Now Playing: Vector Lovers - City Lights From a Train
It was such a perfect day.
So I went to Pho and I and got a soup thinking "it's spicy, it has cilantro in it, it has shrimp in it." I wasn't thinking "oh, it's coconut milk, which is a lot more filling than your typical pho broth." It's still good, though.
Also, Pho and I does not play Vietnamese music and they have some really cool artwork on the walls. And I should check out Moby Dick's one day.
I made a brief excursion to the MFA between pho and The Consul. Um, I found the Greek room they said opened in September. It's on the second floor, in a room off of the Roman room, not downstairs where I thought it would be.
The Consul is a full length opera by Menotti, in which a dissident escapes and his wife has to go through the consulate to get out but the consul is powerless to help her, and it takes months and her child and mother in law die, so she decides to kill herself. She has a nightmare when she passes out from asphyxiation and the phone rings at the very end. The first two acts open with a recording of a French song and one of the characters sings in Italian.
There's a full performance in Italian on Youtube and there are selections too. Check out Nika Magadoff. He stole the show with that magic act. He also looked a bit like Bashar al-Assad, and I thought he'd be a perfect secret police agent, but that role called for a bass and not a tenor.
The titular Consul doesn't actually show up.
Now, about the opera, I swear that Brian Aldiss or Paul Park or Paul McAuley or Ian Watson wrote stories about being trapped in bureaucratic limbo. I spent some time looking for a list of works that feature similar themes to The Consul, but found nothing. No, that's a lie. I found out that Japanese has a word for people of ambiguous ethnic heritage.
Otherwise, I went in completely blind, not knowing what style of music to expect. I think the guy behind me said the performance would be two and a half hours.
I have heard Amahl and the Night Visitors, not live, but on cassette.
Gabriella brought Anne with her. Anne is also an artist and I'm pretty certain I knew her in high school. They were dressed in "christmas colors," as Anne put it; Anne in vivid red, Gabriella in deep viridian. Gabriella's necklace was some old costume jewelry that her godmother acquired, repainted with nail polish.
(one of the ushers had a streak of hair the color of Gabriella's dress, which I thought was awesome)
I could tell Gabriella is Italian because she was talking with her hands.
I think Anne's Ruthenian or Ukrainian. Gabriella will take her to the occasional concert. Anne said she'd be hearing The Consul in her head for the next week.
We missed the rains when we got out.
Lulu's both a reference to a silent film called Pandora's Box and an opera by Berg. Me, I like double meanings too. Not like "PHRASING!" double meanings when someone makes an accidental double entendre. It's also short for Lolita, like the novel.
She has a new cat named Nabucco and she has to introduce him to the other cats. Actually, I think it's a her. But it's short for the Italian attempt at the Akkadian "Nabû-kudurri-uṣur" or in English "Nebuchadnezzar." She's talking about the weird way cats interact and Anne said "Cats are weird." and I don't know the details of this because of the wall of sound – Gabriella was sitting between me and Anne, some guy behind me was talking about Menotti's The Medium and a magical, mystical land where syringes are used as currency, and the orchestra was rehearsing.
If there's one thing I want to see, it's Magyar Madness.
Magyar Madness and Surround Sound, although Surround Sound happened in the past, so maybe if I had a DeLorean or maybe if I offered something to a dread power and repeated 2014 in an eternal recurrence.
She says I should see Metropolis, but it's impossible to find a complete version due to things like censorship and the lack of preservation techniques and World War II.
I do know every science fiction movie ever references it, even if indirectly.
They play Metropolis at the Brattle Theater occasionally, sometimes with piano accompaniment, sometimes with a small orchestra. Maybe I'm thinking of a different theater.
And she was at Jazz Fest, she just wasn't able to stay for the whole thing.
Burning question: It's a cat wearing a bow tie! How adorable is that?