Saturday, June 16, 2012

Opera Goth

Is opera gothic? Arguably, a whole theatrical genre best known for its excessive costumes and tendency to end in multiple suicides makes it seem that it should be. Here are a few opera videos we've had here at the gothic blog Gothica Gothique:

Don Juan (in Italian, Don Giovanni) is a notorious womanizer who even resorts to tricks like breaking into women's houses and raping them so as to add their names to his miles-long "list" (1,800 conquests so far.) At the beginning of the opera Don Juan is trying to escape from an unsuccessful break-in to the bedroom of Donna Anna, whose father comes to her defence. The father is murdered by Don Juan. Here, in the opera's [second-to-]last scene, his vengeful ghost returns.

Ramiro (a male soprano role -- here played by a woman) is in love with the lady Armida but frustrated by the fact that she's just become betrothed to Count Belfiore. In this scene, Ramiro first chides Armida for her infidelity, then soon afterwards, Armida overhears her fiancé Belfiore speaking of his own renewed love for his ex-girlfriend (whom he broke up with after having stabbed her in a jealous rage.) Armida responds angrily... and in this production, shoves him into a man-eating plant.

Based on Goethe's story of Faust, here the demon Mefistofele (Mephistopheles) is attending a witches' sabbath on the Brocken. Presented with a "globe" he proclaims his contempt and disappointment with the world and with everyone in it.

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