Tuesday, July 05, 2011

If Tosca survived, what about Brunnhilde?

Alex Ross has been to Rome and checked out the Castel Sant'Angelo, from the ramparts of which Tosca leaps to her death at the end of Puccini's opera. His reasonable conclusion is that the diva could well have survived, as there's a ledge just a few feet beneath. 

Could we face unexpected sequels to a range of operas in which the lead character's death mightn't be all it's cracked up to be? Just imagine...

Don Giovanni: the Commendatore drags the Don away ostensibly to hell - but once they're at a safe distance from the house he unmasks and turns out to be Giovanni's brother Giorgio in disguise, come to rescue baby bro from all those harpies. The boys run off and set themselves up with false papers on a yacht in Marbella.

Götterdämmerung: Brunnhilde utters her Immolation Scene, rides into the flames...and out the other side. She and her trusty Grane escape the apocalypse on the Rhine and cross the sea to a green and pleasant land, where they live quietly in the countryside before winning both the Derby and the Grand National. Brunnhilde becomes a famous equestrian champion and marries an aristocrat; Grane, on his retirement, sires a new generation of British racehorses with apparently magical powers.

Got any more?

(PS - have been writing my official response to the Opera North/Lee Hall situation, so watch that space...)