kidattypewriter

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Weekly Fop #1: Cerealism

Snap, Crackle and Fop.

23 comments:

nailpolishblues said...

I have no words for that, I've spent 10 seconds trying and still have no words for that.

Karen said...

You weren't content to leave the fops buried in the deepest darkest obscurity of the tea opera comments, were you? I could see that you wanted to cut loose and, clearly, you possess absolutely no self-restraint whatsoever.

I note that you have chosen a fop with a vaguely obscene hairstyle.

TimT said...

A Fopera.

Nope, none whatsoever.

nailpolishblues said...

Restraint being over-rated, as a virtue.

Karen said...

I suppose restraint doesn't sit well with incorrigibility (which is, incidentally, very tricky for me to say). Really though, you should be shot for the "fopera". As I have said before, one smiles/laughs and, at the same time, one is overcome with an overwhelming desire to bang one's head against the wall. Perhaps if you were to bang your head against the wall the strange sensation would pass!

Anyway, I'm not so sure it is properly a "fopera". I think there are distinct differences between rakes and fops and that a dandy is something else again. A fop is not nearly so dissolute, although he may wish to appear so.

TimT said...

Did you ever see The Rake's Progress? (I don't need to tell you how pleased I am that the Wikipedia web-address for that needs an apostrophe, by the way.) It's a brilliant opera, and the closest thing we have to a Fopera, I'm sure. Auden and his partner Chester Kallman collaborated with Stravinsky, and the results were astounding! You work at uni, right? In the music library of Sydney University, they should have a video of the opera: the set designs are by David Hockney.

Karen said...

I haven't seen it, no, but I think I've read bits and pieces of the libretto, because I really like Auden. I was going to see it a while ago, when someone gave me a gift voucher for the opera house, but Mum wanted to see "The Magic Flute", so I bought tickets for that instead.

Confessions, confessions: I'm not sure whether I like opera. I've been told that this is just because I haven't seen the opera for me yet- I thought maybe TRP would be it, because of the Auden/Stravinsky combination. I'll often quite enjoy the music from an opera outside the context of the opera itself! That said, I haven't seen too many operas, because it's so bloody expensive-you could probably see at least two or three plays for the same price, or even the symphony a couple of times. I think maybe taste in music comes into it too- I don't like bombast very much and would generally prefer to listen to chamber music.
I'm working at home mostly now- I want to get my MS off at the end of the month.

TimT said...

Try baroque operas - Monteverdi, Purcell, or some Handel oratorios - they're for somewhat smaller-sized groups. Or Stravinsky in his early neo-classical period: The History of the Soldier, an immensely entertaining story about a soldier who sells his soul to the devil, or similar. It's for a very small and rather eccentric musical combination of (if I can recall correctly) oboe, trumpet, snare drum, and violin.

TimT said...

TEST !

TEST!

TEST!

Blogger is STILL playing silly buggers...

nailpolishblues said...

Or maybe it's just toying with you?

Karen said...

I think there's a group in Sydney which does Purcell and that sort of thing and at a more affordable price than OA. So perhaps I will check it out when I have the time and the money. I've only been to the opera about three times in my entire life and I've had a peculiarly deflated feeling at the end of it each time- because you've spent what is a hell of a lot of money for a night out and, for me, got very little in return- nothing that was truly moving or had any real emotional truth about it. I like theatre very much, so I do get quite annoyed when something feels dramatically "dishonest"- and the emotions in the operas I've seen just seemed like caricatures of genuine feeling.

But now I have a proper guide...!

TimT said...

Also, some stuff by Benjamin Britten. He was a brilliant song writer, and this extended naturally to opera. Dunno what you'd make of 'Peter Grimes' or 'Billy Budd' or 'Albert Herring', but his smaller works for schools, etc, are excellent if you can get hold of them: 'Noyes Fludde', 'Saint Nicholas'. And I find 'Midsummer Nights Dream' - sort of an opera for all ages - is enchanting.

Most opera directors insist on putting their own spin on what was essentially an eighteenth century popular entertainment. (Let's have a 'Don Giovanni' in leather! Let's have 'Julius Caeser' by the Jetsons!) It doesn't exactly help matters. And a lot of opera essentially sounds better when broken up into individual songs and put on a CD, anyway.

Karen said...

a lot of opera essentially sounds better when broken up into individual songs and put on a CD, anyway.

Oh good, so it isn't just that I'm missing something!

What I've seen wasn't Don Giovanni in leathers or anything like that (although that is one of the ones I've seen)- it was more that it seemed like everyone was just going through the motions. I know what you mean though- the trendy thing seems to be to get a quite successful theatre director (especially one who could be classified as avant-garde) to "reinterpret" a major work, but reinterpretation should be something more substantial and interesting than just putting everyone in space suits or what have you. The production of The Magic Flute I saw was like this- they had the collaboration with the dance company, but one wouldn't say that the dancers were really incorporated in a truly significant way. There was a lot of clever staging/production design, but you still have this absolutely absurd (downright stupid, really) "narrative" you have to work with. I suppose opera, as something which has its origins in eighteenth-century popular entertainment, as you say, draws on a particular taste for spectacle over the things most twenty-first-century audiences are used to seeing prioritised. Certainly, if you think about the difference between acting styles now and then, and how the same "philosophy" might cut across other forms of entertainment...

(She does ramble! I think I'm getting cabin fever from spending all day every day in front of a computer polishing and overwriting this damn thing within an inch of its life!)

TimT said...

Sure, people like spectacle - Hollywood thrives on it! And anyway, it's my opinion that many operas can be vastly improved with the addition of, oh, say, 20 elephants.

Yes, The Magic Flute too.

I'm seeing a Lewis Carrol/Mervyn Peake reinterpration of the Mozart plot...

TimT said...

I see a return to Ms Katt's 'Cup of Tea Law of Opera'.

You really should watch Buffy. They sent musical drama up brilliantly in the famous 'Once More with Feeling' episode. The plot is based on some frabjous nonsense about a demon coming to town that causes everybody to burst into song; all the main characters get a song, including love duets and dance segments. At one point, they conclude a conversation and look out a window and see a gigantic bunch of people dancing and twirling, while a guy sings in a conclusive, triumphant tone:

I GOT THE MUSTARD OUT!

(Perhaps you had to be there for that one.)

At another point, they walk through the town talking about how everything's going to pieces - they physically walk past several different song-dance segments, including jiving office cleaners, etc.

And when they finally meet the musical demon, he turns out to be ludicrously camp!

nailpolishblues said...

So, you watched Buffy for its comedic import and brilliant parodies rather than for the babes...?

Caz said...

The "incorrigible" thing has to go, truly, I'm not kidding; this is an order. I’m going to puke if I see it again.

An 11 year old is incorrigible.

Tim is no longer 11.

In addition, the application and semantic context isn’t even correct.

Nails - you spent 10 seconds thinking about one of Tim's posts? You're deep.

nailpolishblues said...

I think we all know that Caz, some of us more than others. Hey, thanks for the compliment.

TimT said...

Technically speaking, gold is incorrigible. Myself, I'm more of the sort of loon who never shaves quite properly and says 'Pip pip' at odd hours of the day, to whoever happens to be around.

Caz said...

Pip, pip?

So that was you that I passed in the city the other day!

PS - You've very welcome Nails.

Karen said...

a return to Ms Katt's 'Cup of Tea Law of Opera'.

Sorry, but I haven't got the foggiest idea what that means and I don't think it's the hour of the night/morning.

I am familiar with the singing Buffy episode and I think I have seen bits of it. Possibly it could be the one episode I have watched. But Dennis Potter pioneered that sort of thing, didn't he?

I wanted to draw your attention to this. Thank God for youtube! Is there anything it cannot do? Here T bag gives Buffy a run for its money with a little impromptu musical number.

Also, if you're interested, this is the cartoon I mentioned before, which I think you couldn't get.

TimT said...

'Tea' rule: see the quote at the beginning of the Tea Opera, below.

I shall watch those videos later when I'm on a computer that's not as slow as mine is at the moment!

Karen said...

Don't put yourself out too much! It was very late and I was very tired when they seemed so funny to me. Certainly, I wouldn't have the patience- there's a very low stock of patience here right now.

Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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