Sunday, October 06, 2002

They all do it. Or as Mozart preferred to put it, Così fan tutte.

At Folkoperan, what they all do is spend time in the WC. That would be in the staging of the opera I saw last night with the guys. And that would be M., the t.v. producer, the guy from the Goethe Institute and his husband the South African publicist. Following the overture, the opera began with three of the footlights rising from the stage to reveal clear tubes of bubbling yellow water and the three male leads unzipping to use the shell-covered lights as urinals as they sang the opening trio, complete with realistic crotch-adjustment and droplet-shaking gestures.

It was not as cheap as it sounds.

In fact, the plot of Così fan tutte is so awful - and sexist - that the best way to redeem it is to turn it into farce as they did at Folkoperan, which somehow contrasts wonderfully with the sublime duets and trios and quartets and quintets and sextets of the opera (there are a few arias, but not many - the opera is mostly a series of shimmering ensembles).

As the guy from the Goethe Institute said, "Mozart would have loved it." As did I.

All that onstage sexual romping set the tone for much of the discussion of the rest of the evening: broad innuendo, mostly from M., who is in his element eating dinner in a crowded brasserie surrounded by a bunch of amused homosexualists. Although I'm not altogether sure what the German friends of the guy from the Goethe Institute thought of M., or of any of us for that matter, all of us talking so loudly, laughing at the stupidest things, our mouths open and showing tiny packets of snuff jammed between our teeth and upper lips.

The Swedish verb for the day is att flörta. It means to flirt.

- by Francis S.

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