNT), where they performed 'Il Capella di paglia de Firenze' (The Italian Straw Hat), an opera from Nino Rota, a famous Italian composer, particularly remembered for his work on film scores, esp. 'The Godfather' series and a number of films by Federico Fellini. The story of the opera could be right out of a Marx Brothers movie: Not only that Fadinard's coach horse had just nibbled the Italian straw hat of a totaly unknown lady, no...it also happens to be just on his own wedding day. The wedding guests are just assembling for the wedding ceremony, while the groom brings a total stranger into his house, who insists on getting her hat replaced immediately! What about Mr. Fadinard's bride, Helene....and what about his father-in-law, who seems to be eager to cancel the affiance....Fadinard is hunting for a straw hat replacement with the whole wedding guests close on his heels...and it comes to a total confusion...
The opera debuted in 1955 - and it was rather obvious for me that Rota was also responsible for a lot of film scores, although there were many citations of Rossini, Verdi, and Puccini. All in all it was great fun - almost a slapstick comedy - although the actors could have acted a little bit more briskly. As usual, the 'Staatskapelle Weimar' this time with their conductor Marco Comin (I haven't seen him before...) did a great job and especially I want to highlight the choir (I really loved the two nuns...esp. the one with the pocket flask). BTW....the libretto (which is based on a play of the 19th century French author Eugène Labiche) of the opera was also subject of an old German movie of 1939 ('Der Florentiner Hut') with Heinz Rühmann.
Alas....if you want to spent an entertaining night at the opera and you do like also film scores as well as Rossini and Puccini, then try the 'Florentiner Hut'... :-)

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