Tuesday, November 13, 2012

L'elisir d'amore, Act I

L'elisir d'amore
A melodramma giocoso in two acts (Act II)


Music: Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto: Felice Romani


[Act I: A quaint little village in some picturesque corner of the Italian countryside. Gianetta, who's pointless enough to be a mezzo but is actually a soprano for some reason, is lounging around with the chorus instead of working. Adina, the beautiful, wealthy landowner, is sitting and reading a book. Nemorino, the hero protagonist of our story, is standing across the stage, staring longingly at Adina and bemoaning his cerulean-hued balls.]

Gianetta: Boy, it sure is awesome to just sit around and be lazy instead of doing anything useful.

The Chorus: It sure is!

Adina: If you dirty peasant fuckers don't get back to work in the next five minutes, I'm going to evict you all.

Gianetta: … can she do that?

The Chorus: Maybe? We're all illiterate, so it's not like we can go to the town hall and read through our laws and statutes and shit.

Gianetta: Good point.

The Chorus: So should we get back to work?

Gianetta: Nah, let's just keep repeating our few lines of text on some equally repetitive music.

The Chorus: With gusto!

Gianetta: RELAXING IN THE SHADE IS AWESOME BUT IT SUCKS TO LOVE SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T LOVE YOU BACK

The Chorus: IT REALLY SUCKS YES YES IT SUCKS IT REALLY REALLY REALLY SUUUUCKS

The Audience: … this seems uncomfortably familiar.

Donizetti: Hi, everyone! Thanks for coming to my opera!

The Audience: Son of a bitch. Not this guy again.

Donizetti: Glad to see you, too.

[The chorus shuts up. Nemorino sighs heavily and begins to sing.]

Nemorino: God, Adina is so beautiful and graceful that I can't stop staring at her.

The Audience: That's kinda cute. You know, in a stalker-ish sort of way.

Nemorino: If I could, I would just stare at her all day long.

The Audience: Okay, maybe you want to dial it back a bit.

Nemorino: And all night. I would love to watch her sleep.

Rodolfo: Back off, man. Creepy sleep-watching is my territory.

Nemorino: You back off. You're not even going to exist for another sixty-three years!

Rodolfo: Them's fightin' words, boy.

Donizetti: GET OUT OF HERE THIS IS STILL THE BEL CANTO PERIOD

Rodolfo: Fiiiine.

[He leaves.]

Nemorino: So, like I was saying – Adina's super hot and I'd love to get me a piece of that ass, but she just doesn't even know I exist!

The Audience: That's rough, buddy.

Nemorino: I TELL YA, CELLOPHANE, MISTER CELLOPHANE
SHOULDA BEEN MY NAME, MISTER CELLOPHANE
'CAUSE YOU CAN LOOK RIGHT THROUGH ME
WALK RIGHT BY ME
AND NEVER KNOW I'M THEEEEERE

The Audience: Really? 'Cause you seem to be attracting a lot of attention right now.

Nemorino: CADENZAAAA

The Audience: Case in point.

[Adina starts laughing.]

Adina: OH MAN YOU GUYS THIS BOOK IS SO GREAT

Gianetta: Yeah, you can read. We're really happy for you.

Adina: Come gather around so I can tell you a tale!

Gianetta: Really? 'Cause you were telling us to get back to work just a few minutes ago.

Adina: COME HERE AND LISTEN TO MY STORY OR I'LL MURDER YOU ALL IN YOUR SLEEP

[Gianetta and the chorus all gather around Adina.]

Adina: Soooo once upon a time, there was a handsome knight named Tristan who was in love with a total bitch named Isolde!

Nemorino: Sounds familiar.

Adina: And he would pine for her all day long, but she never paid him any attention!

Donizetti: SEE IT'S SUPPOSED TO MIRROR WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE OPERA

The Audience: Yeah. Thanks.

Adina: But one day, Tristan went to a wizard and asked him to brew a love potion!

Wagner: What the – THAT'S NOT HOW IT HAPPENED

Donizetti: SHUT UP IT'S MY OPERA NOT YOURS

Wagner: WELL THEN MAYBE I'LL WRITE MY OWN

The Audience: Girls, girls. You're both pretty.

Adina: And so Tristan drank the love potion and it made Isolde fall madly in love with him!

The Chorus: OH MAN WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT TO HAVE A POTION LIKE THAT

Nemorino: IT SURE WOULD

Everyone: [stares at Nemorino]

Nemorino: You know, for completely normal purposes that have nothing to do with forcing someone to love me against her will.

The Audience: Okay, sooo wait a second. If Tristan was the one who drank the potion, how in the hell did it affect Isolde? Wouldn't it just make him fall more in love with her?

Donizetti: It's magic or something. Shut up.

The Audience: It's not to say that we don't appreciate the lessening of the myth's inherent date-rape parallel –

Donizetti: You're welcome.

The Audience: – it's just that the story makes no goddamn sense.

Donizetti: And when has that ever stopped me before?

The Audience: … touché.

The Chorus: SO WHAT HAPPENED NEXT

Adina: Isolde fell in love with Tristan and they lived happily ever after and nothing bad ever happened to them ever again!

The Chorus: YAAAAAY

The Audience: That's it; we're calling bullshit.

Donizetti: Again.

The Audience: Shut up. Aren't you missing the part where Isolde was married to Tristan's liege lord? And the part where it all ends in tragedy?

Donizetti: It's a myth! There are lots of different versions of the story!

The Audience: Yeah, lots. And the happiest of all those possible endings is the one where Tristan is exiled for life and Isolde stays married to a man she doesn't love.

Wagner: I like the version where they both die at the end!

The Audience: Yeah, we know.

Donizetti: Well, you can all piss off because this is my opera and I do what I want.

The Audience: Just so you know, we'll be keeping track of the misinformed uses of mythology from now on.

Donizetti: Funny you should mention that...

[Belcore enters, followed by a group of soldiers. Belcore is a swaggering douchebag who thinks he's God's gift to women – in other words, he's a baritone. He sees Adina and immediately starts hitting on her.]

Belcore: Hey, baby. Lookin' fiiiiiine.

Adina: Fuck off; I'm reading.

[Belcore steals a bouquet of flowers from some poor peasant and presents it to Adina.]

Belcore: So you like books, huh? Well, try this literary reference on for size. Just as handsome Paris presented the golden apple to the fairest goddess of all –

The Audience: – thereby starting himself on the path which led to stealing another man's wife and setting off the Trojan War and then hiding in his room and getting his bone on with Helen while his family and friends were fighting and dying all around him –

Belcore: – I present you with these flowers!

The Audience: Yeah, that's two strikes.

Donizetti: STOP KEEPING TRACK

The Audience: Nnnnope.

Belcore: But I'm way cooler than that guy –

The Audience: – the cowardly adulterer –

Belcore: – because I'm gonna put my penis inside of you at some point in the next few days.

The Audience: What? That comparison doesn't even make sense.

Adina: Look. No offense; you seem like a nice guy and all –

Nemorino: grumble grumble

Adina: – but I'm not interested.

Belcore: But wait, there's more! I'm six-foot-three, have an awesome mustache, can bench-press about a bajillion pounds, and I'm also a sergeant.

Adina: Be still, my beating heart.

Belcore: I know, right? I've never met a girl who could resist the sight of a man in uniform, especially when that man happens to be me.

Donizetti: Could you phrase that in a more poetic way, please?

Belcore: Sure thing. The goddess of love will always yield to the god of war!

The Audience: Oh, you mean like the time that Ares had sex with Aphrodite?

Belcore: Yuuuup.

The Audience: And then Hephaestus, Aphrodite's husband, found out about it and trapped them in a net?

Belcore: Uh...

The Audience: That's three.

Belcore: Sooo it's clear that we're both attracted to each other and stuff. When do you want to get married?

The Audience: Wow. That's moving a little fast, even for an opera character.

Nemorino: oh god oh god what am I gonna do

Adina: I'm not really looking to get married right now. I'd rather slut it up among the townsfolk a little longer.

Nemorino: yesssssss

Belcore: Come onnnnnnnnnnnn let's get marriiiiiiied

Adina: You are by far the clingiest man I have ever met.

Nemorino: Challenge accepted.

Belcore: What's the point of waiting? You're just gonna get old and wrinkly and gross; you should be spending your youth having hot sex with a hot guy.

Adina: Look, just because I'm desperate for male attention doesn't mean I'm easy. You're gonna have to settle in for a loooong siege if you want to pillage this village, baby.

Belcore: Wait, who said anything about pillaging?

Adina: I'm using the word as a euphemism for sex.

Belcore: Ohhhhh. In that case, I hope you're ready for me to breach your walls with my big, throbbing cannon and then burn your village the ground and slaughter all its inhabitants.

Adina: Uh... I think you're taking the metaphor a little too far.

Belcore: Yeah, I do that sometimes.

Nemorino: [to himself] Dammit, he's so suave! I wish I could talk to ladies like he does!

The Audience: No, you really don't.

Belcore: Oh, and by the way – my men and I need to stay at your house tonight.

Adina: Not gonna happen.

Belcore: Just me, then?

Adina: Nnnnope.

Belcore: Fine; we'll camp out in the town square. But could you at least give us a bottle of wine or something?

Adina: Yeah sure whatever.

Belcore: [to himself] Oh, yeah. She wants me.

Adina: [to the townsfolk] What the hell are you people staring at? GET BACK TO WORK

[The soldiers and the chorus disperse. Adina is getting ready to leave, but Nemorino has finally worked up the balls approach her.]

Nemorino: Hey, um... can I talk to you for a second?

Adina: Oh, for fuck's sake. Are you going to profess your undying love for me like you always do?

Nemorino: … no?

Adina: Okay, you've got thirty seconds. What do you want?

Nemorino:

Adina: Tick-tock, Eeyore.

Nemorino: I LOVE YOU AND I WANT TO MARRY YOU

Adina: Aaaand that sound you just heard was my patience officially running out.

Nemorino: WHY DON'T YOU LOVE MEEEE

Adina: Because you're a whiny sack of shit who doesn't contribute anything to society.

Nemorino: But... but...

Adina: You should probably go to the city and take care of that sick uncle of yours.

Nemorino: His pain is nothing compared to mine!

Adina: Really? 'Cause I heard that he's dying of syphilis.

Nemorino: Loving you is way worse than syphilis!

Adina: Wow. You certainly know how to make a girl feel good about herself.

Nemorino: Yeah, that was... poorly phrased.

Adina: You think?

Nemorino: Sorry.

Adina: Okay, just listen. You're a nice guy –

Nemorino: yaaaaaaaay

Adina: – but you're awkward as fuck and have no idea how to get women to like you.

Nemorino: My mom always told me that I should just be myself.

Adina: That's terrible advice. Also, I'm way out of your league.

Nemorino: But whyyyyyyyy

Adina: Mostly because I'm rich and intelligent and gorgeous and you're just a dumb redneck who smells like cow shit.

Nemorino: Oh.

Adina: But also because I'm like the fickle breeze, always blowing here and there...

Nemorino: [sighing] I wish you'd blow here.

Adina: You've really gotta work on your phrasing, man.

Nemorino: What?

Adina: Never mind. Just forget about me, okay? And maybe move to another town or something while you're at it.

Nemorino: BUT I CAN'T

Adina: And why not?

Nemorino: BECAUSE MY LOVE FOR YOU IS LIKE A RIVER AND IT WILL NEVER STOP FLOWING

The Audience: He's really not good at metaphors.

Adina: Well... that sucks for you, but it's not really my problem.

Nemorino: I WOULD GO THROUGH ALL THIS PAIN
TAKE A BULLET STRAIGHT THROUGH MY BRAIN
YES I WOULD DIE FOR YOU BABE
BUT YOU WON'T DO THE SAME

Adina: … 'kay. I'm just going to roll right on past your implied threat of suicide –

Nemorino: Dammit.

Adina: – and tell you once again that I'm not interested.

The Audience: Good for you, Adina! Way to not define yourself by latching onto the closest available man!

Me: Just wait twenty minutes.

Nemorino: PLEEEEEASE

Adina: FUCK OFF ALREADY

Nemorino: FINE

[They both leave.]

The Audience: Thank god.

[The Chorus enters.]

The Chorus: OH WOW LOOK AT THAT STRANGE MAN APPROACHING THE TOWN

[Enter Dulcamara, a quack doctor and traveling salesman. He's basically the Billy Mays of the nineteenth-century Italian countryside.]

Dulcamara: HI FOLKS DULCAMARA HERE AND I WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT MY NEW MAGIC POTION THAT WILL LITERALLY CHANGE YOUR LIFE

The Chorus: ooooh

Dulcamara: [holding up a bottle] IT KILLS MICE AND RATS; IT GETS RID OF WRINKLES; IT SWELLS YOUR GENITALS TO GARGANTUAN PROPORTIONS AND MAKES YOUR SPERM SWIM LIKE FUCKING SALMON DURING SPAWNING SEASON

The Chorus: aaaaah

Dulcamara: ANYONE EXPERIENCING AN ERECTION LASTING LONGER THAN FOUR HOURS CAN SEND ME A THANK-YOU CARD

The Audience: Thanks for the infomercial. Can we move on with the opera yet?

Donizetti: Nope. He still has to sing for another seven minutes or so.

The Audience: fuuuuuuuck

Dulcamara: I HAVE POTIONS FOR LITERALLY EVERY PURPOSE IMAGINABLE SO YOU SHOULD ALL GIVE ME YOUR MONEY NOW

The Chorus: HOW MUCH

Dulcamara: I'LL GIVE YOU A DISCOUNT BECAUSE PATRIOTISM

The Audience: That doesn't even make sense.

The Chorus: HERE YOU GO PLEASE TAKE OUR MONEY

Dulcamara: Done and done.

[Everyone buys some shit and leaves. Nemorino enters during the commotion and gets an idea.]

Nemorino: Hey, Mister Dulcamara, sir... I heard you have some pretty crazy potions and elixirs and whatnot.

Dulcamara: Indubitably! My suitcase holds more wonders than Pandora's box!

The Audience: THAT'S FOUR

Donizetti: You know what? I don't even care anymore.

Nemorino: Awesome. Would you possibly happen to have some of Isolde's magic potion lying around?

Dulcamara: I have no idea what the fuck you're talking about.

Nemorino: You know, like... an elixir of love?

Dulcamara: Oh, right. That. I actually just brewed up a batch last week, and I'll let you have it for –

Nemorino: [counting his money] I have seventy-five cents.

Dulcamara: – seventy-five cents!

[Dulcamara takes Nemorino's money and hands him a bottle.]

Nemorino: OH WOW THANK YOU SO MUCH

Dulcamara: You're welcome, you dumb son of a bitch!

Nemorino: So how do I use it?

Dulcamara: You drink it, moron. The effects will take about a day to kick in, by which time I'll have moved on to another town where I won't have any unsatisfied customers who want to curbstomp me for bilking them out of their hard-earned cash.

Nemorino: What?

Dulcamara: Nothing. No refunds, by the way.

Nemorino: I'm sure I'll be perfectly happy with the results. How does it taste?

Dulcamara: It tastes exactly like cheap wine, which is a funny coincidence since it's definitely magical and totally not a bottle of shitty Bordeaux.

Nemorino: Awesome. Thanks!

Dulcamara: Also, you have to promise not to tell anyone.

Nemorino: I promise!

Dulcamara: Wonderful! Just wait; you'll be knee-deep in bitches by tomorrow.

Nemorino: But I only want one particular woman because she's my true love!

Dulcamara: It's funny how you think I give a shit. Later!

[Dulcamara exits. Nemorino uncorks the bottle and takes a sip.]

Nemorino: You know, it really does taste just like wine. That's not suspicious at all!

[He chugs the rest of the bottle. The effects of the alcohol are instantly visible, because of course they are.]

Nemorino: LA LA LA I'M SO FUCKING WASTED

The Audience: So... was the alcohol instantly absorbed into his bloodstream or something?

Donizetti: Apparently.

The Audience: Wow. It really is magic.

[Adina enters.]

Adina: WHO THE FUCK IS SINGING

Nemorino: LA LA LA oh shit it's Adina!

[He pretends not to notice her and keeps singing.]

Adina: Oh, it's just Nemorono. What the hell is he so happy about?

Nemorino: Rrrgh, why hasn't she fallen in love with me yet?

Adina: Is he actually ignoring me? The village idiot is ignoring me?

Nemorino: [to himself] Laugh while you can, bitch – tomorrow you'll be begging to take a ride on the Nemorino Express!

The Audience: That's a terrible name for your penis.

Adina: I think I'm going to break his stupid fucking face.

[She approaches him.]

Adina: Soooo you seem pretty happy.

Nemorino: Yeah, I'm pretty much over you. It was way easier than I thought.

Adina: You know, I might actually believe you if I weren't the hottest – and richest – piece of ass in town. Buuuut since I am, I'm gonna call bullshit.

Nemorino: GOD WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE SUCH A BITCH

Adina: WHY ARE YOU PRETENDING NOT TO LOVE ME

The Audience: Oh, just hate-fuck each other already and get it over with.

Belcore: [offstage] DEALING WITH COCKTEASES IS A REAL PAIN IN MY ASS BUT I CAN DEAL WITH IT BECAUSE I'M THE MANLIEST MAN THAT EVER MANNED

Nemorino: Not this guy again.

Adina: Why, are you jealous?

Nemorino: NO

[Belcore enters.]

Belcore: Hey, baby. Did you miss me?

Adina: Not even remotely.

Belcore: I love it when you play hard-to-get. Are you ready to marry me yet?

Adina: [looking at Nemorino] Maaaaybe. As long as he's not jealous or anything.

Nemorino: DO WHAT YOU WANT I DON'T CARE

Adina: Okay, fine. [to Belcore] Let's get married!

Belcore: yessssss

Nemorino: motherfucker

Adina: How does six days from now sound?

The Audience: Like you've already got a bun in the oven and you want everyone to think that Belcore is your baby-daddy?

Belcore: It sounds great!

Nemorino: AHAHAHA SIX DAYS IS TOO LATE, BITCHES

Belcore: What the hell is he talking about?

Adina: Fucked if I know. He's an idiot.

Belcore: Do you mind if I kick his ass?

Adina: Be my guest!

[Belcore is about to beat the shit out of Nemorino when Gianetta enters, followed by the chorus and the soldiers.]

Gianetta: SERGEANT HOTPANTS THERE'S A MESSAGE FOR YOU

[She hands Belcore a note.]

Belcore: [reading] It's from the captain! It says here that we have to leave tomorrow morning!

The Chorus: OH NO NOT TOMORROW MORNING

Nemorino: WOOHOO

The Soldiers: Are we going to war or something?

Belcore: How the fuck should I know? [to Adina] It looks like we'll have to postpone the wedding, darling.

Adina: This is my disappointed face.

Belcore: Will you be true to me while I'm gone?

Adina: It's almost definitely a possibility!

Nemorino: [to himself] Oh man, I can't wait for her to fall in love with me tomorrow morning!

Belcore: Unless maybe you'd like to get married today... ?

Nemorino: What? NOOOO THAT'S A TERRIBLE IDEA

Adina: Aaaand there's the anguish and heartbreak I was looking for. [to Belcore] Sure! Today's a great day for a wedding!

Nemorino: MOTHERFUCKER

The Chorus: YAAAAAAY WE LOVE WEDDINGS

The Audience: Yeah, because they always turn out so well in Donizetti operas.

Nemorino: ADINA PLEASE JUST WAIT UNTIL TOMORROW

Belcore: It's none of your business, asshole. Now step away from my woman before I wreck your shit.

Adina: It's okay, darling. He's just upset because he's desperately in love with me and he can't bear the thought of anyone else seeing me naked.

Gianetta: HA HA WHAT A PUSSY

Everyone: [laughs at Nemorino]

Nemorino: But... but...

Adina: [aside] This is probably a good time to mention that I'm only doing this to inflict some severe mental and emotional anguish on Nemorino and that I have absolutely no intention whatsoever of going through with this wedding.

The Audience: That... seems a little harsh.

Adina: Oh, you have no idea. By the time I'm through, both Nemorino and Belcore will be little more than the whimpering husks of the men they once were!

The Audience: Holy shit. We didn't know this opera had a villain.

Donizetti: Oh, yeah. She's a stone-cold bitch.

[Nemorino has a full-scale meltdown and collapses in a heap while the crowd mocks him.]

Belcore: EVERYONE'S INVITED TO THE WEDDING PARTY EXCEPT FOR NEMORINO

The Chorus: WOOOOO LET'S GET OUR DRINK ON

Nemorino: [weeps softly]

[End of Act I.]

Next installment: Act II

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