Twitter Opera: Can You Open Act One, Scene Two?
10 August 2009 at 11.57am | Comment on this article
In brief, at the end of Act One, Scene One, William is languishing in a tower, having been kidnapped by a group of birds who are anxious for revenge after he has killed one of their number. Hans has promised to rescue him. The Woman With No Name is off to her biochemistry laboratory to make a potion to let people speak to the birds.
“One morning, very early, a man and a woman were standing, arm-in-arm, in London’s Covent Garden. The man turned to the woman and he sang…
A small bird twitters over there, He sings without a single care, If only we could be so free, Without the worries and the …
concerns of a nihilist. I would bring you flowers, but they would die. I would love you, but, why?
The bird responded, “Flowers they are strange to me, The fruits of nature that I see, Are worms and seeds and cats and rats -
“Nuts, i love hazelnuts.” Bang! The bird dropped from the sky, dead, its tiny wings were frozen.
he woman looks at the bird sadly, she is confused: “William, I’m not sure where this is going for us”
‘Darling, I must tell you. I can’t stand you – no, stronger. You are a horse. And now escape is what I long for.’
She sighed, “Why am I standing here, listening you sing to a bird? I have my career as a biochemist to be getting on with.”
Both leave the stage. Suddenly the bird awakes and is joined by other birds in a noisy chorus that marks real start of the opera.
and why should birds sing here: when all else dies, our food is dust, and rage destroys the city? They bring false hope with song
As she said that, a warm tear dropped from her cheek on2 the frozen wings, thawing them. With a flutter, the bird slowly came 2
the woman turns and walks away and william can see her holding hand with the strange man watching them from afar…
I’m sure it’s not an omen. But is Hans is the one for you? The civil partnership is at noon. You don’t have to say “I do”
a woman has needs too; Hans, you, can anyone on the Board really do? Give me time to think as I watch the menagerie siiiinng…..
“we seem to float blindly like two rafts in the fog, I’ve been trying to reach you, trying to reach you, trying to tell you..”
With a clap of thunder and flash of lightning a dark storm silences the birdsong as William takes the stage.
(Enter in Gustav) What a merry day for a stroll…..what’s this? A lover’s quarrel, hahaha. The world spins forward to her doom
A large ginger cat appears and snatches the bird away from William’s sight. “You are the cat and i am the bird” he responds.
(Gustav mutters to himself) …. (yelling) Hey you two! Quit with this charade and embrace each other…
“but the distance between us is psychological – not physical or intellectual. And what’s happened toooooo the ginger cat?”
Our love is like a storm cloud. A mighty storm cloud. A storm cloud, a storm cloud, a storm cloud!’ He sang in a lusty baritone.
“and we but riders on the storm”
The stage goes to black
Still in park. Her, shivering with coffee: I’m so cold- let’s leave Boston. Him: Anywhere! Around the world India, then Egypt!
“..France or Spain, anywhere but heeerre.. so long as in my arms you stay. In the poorest city I dont care so long as your neear”
“In the Serengeti, at night with mosquito net. Our love will last forever; Lovers of Legend – the natives won’t foorgetttttt”
“forget! forget! the natives won’t forget! Lovers, mysterious in the mosquito net!!”
There are Gypsies up the road and they have nowhere to go. What should we do? What can we do?
Hans: ‘Glimmer, hope, happiness in her eyes, her heart belongs to someone else, for me she doesn’t care’…
The Ginger cat speaks to William “I was once yours,and hers, but taken away – that is the cause of your dismay; all isnt lost
perhaps a pinch of smelling salts will bring her round to seeing me for who I really am, her one and only! Esmeralda!Smell this!
Esmeralda!’, she wails (Soprano in despair). ‘You don’t even know my name’, (everyone gasps-including the cat- :-D)
(They sing), ‘her name, her name, he doesn’t know her name.. that’s why she’s in the arms of many -isn’t it a shame’
Tobemory the talking cat tells Hans how he can find his love William, who is being held in a tower by the birds.
Birds: Tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet
“This generation is voyeurism.”
(with jazz hands) “And he just died!” (with focus on the ‘died’ part)
Hans: “He is dead? Who is dead?”
Birds: “Love. Your love has withered and it has died.”
Hans *holds sword aloft*: “I am going, going to …
… search for my true love / Am claim vengeance where I may / The birds they cannot stop me now / And any challengers I will slay.” less than 5 seconds ago… search for my true love / And claim vengeance where I may / The birds they cannot stop me now / And any challengers I will slay.”
The still-nameless woman rises to her feet: “I must depart, depart I must – the folk at the laboratory do, I trust, require me to concoct…
… a potion to unlock the secrets of nature, and allow the birds to talk to us”
END OF ACT ONE, SCENE ONE