Oprah Winfrey: Hellooooooo everybody, and welcome to “My Favorite Things: The Opera Show!” Todaaaay, I have a very special surprise for y’all, an interview with the characters of one of opera’s most dysfunctional families ever. Golaud, come on out!
OW: You gotta be one of the unluckiest hunters I ever saw. First, you get lost in your own forest while hunting a wounded boar. And may I say, I really disapprove of hunting. Then, your own dogs can’t locate you. Six months later, your horse runs smack into a tree at noon.
Golaud: I don’t know what to say . . .
OW: Then you marry this girl you barely know who was crying, hellllloooo, crying, at the edge of a pool of water. C’mon out Mélisaaaaande!
OW: Listen honey, you got a helluva lot of the crazy goin’ on. My producers are telling me that you used to be one of Bluebeard’s wives, hidden behind a door and tortured. Why on earth would you marry this blood-spattered lunkhead you just met?
Mélisande: I don’t know. I’m not happy, not happy! . . .
OW: Oh girl. Golaud, you are prematurely gray, I’m sending you to Dr. Oz for some nutritional and stress counseling. Don’t you see that all that stress and jealousy is killing you and those around you?
Golaud: I must know the truth, I MUST! . . .
OW: Calm down, big boy. Mélisande, I’m all about the honesty. You never seem to answer any questions about yourself directly.
Mélisande: I feel chilly. . .
OW: We now have Geneviève, Golaud’s mother coming on stage. Hey girl, you got some figure on you. How’d that work out for you, those two husbands, each giving you a son?
Geneviève: L-e-t m-e r-e-a-d y-o-u t-h-e l-e-t-t-e-r o-n-e o-f t-h-e-m w-r-o-t-e . . .
OW: Honey, We only got a one hour show here. King Arkel, get on out here. Now, you are the grandfather of this mess, and by the end of the drama, you’re a great-grandfather. Don’t you know that family troubles are generational? All these arranged marriages. You could really have prevented a lot of this.
Arkel: I can’t say anything about it, and besides I’m blind. . .
OW: Oops, sorry. Alright it’s time for the bad boy, Pelléas, he’s gonna make a special appearance, even though he hasn’t spoken to his half brother since seducing his new bride. Pelly baby, you are a real piece of work. What’s with the hair fetish?
Pelléas: Give me your hair, you hair, your hair! . . .
OW: Child, never touch a black woman’s wig! You read waaaaay to much Rapunzel as a kid. Listen y’all, I’m gonna send you over to Nate Berkus for a château makeover. Y’all have way too much fetid water hangin’ around. You seem to be trapped in an existential nowhereland. You know what I always say: “Live your best life!” And now, for my audience, a very special surpriiiiiiiiise. You’re ALL GOING HOME with a copy of the orchestral score to Debussy’s opera “Pelléas et Mélisande” a shimmering miracle of musical symbolism.
(No audience reaction)
(Heard in the wings: OW: Producers, PULL this episode, NOOOOOOW!)
© 2011 by Frank Daykin, for Innovative Music Programs