Monday, August 13, 2012

Separated at Birth?

Peculiar and Mrs Peculiar have been regular patrons of the Santa Fe Opera since they were students at St John's there. Mr P has always had a sideline in opera criticism (use search on the O & P blog for older examples), in addition to his guiding and photography. His review of the normal fare is good and funny, as always:

"Last night was The Pearl Fishers by Bizet, which turned out to be an exceedingly silly opera. I've never been a huge fan of Carmen, alas, so I was happy to hear something else from Bizet. It's pretty much a paint-by-numbers grand opera: love triangle; decent, loyal baritone in a bad position; virgin soprano priestess who turns out to be remarkably easy; bass oppressor; and an ardent tenor with the foresight and self-control of an ungulate during the rut."

But at the end he embeds what must be the most hilariously idiotic video of an opera production (or anything else musical) I have ever seen, for your comment. Those... pipes!

Am I the only one old enough to be instantly reminded of this early eighties, early video pop hit? (Though the girls do a MUCH better job!) Peculiar was only an infant but I have sent it to him for thoughts.


Peculiar said...

Ceci n'est pas une pipe?

Actually, according to the libretto (I have a complete recording of Les Indes Galantes, believe it or not) we're looking at the "Danse du Grand Calumet de la Paix, exécutée par les Sauvages." However I prefer the finale of Act II (Les Incas de Perou), which has the ultimate hoisting on one's own petard: perish in your own volcano, Huascar!

Chas S. Clifton said...

M. says, "It's meant to be campy . . . isn't it?"

I am not so sure. The "drummer" sure is.

Steve Bodio said...

We thought he must have gone to drum majorette school. But I suspect more milieu than intent-- ie not with any satirical motive...

Do remember the German intellectuals who met John Davila in a bar-- Berlin?-- and denied that twanging ex- bronc- riding rancher could be a cowboy because (A) he had a Hispanic surname (B) he called mustangs "dogmeat" and (3) he referred to his former wife as "half Navajo and half Mormon". According to John, they were full of a weird mix of Karl May notions and post- Marxism-- you can't IMAGINE European intellectuals' fantasies of The West.

And don't ignore a conscious assimilation of the Bangles' first video-- I defy you to look at them in succession and deny it (;-))

Jess said...

No, you're not the only one who got a big Walk Like an Egyptian vibe off of that decidedly...odd opera number. It would be interesting to see the whole thing in a long shot, without the closeups.

I was totally distracted by the three guys in the back, who seemed to be discussing the quality of the high from whatever was in those pipes.

Max Inclined said...

2:20 - the chicken dance
I'm looking at this and thinking this is *somebody's* grand artistic vision... and everyone else is facepalming.
Then again, I just saw Les Mis in San Francisco yesterday -- fantastic stage sets and good use of video. Javert's suicide is a trip to watch.