LONG-LOST OPERATIC FRAGMENT COMES TO LIGHT
During the golden years of the Opera in Michigan, many of the
great composers and librettists wandered through the glittering
capital of the Midwestern risorgimento. Strangely, little of
their output has been preserved, but recently, this fragment of
the libretto from an unfinished work by the immortal Giuseppe
Verde came to light, hidden behind a huge nude painting at the
Odd Town Tavern. Wood-Charles is proud to bring to the music
community even this crumbling shard of Verde's never-performed
Curtain rises. It is night. A storm is gathering over the
battlements of a crumbling red brick office building. In the
background, the houses and lights of a fair but troubled city,
An'Arbro. We hear the rumbling of distant thunder.
Enter Edmundo. He leans on the crenalations and contemplates
the approaching storm.
Edmundo: Solo mio, vendro unscrupuloso, custombres sansaclu.
(I am all alone, my vendors are of questionable ethics, and my
customers are idiots.)
La Traciata (off): Edmundo! Edmundo!
Edmundo: Che? (What?)
La Traciata (entering): Doloroso executivo, executivo perdu,
pite', pite', au secours, le boite de multiplexico delenda est.
(Oh, pitious executive, help, help, the modem is broke.)
Small boy (dashing across the stage): Providitore connection,
imbecilico! (Ameritech, idiots!)
(Off) sound of a news server crashing; alarms and excursions.
Don Miguele (entering): Si mentate io, periculoso meo! (If I
had a brain, I'd be dangerous!)
El Zastrow (drawing a baguette from beneath her chemise): Prends
ca, compteur de legumes suburbanitico! Mangez le pain de ma
tante! (Take that, yuppie bean counter! Eat flaming starch!)
Enter four horsemen, Edmundo, Esteban, Owen Glynmorange, and
Tim the Irascible. They begin to sing an old Provencal round
consisting of four or five conflicting business plans.
La Traciata: Ai, yi yi yi yi yi, carriage de corrosion, mi corizon
non di Finisterre. Reimburse' mi. (Alas, my car is a rusting
heap of junk and I cannot afford clothing from Land's End.
Sure would be nice to get paid.)
Lindhilde (dressed as the Kouros of Berners-Lee): Luftpost der
Webdamen! Toten der Lapinnet, Toten der Lapinnet! Der krieg
sind Deutchenyowlen: zu viel und laut! Wer is mein petroleum?
(The flight of the web ladies! Kill the wabbitnet, kill
the wabbitnet! War is like German opera: too long and too
loud! Where is that damn gas tank?)
Chorus of the busy signals: Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz.
Night falls. The slain are born away to Valhalla or Ypsilanti.
Edmundo enters dressed as a virtual transaction. As the curtain
falls, he sings the plaintive and moving aria, "Yo Dudo
Actuario," (I should have gone into insurance.)