Friday, October 02, 2009

820. A Night At The Opera - Charles Tomlinson

When the old servant reveals she is the mother
Of the young count whose elder brother
Has betrayed him, the heroine, disguised
As the Duke's own equerry, sings Or'
Che sono, pale from the wound she has received
In the first act. The entire court
Realize what has in fact occurred and wordlessly
The waltz song is to be heard now
In the full orchestra. And we too,
Recall that meeting of Marietta with the count
Outside the cloister in Toledo. She faints:
Her doublet being undone, they find
She still has on the hair-shirt
Worn ever since she was a nun
In Spain. So her secret is plainly out
And Boccaleone (blind valet
To the Duke) confesses it is he (Or' son'io)
Who overheard the plot to kidnap the dead
Count Bellafonte, to burn by night
The high camp of the gipsy king
Alfiero, and by this stratagem quite prevent
The union of both pairs of lovers.
Now the whole cast packs the stage
Raging in chorus round the quartet- - led
By Alfiero (having shed his late disguise)
And Boccaleone (shock has restored his eyes):
Marietta, at the first note from the count
(Long thought dead, but finally revealed
As Alfiero), rouses herself, her life
Hanging by a thread of song, and the Duke,
Descending from his carriage to join in,
Dispenses pardon, punishment and marriage.
Exeunt to the Grand March, Marietta
(Though feebly) marching, too, for this
Is the 'Paris' version where we miss
The ultimate dènouement when at the command
Of the heroine (Pura non son') Bellafonte marries
The daughter of the gipsy king and . . .