Monday, August 4, 2014

August at the Phantom Opera House!

Tonight we're off to the opera! We got bargain tickets through a friend, had a festive dinner at a fun and inexpensive restaurant, and are now snugly ensconced in the opera house. The show is Weber's Der Freisch├╝tz, a German Romantic opera from 1821 based on a folktale about a marksman who uses cursed bullets.

In the second act, there's a famous scene where the hero and the villain descend to the Wolves' Den, an area in the forest noted for the ghosts and demons that inhabit it. There they meet with the Black Huntsman, Samiel, and make a bargain to forge the seven magic bullets with which the flawed hero, Max, will win a marksmanship contest and a prize that will enable him to marry his beloved Agathe. Villainous Casper (not a friendly ghost), however, has other plans, including not telling Max that the seventh bullet, once fired, will have Max carried off by Samiel, and buying Casper more time on earth. (He made a dark bargain with Samiel himself years ago...)

The music is stirring...in fact, here we go...



This scene is often described as the greatest Romantic depiction of supernatural horror, and it's a corker. I chose a video without action, leaving the listener to imagine for themselves how the action goes. After you listen, go read a synopsis or find a video of the scene, and see how close your mental image was.

The scene ends, the intermission arrives, and we rush to the bar for a glass of Rhine wine while calming our shudders. And vowing to investigate Romantic opera and music more. Bring back Romanticism!

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