Monday, August 01, 2005


Comedian Anna Russell has a spot-on parody of Wagner's Ring Cycle. Here's what she has to say about "Die Walküre," the opera Bede and I saw last night:

In Part 2 you find Wotan wandering about on the earth, and he has a couple of illegitimate children by a mortal—Siegmund and Sieglinde-—whilst disguised under the singularly appropriate name of Wolf. These children become separated at birth, and Sieglinde marries a funny sort of a man called Hunding. He plays the Wagner tuba. [Plays.] He plays it very well. He also has an ash tree with a sword stuck in it growing through his living room floor.

Well one day who should turn up but Siegmund, and he falls madly in love with Sieglinde, regardless of the fact that she’s married to Hunding, which is immoral, and she’s his own sister, which is illegal. But that’s the beauty of Grand Opera, you can do anything so long as you sing it. And after having given Hunding a Mickey Finn so that they won’t wake him up, they certainly do sing it! [Plays and sings.]

Well when they’ve got that off their chests, Siegmund pulls out the sword that’s stuck in the tree that grows in the house that Jack—that HUNDING—built, and they run away together. Well of course when Hunding comes to he’s very annoyed, and he chases after them, and there’s a tremendous battle that everybody gets mixed up in. [Piano.] There’s Hunding dead. [Piano.] There’s Siegmund dead. [Piano.] Mr & Mrs Wotan have an argument. [Piano.] And Wotan’s furious with Brunnhilde.

He’s mad at Brunnhilde because he told her she was NOT to side with Siegmund...and she DID. So as a punishment he puts her on a rock and he surrounds her with impenetrable fire. And that’s the end of Part II. [Piano fillip.]

Wait until you find out what happens in Siegfried, the next opera. Anna Russell says of Siegfried's discovery of Brunnhilde on the rocks:

Well now he’s never seen a woman before, so he doesn’t know what she is...but he soon finds out...and they go in for some very competitive singing—the type of thing “anything you can sing I can sing louder.” And... [Plays and sings.] Oh, it’s terrific. I think probably she wins.

Once Bede and I recover from the two operas, I'll start production of Galatea's and Darth Phil's puppet show. It won't be as dramatic as the Ring Cycle, but that doesn't mean I won't try.


galetea said...

My only experience with Wagner is the famous Bugs Bunny cartoon in which Elmer Fudd serenades the erstwhile rabbit with, "Oooh're so wuvwee..." to which Bugs answers, "Yes I know it...I can't help it..."

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

You have another experience with Wagner, but you might not know it: the typical wedding march music that you hear in movies but not so much in real life ("da da da dum, da daaah da dum.") That's from "Lohengrin."

Darth Phil said...

That is the greatest Bugs Bunny cartoon ever. Period.

Don't forget Ride of the Valkyries in Apocolypse Now.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

As it turns out, my friends aren't going to "Siegfried" tonight, so Bede and I get to go.

Naptime! (Especially since Lucia woke in the middle of the night, and again early this morning.)