Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|PDQ Bach - Abduction of Figaro / Peter Schickele Minnesota Opera|
Actors: Marilyn Brustadt, Michael Burt, John Ferrante, Bruce Ford, Dana Krueger
Genres: Comedy, Musicals & Performing Arts
No Description Available. Genre: Performing Arts - Opera Rating: NR Release Date: 10-FEB-2004 Media Type: DVD
PDQ Bach's Operatic Masterpiece!
L. Mountford | Bellingham, WA United States | 11/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You already know going in that this will be funny. PDQ Bach (Peter Schickele) has a long history of very clever musical satire. I mean, who else can write music in the style of Bach, Mozart, and Handel, and call it something like "Fanfare for the Common Cold," "The Seasonings," "Chorale Prelude On An American Hymn For The Last Sunday Before The Fourth Day Of The Seventh Month After New Year's Eve," and dedicate a piece to "A nobleman, Count Pointercount"? At last, we have one of Schickele's major works on video, in a fully staged production by The Minnesota Opera. The principals are quite good, and the chorus is excellent.Peter Schickele clearly loves Mozart's operas. There are numerous "jokes" based on Don Giovanni, Le Nozze di Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte, Abduction from the Seraglio, and The Magic Flute. Like Mozart's operas, Abduction has a convoluted plot: Susanna Susannadanna's husband, Figaro, is dying ("Stay With Me"). However, before he can die, he is abducted by Captain Kadd ("My Name is Captain Kadd, and I Am Very Very Very Very Very Very Bad"). Well, actually before he is abducted, Susanna is visited by Dona Donna who is searching for Donald Giovanni ("Perfidy, Thy Name is Donald, Although They Call Thee Don for Short"), who loved her and left her (Donna, that is, not Susanna). There is a rescue attempted by the men (Donald and his mute companion, Schleporello), who are shipwrecked, who are then followed by the ladies who end up in the Pasha Shaboom's harem. Well, you get the picture.There are subtle and not-so-subtle parodies of specific Mozart arias ("Batti, batti" becomes "Macho, macho, That's How All Men Are," and is followed immediately by "You Can Beat Me," for example), but you don't need to know the Mozart works to appreciate the humor. While some of the bits are perhaps a tad too broad, the clever lyrics and well-written music more than compensate. One of the funniest bits in the entire work is the "Caribbean Ballet" in the style of Swan Lake, complete with pineapple headdresses in place of the usual feathers for the "corps de ballet," and a "Carmen Miranda"-style Odile.This is definitely worth seeing if you're already a fan of PDQ Bach. It's definitely worth seeing even if you're not yet a fan."
An Example of Deranged Genius
L. Mountford | 04/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We first saw "The Abduction of Figaro" on PBS at least ten years ago, and vowed that someday we'd own a copy. This is Peter Schickele's humor at its best. (For those unfamiliar with Professor Schickele's works, he is a musician who possesses genuine talent and a warped sense of the bizarre.) Over two hours long, this is not a tape for the squeamish or those with a short attention span, and it helps to have some classical music background. Even so, don't worry; most people will appreciate the juxtaposition of honest-to-goodness opera with snatches of popular songs. The things this man blends together are just plain wrong and yet somehow they fit. Schickele also spoofs all of the cliches of opera itself, from the pompous hero to the drippy heroine, with a cast of superb musicians who have the ability to sing wrongfully on command. The scenery is cheap and gaudy, the staging awkward and painfully funny, and the result is an evening of pomposity skewered by a sick mind. One of the best parts is the PBS-style host wearing a flannel shirt and workboots. Highly recommended for serious and not-so-serious musicians, and for anyone who finds opera annoying. Enjoy with a glass of really cheap wine or, better yet, a can of beer."
Fun at (the expense of) the opera
Michael H. Pressman | Coconut Creek, FL United States | 07/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a melange of the various aspects of the PDQ genre. It includes silly biographic information, a "terrible" overture and lots of arias, some humorous, some satirical, some parodistic, and some just plain beautiful. Also included are some ballet seqences that cannot be described without laughing (such as the "Dance of the Seven Pails"!)The voices are excellent, as well as the acting, by singers who are really enjoying themselves. The announcer (a familiar voice to listeners of the Met radio braodcasts) is serious tongue-in-cheek. Listen carefully to both the music and the words, because this opera is replete with humor."
Teens to Elders will get a laugh
Loui Tucker | California, USA | 11/27/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having loved this video for years, I sat down my extended family over Thanksgiving and showed to the lot of them (17 total). Two teenagers, 4 in the 20's, up to our 84 year-old-neighbor lady. Everyone loved it! Even the teenagers. I'm buying a copy to give the teens for Hannukah! It's got broad humor, subtle humor, general music humor, specific opera humor, slapstick, sly wit. I'm so glad I shared it!"