Monday, December 10, 2012

Il trovatore, Act I

Il trovatore
Grand opera in four acts (Act II, Act III, Act IV)

Music: Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto: Salvadore Cammarano and Leone Emanuele Bardare
 

Act I: The Duel

[Scene I: A hall in the palace of Aliaferia, just outside the chambers of the Count di Luna. The count is loyal to the prince of Aragon, who is currently waging war against Urgel, a rebel with his own claim to the throne.]

The Audience: And which side are we supposed to sympathize with?

Verdi: Well, di Luna is the baritone, sooo...

The Audience: Urgel all the way. Gotcha.

[Ferrando, di Luna's captain of the guard, is waiting in the hallway. A chorus of retainers and soldiers is also present for some reason, because apparently he needs a whole fucking battalion to guard his room in the middle of the night.]

The Chorus: WE'RE BOOOORED

Ferrando: Like I give a shit.

The Chorus: WE'RE GONNA FALL ASLEEP

Ferrando: NOOO THE COUNT NEEDS US TO BE VIGILANT WHILE HE'S OUT STALKING HIS BELOVED

The Chorus: Wait. He's not even here?

Ferrando: Nnnope. He's busy trying to look in Leonora's window and obsessing over the mysterious troubadour she loves instead of him.

The Chorus: ... so we're just guarding an empty room?

Ferrando: Yuuup.

The Chorus: Wow. What a dick.

Ferrando: Yeah, pretty much.

The Chorus: ...

Ferrando: ...

The Chorus: WE'RE BOOOOOOORED

Ferrando: Oh, not this shit again.

The Chorus: TELL US A STOOORYYYY

Ferrando: I'm sorry, when exactly did you all turn into toddlers?

The Chorus: TELL US THE STORY OF GARZIA

Ferrando: FINE BUT ONLY IF YOU SHUT UP

The Chorus: yaaaaaay

[Everyone gathers around as Ferrando begins his story.]

Ferrando: Okay. Once upon a time, there was a father who had two sons and they were all very happy.

The Audience: What about the mother?

Ferrando: She was dead or something.

The Audience: Shouldn't that have made them unhappy?

Ferrando: She was a bitch and they were happier without her. Now stop asking questions.

The Audience: Rude.

Ferrando: Oh, and also the father was the Count di Luna. That's kinda important.

The Audience: Sooo when you say "once upon a time," you really mean "last week."

Ferrando: Actually, this was the previous Count di Luna. The current count is his son.

The Audience: Oh. So who's Garzia?

Ferrando: He's the other son. The current count's brother.

The Audience: This is way more complicated than it needs to be.

Verdi: Oh, just wait. Y'all bitches ain't seen nothing yet.

Ferrando: So, like I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted --

The Audience: Eat a dick.

Ferrando: -- the father and his two sons were perfectly happy and content... until one day.

The Chorus: OH NO WHAT HAPPENED

Ferrando: One morning, Garzia's nurse awoke to find a strange figure in the room, leaning over the child's cradle!

The Chorus: OH SHIT WHO WAS IT

Ferrando: AN UGLY OLD GYPSY WOMAN

The Chorus: EWW GROSS

Ferrando: So the nurse screamed and servants came running and threw the old bitch out. She claimed to be reading the baby's fortune, but everyone knew that she was actually putting a curse on him because that's what gypsies do. You know, when they're not picking your pocket and stuff.

The Chorus: YEAH GYPSIES ARE ASSHOLES

The Audience: Okay, despite the blatant racism at work here, we have to admit that it's generally considered not cool to break into kids' bedrooms. So it's pretty understandable that people would get upset about that.

Ferrando: And then the child started getting sick, which proved that he was cursed! So the count sent out his soldiers to capture the old gypsy woman, and then they burned her at the stake for witchcraft!

The Audience: That, on the other hand, seems like an overreaction.

The Chorus: THE BITCH TOTALLY HAD IT COMING

The Audience: Of course. Because babies never get sick unless they're cursed.

Ferrando: But the story doesn't end there! The gypsy woman's daughter stole Garzia from his crib and threw him on her mother's pyre as an act of revenge on the count!

The Audience: Whoa. This got dark really quickly.

Ferrando: They found the child's blackened bones amid the smoldering remains of the pyre.

The Chorus: FUCKING EVIL GYPSIES

Ferrando: I KNOW RIGHT

The Chorus: So how did the old count deal with his son getting char-broiled?

Ferrando: He pretty much went crazy from grief and died. But he still believed that Garzia was alive somewhere, and he made his remaining son promise to keep searching for his brother and the crazy gypsy woman.

The Chorus: But he was never found?

Ferrando: Of course not. He's dead and buried and there's no chance whatsoever that this story will be important later in the opera.

Verdi: Hint hint.

The Audience: Yeah, we got it.

The Chorus: And was the old gypsy's daughter ever found?

Ferrando: No, but I'm sure we'll catch her some day. I'd recognize that crazy bitch anywhere.

Verdi: Also hint hint.

The Audience: Shut up. You're as bad as Donizetti.

Verdi: YOU TAKE THAT BACK

The Chorus: WOO LET'S CATCH HER AND SEND HER TO HELL TO MEET HER MOM

Ferrando: Actually, some people believe that the old gypsy woman's spirit still haunts the castle, and she appears to people in various shapes to frighten them.

The Audience: Is this foreshadowing too?

Verdi: No, this part actually has no significance to the rest of the plot.

The Chorus: OH YEAH WE'VE SEEN HER FLYING AROUND IN THE SHAPE OF AN OWL AND SOMETIMES A CROW

The Audience: Either that or you just saw normal birds.

The Chorus: NO IT WAS TOTALLY THE OLD GYPSY

Ferrando: AND ONE SERVANT DIED OF FRIGHT BECAUSE HE PUNCHED THE GYPSY IN THE FOREHEAD

The Chorus: THAT WAS RANDOM BUT OKAY SURE

Ferrando: SHE APPEARED TO HIM IN THE FORM OF AN OWL AND LOOKED AT THE MOON AND LET OUT A LOUD HOOT

The Audience: That's what owls do. It was just a normal fucking owl.

[The clock strikes midnight.]

Ferrando and the Chorus: AHHH MAY THAT OLD GYPSY BITCH BE CURSED FOREVER

[Everyone exits.]

The Audience: You people are morons.

[Scene II: The gardens of the palace. Leonora, a lady-in-waiting to the princess of Aragon, is waiting to see her lover. She's accompanied by her servant, Inez.]

Inez: CAN WE GO INSIDE YET

Leonora: NO I'M STILL WAITING FOR MY MYSTERIOUS LOVER

Inez: BUT THE PRINCESS WANTS TO SEE YOU

Leonora: NOT UNTIL I SEE MY BELOVED

Inez: Seriously, though. Who is this troubadour guy and where did you meet him?

Leonora: At a tournament. He was a mysterious knight in dark armor and he kicked everyone's asses and I presented him with the crown of victory!

Inez: Sorry, I'm confused. Is he a knight or a troubadour?

Leonora: He's both.

Inez: That's stupid and so are you.

Leonora: Shut up. I didn't see him for a long time after the civil war broke out -- but one night, I heard someone in the garden playing a lute and singing a love song for me! And guess who it was!

Inez: The trouba-knight?

Leonora: EXACTLY

Inez: Okay, so... how much do you know about this guy, anyway?

Leonora: I KNOW THAT WE'RE IN LOVE AND NOTHING WILL EVER KEEP US APART

Verdi: Challenge accepted.

The Audience: No, but really. This bitch must have taken "Tempting Fate 101" at Lammermoor Community College, 'cause damn.

Inez: Look, just take my advice and stop seeing this guy because it's probably gonna end in tears.

Leonora: NOPE I LOVE HIM SO MUCH THAT I WOULD BE WILLING TO DIE FOR HIM

The Audience: [facepalm]

Inez: Welllll if it all goes to shit, I'm going to carve "I told you so" on your tombstone.

[They leave. The Count di Luna enters.]

Di Luna: Doot de doo, it's such a nice quiet night that I think I'm gonna stalk Leonora!

The Audience: You're creepy.

Di Luna: HEY LEONORA I KNOW YOU'RE AWAKE BECAUSE THE LAMP IN YOUR WINDOW IS STILL LIT

The Audience: ... and also a bit desperate.

Di Luna: SHE FILLS ME WITH THE FIRE OF PASSION AND I'M COMING

The Audience: GROSS

Di Luna: ... TO SEE HER RIGHT NOW

[A harp starts playing offstage.]

Di Luna: OH GODDAMMIT IT'S THAT FUCKING MINSTREL AGAIN

The Troubadour: [offstage] COME WHAT MAAAAY
COME WHAT MAAAAAAY
IIIIII WILL LOVE YOUUUUU
UNTIL MY DYING DAAAAAAY

Di Luna: AT LEAST SING SOMETHING GOOD

The Troubadour: [still offstage] NIGHT AND DAAAAY
YOU ARE THE ONE
ONLY YOU BENEATH THE MOON
AND UNDER THE SUUUUUN

Di Luna: ... son of a bitch.

[Leonora runs onstage, having heard the singing. She sees the count in the darkness and mistakes him for her beloved knight.]

Leonora: I LOVE YOU SOOO MUCH

[She embraces the count.]

Di Luna: Not that I'm complaining, but what the fuck is going on?

The Audience: What a dumb bitch.

Verdi: It's almost like the count and the troubadour look a lot like each other or something.

The Audience: LA LA LA WE CAN'T HEAR YOU

[The troubadour enters, his face concealed, and sees Leonora macking on Count di Luna.]

The Troubadour: WHAT THE FUCK I THOUGHT YOU LOVED ME

[Leonora realizes her mistake and retracts her tongue from di Luna's mouth.]

Leonora: It's just a misunderstanding! It was super dark and I heard your voice and thought he was you!

The Troubadour: Oh. Okay, then.

Leonora: But really. How could you ever think I could love this asshole instead of you? He's not as tender or passionate and he's also kind of a dick.

Di Luna: Still here, guys.

The Troubadour: Yeah, he's pretty terrible. Come give me a kiss!

Di Luna: You're hurting my feelings.

[Leonora and the troubadour make out.]

Di Luna: SOMEONE PAY ATTENTION TO ME

The Troubadour: WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT

Di Luna: SHOW ME YOUR FACE IF YOU'RE NOT A COWARD

The Troubadour: 'KAY

Leonora: DON'T DO IT

[He pulls back his hood/visor/big floppy hat and shows his face.]

The Troubadour: IT IS I, MANRICO

Di Luna: OH SHIT THAT IS A HUGE REVELATION

The Audience: WE DON'T KNOW WHY THAT'S IMPORTANT

Di Luna: HE'S THE GENERAL OF THE REBEL PRINCE'S ARMIES

The Audience: OH OKAY I GUESS THAT'S KIND OF A BIG DEAL

Di Luna: [drawing his sword] HOW DARE YOU COME HERE YOU TRAITOROUS WRETCH

Manrico: [also drawing his sword] COME AT ME BRO

Di Luna: OKAY BITCH LET'S DO THIS

Leonora: OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE CAN WE STOP COMPARING DICKS FOR TWO MINUTES

Di Luna: ...

Manrico: ...

Di Luna: Nnnnope.

Leonora: Shit.

Di Luna: SINCE YOU LOVE THIS ASSHOLE INSTEAD OF ME I'M GONNA MAKE YOU WATCH ME KILL HIM

Manrico: NOT IF I KILL YOU FIRST

Di Luna: SOMETHING SOMETHING FIERY RAGE

Manrico: SOMETHING SOMETHING LOVE WILL BE TRIUMPHANT

Leonora: AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

[Manrico and Count di Luna begin to duel.]

The Audience: This is awesome! We almost never get to see this kind of stuff onstage!

[The curtain falls.]

The Audience: Oh, for fuck's sake.

[End of Act I.]

Next installment: Act II

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