by Maggie R Cobbett
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Inspired by a 'salotto musicale' in Venice, this is one for opera lovers.
Dimly lit frescos and stuccos tainted by time
Are viewed from spindly chairs by twenty paying guests,
Hushed as in church; waiting for the half hour to chime
In this sea water damaged, peeling palazzo.
Through the half shuttered windows, salt, mildew and stone
Add their aroma to the scented candle wax.
Soft applause greets the entry of the baritone
Who, already in role, stalks grimly to his seat.
Three dark suited, bearded men and a wild haired girl
Have tuned their instruments; before each on a stand
'Cavalleria Rusticana'. Now they hurl
Themselves with passion into the Intermezzo.
They play it well and yet the baritone, grown pale,
Pays them no heed. He must await his lost Musetta,
Who flirts her way around the room from male to male,
Then falls at last into her dear Marcello's arms.
Enough of 'La Bohème'! They take a bow and leave the floor
To the musicians, world class players all. Each one
In turn will dazzle with a solo piece before
Don Giovanni clasps hands with his Zerlina.
We weep as Violetta must renounce her beau,
And face a life alone for his young sister's sake.
The Merry Widow waltzes with Count Danilo
And then, blowing kisses, they bid us all goodnight.
Past dark water gates and passageways yet unknown,
Our path leads along a deserted back canal.
Yet, in Venice, we do not fear to walk alone
And softly sing our own duetto d'amore.