Month: January 2015

‘Die Meistersinger’ at the Met — Maestro Levine Wins the Master’s Prize

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Pause for Effect

Michael Volle as Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger (Ken Howard / Met Opera)
Michael Volle as Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger (Ken Howard / Met Opera)

During the years 1857 to about 1869, Richard Wagner decided to take a break from his labors on The Ring of the Nibelung, a project that would occupy him for a good quarter century, by working on two unrelated subjects. It was Wagner’s idea that these works would be easier for opera companies to put on, thus guaranteeing him a steady income stream until the time was right for him to pick up The Ring’s threads.

The thought proved sound in theory, but nothing the Dresden-born composer attempted was as simple as he made it seem. In reality, those “easier” subjects he had in mind turned out to be two of the most complicated and extraordinarily demanding works in the entire active repertoire. The first, a mythical tragedy named Tristan und Isolde (1865), was deemed by musicologists to be well-nigh impossible to perform, while the second, the massive comedy Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868), would become his longest and most consistently accessible piece.

One must take a step back to admire Wagner’s cheek (chutzpah is more like it) at imagining that either Tristan or Die Meistersinger would be within the grasp of European theaters of the time. What was Wagner thinking? Why, even in our own era one is bound to acknowledge that both these works, as staggering a compositional achievement as any, are vocally, if not technically, beyond the reach of many a modern-day opera house. Rare is the company that possesses singers of such skills and capabilities as those required to fill the needs of something like Die Meistersinger.

The Metropolitan Opera just so happens to be one of the few companies around where one can hear not only a reasonably decent performance of these stunning works, but on the Saturday matinee broadcast of December 13, 2014, listeners were greeted with a thoroughly satisfying, near exemplary transmission of the Met’s Wagner wing at its unrivaled best.

Richard Wagner in the 1860s
Richard Wagner in the 1860s

Having seen and heard Die Meistersinger on numerous occasions, I am constantly amazed that such a volatile, boastful, argumentative, and thoroughly self-serving individual as Richard Wagner could write such a wondrously melodic, dramatically viable, and substantially artful masterpiece as this. It’s the only one of his mature works that doesn’t deal with such artifices as gods and goddesses, dwarfs and giants, heroes and dragons, knights and maidens, or plain old myths and legends.

Former record producer John Culshaw, in his book Wagner – The Man and His Music, made it clear that the single-minded composer had been “developing an aspect of his work that had emerged gradually” over time. “It was a question of musical and dramatic emphasis,” Culshaw continued, “and the relationship between the mystical and the real world.”

The principal characters in Meistersinger are, for the most part, based not on mystical but actual historical figures, or as close to “real world” personages as Wagner could create out of that enormously inventive mind-set of his. That the composer conceived his work as a comedy — a human comedy at that, with totally relatable characters and believable situations — makes it all the more astonishing in our eyes, considering how Wagner’s boorish nature constantly got in the way of his troubles.

Woodcut of the real life Hans Sachs
Woodcut of the real life Hans Sachs

Still, most opera lovers regard the cobbler-poet Hans Sachs as their favorite character, the one with the noblest of ideals and the most elevating of human qualities. My own predilection is for Sixtus Beckmesser, that nasty, ill-mannered town clerk and comic foil, as close to a doctrinaire Simon Cowell-type as can be invoked. This disagreeable fellow — in many ways similar in temperament to the caustic dwarf Mime in Siegfried — was modeled on the Austrian writer Eduard Hanslick, one of Wagner’s harshest critics and a formalist at heart. Wagner originally intended to name Beckmesser after his fiercest foe, but thought the better of it.

The plot of Die Meistersinger, or The Mastersingers of Nuremberg, revolves around an American Idol-like singing contest, ergo the comparison to Mr. Cowell (see the link to my articles about this subject: https://josmarlopes.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/mad-mad-the-worlds-gone-mad-wagners-die-meistersinger-von-nurnberg-as-american-idol-song-contest-part-one/). The prize of a hand in marriage to the daughter of one of the Masters serves as an added enticement to aspirants.

Incidentally, Wagner had previously composed an opera that took the song contest as one of its principal themes. That work, entitled Tannhäuser or the Song Contest at Wartburg, premiered in Dresden some twenty years earlier. Not exactly a hit with the public, Wagner tinkered with the score over the course of those same years. In 1861, Tannhäuser became a cause célèbre at the Paris Opera where a drastically altered version was presented with (horror of horrors!) a first act bacchanal. This thumbing of Wagner’s nose at Parisian “tradition” caused a near riot by the notoriously finicky Jockey Club, whose members demanded that their ballet be saved for Act Two, or else. Their ensuing disruptions forced Wagner to withdraw the work, a bitter blow to his easily-bruised ego and to his non-existent finances.

What relevance does all this have to Die Meistersinger? In hindsight, quite a lot, as did Wagner’s youthful dabbling in regional politics. For instance, the free-for-all street riot that closes Act Two of Die Meistersinger closely paralleled the fracas in Paris and various other unrests that Wagner had earlier participated in; and, at one point in his thought process, he had planned to present two back-to-back works — one tragic and one comic — involving song contests. Sandwiched in between both Tannhäuser and Die Meistersinger, however, were his mighty Ring cycle and the virtually unplayable Tristan. Wagner can be forgiven, then, for not having kept to his initial plan.

At about the same time as Tannhäuser’s premiere, circa 1845, Wagner had formulated a scenario based around Hans Sachs and the Mastersingers, a well known and warmly regarded group of artisans. After his disappointment at the failure of Tristan to take hold (not entirely unpredicted, mind you, in view of that work’s complexities), Wagner plowed ahead with the composition of Die Meistersinger. He began by filling in a sketch he had started some sixteen years earlier. That was Wagner for you: always thinking ahead, no matter the cost to himself or to others.

Drawing of King Ludwig II (left) and Wagner (SZ Foto)
Drawing of King Ludwig II (left) and Wagner (SZ Foto)

Without knowing it (or maybe he did, intuitively), Wagner also happened to be the luckiest artist alive. He was soon introduced to his most loyal and passionately devoted supporter, the newly crowned King of Bavaria, the eighteen-year-old Ludwig II — one of many so-called Wagner fanatics, who was wildly enamored of Lohengrin and captivated by Tannhäuser, as well as willing and able to bankroll Wagner’s future endeavors to their fullest.

With his debts absolved and paid for, and his financial obligations apparently covered by his young benefactor, Richard Wagner was in the enviable position of wrapping himself full-time in his words and music — and in extravagant silks and furs, all at Ludwig’s expense.

Musically Satisfying Performance

At the Met, the roar of greeting and approval that James Levine received before every curtain spoke volumes for how much New York audiences have missed the presence on the podium of their own beloved musical director. Before the formidable Met Opera forces (unequalled in this piece, I’ll have you know), Maestro Levine led an extraordinarily shaped performance, as did Chorus Master Donald Palumbo.

Let’s start at the end, so to speak. After the Act III prelude, a mournful, melancholy piece, Levine never languished. Both cello and double basses were full and soothing, never booming or intrusive. The maestro lingered over details, especially in his clarity of tone and the singling out of individual instruments: for example, the whimsical oboe at the Act I curtain; the jovial bassoon at the close of Act II, and the muffled horns at the start of Act III — even the gorgeous strings in Sachs’ “Wahn” monologue — all beautifully tailored to the episodes at hand. As well, Levine imposed his will on the chaotic comings-and-goings of Act II, not an easy thing to do in the anarchy that concludes that scene.

The orchestra maintained the right coloration throughout that seemingly interminable last act. In scene two of that same act, the robustly performed Dance of the Apprentices was most welcome for its sprightliness and unremitting joy. Indeed, this was one of Mr. Levine’s finest hours, an early Christmas present to his fans and to listeners worldwide. In Levine’s hands, the opera flew by in record time. That’s about the best compliment anyone can give concerning Wagner’s longest opera, and for that Maestro Levine wins the Master’s prize!

Act III Prize Song
Act III Prize Song with Johan Botha as Walther

The mighty Met Opera chorus was stupendous in their gloriously inflected delivery of “Wacht auf!” (“Awake!”), the Nuremberg citizen’s greeting to their beloved city and their favorite son, cobbler-poet Sachs — so like a Bach chorale in its counterpoint and harmony. The orchestra and chorus took home the honors as well.

Michael Volle, the Hans Sachs, was more baritone than bass. His is not a large voice, but it carries well without the wobbles or strain of past Sachs (I’m thinking of the Bavarian State Opera’s recording with Otto Wiener as an excruciatingly over-the-hill cobbler-poet). For the record, Mr. Volle scored a major triumph at the Met (at least, as I heard it on the radio). The role of Sachs is a gargantuan undertaking by any measure. The sheer quantity of words and music is beyond belief. Add to these the requisite acting chops and emotional intensity, which are of the highest order, and the goal becomes almost unattainable.

Impossible, you say? Probably — even more so when one is bereft of the visual component, another key element in delivering this part. What I heard on Saturday’s broadcast, though, was more than acceptable. I did miss some of the sturdiness of tone below the staff or the rock-solid profundity of Sachs’ lowest notes, none of which were within Volle’s reach. What I discerned instead was a leaner than usual Sachs, leaner but not meaner. The character’s warmth and world-weary wisdom came through loud and clear, especially in the grueling two-hour third act, a mammoth vocal and verbal outpouring that singers more impressively endowed than Volle have had greater difficulty with.

This is without argument Wagner’s most humane creation, and Volle finished up stronger and less tired on this occasion than any of his recent predecessors. I have nothing but the highest praise for his efforts and his successful closing paean to German art — movingly and brilliantly sung.

Johannes Martin Kranzle as Beckmesser
Johannes Martin Kranzle as Beckmesser

As Beckmesser, baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle has a voice similar to that of Hermann Prey, who sang the role at Bayreuth in the 1980s. He has an interesting but not too perturbing vibrato, a good command of Wagnerian style and feel for the text. His coloratura wasn’t all that smooth, but then again attractive scales and passagework are not the point of this part; rather, a strong flair for comedy and exaggeration works wonders over the long haul. This Kränzle had in abundance, along with a flexible voice and timbre. His confrontations with Volle’s roguish Hans Sachs were the highpoints of the afternoon (a long one, by my reckoning).

As Walther von Stolzing, the young knight who woos the beautiful Eva Pogner, South African tenor Johan Botha easily surpassed expectations in this character’s music, with strong high notes, a sturdy middle voice, and a poetic streak with the all-important text — all superior attributes of this extremely wordy part. A steady outpouring and a good pair of lungs, along with fearless stabs at the Prize Song’s unremitting tessitura, earned Botha the cheers of the crowd. This was miles and away his best role to date at the Met. The mere fact that he sounded better at the end than at the beginning was noteworthy in itself.

The gigantic toned Hans-Peter König’s rich-voiced Pogner was almost too powerful. He easily overcame most of the hurdles in his Act I address to the Masters and he kept the voice modulated and in check, which complemented his characterization. The equally high range of this role held no terrors for the German bass, a blessing in a part too often taken by lesser mortals that lack the necessary top extension. In this, König was “king” (pun intended).

Beauty in Bel Canto

Although it’s a secondary part, there’s been no finer David in my experience than tenor David Appleby, heard previously at the Met primarily in Mozart and Gluck. He demonstrated an ample tone and vocal purity that only the best bel canto singers can achieve.

Indeed, his background in that department and facility with note values outweighed any shortcomings associated with past exponents of this frequently under-cast assignment. Add to that some clarion top notes and we might be witnesses to a formidable Mime in our midst. In sum, it was a real pleasure for once to hear David sung so well, where previous singers have labored through the apprentice’s lengthy, drawn-out description of the various master tones; here, Appleby made the whole of his Act I “sermon” a joy to listen to. Keep up the good work, David!

Michael Volle as Sachs & Annette Dasch as Eva in Act II
Michael Volle as Sachs & Annette Dasch as Eva in Act II

Eva’s music was well taken by Annette Dasch, a spritely and lively yet feminine Fraulein with enough spunk in her makeup to make any man fall desperately in love with her. The only thing missing in her performance was that final spark of springtime in the voice. Dasch was slightly monochromatic and could have explored the character’s development from girlish playfulness to womanly wiles more fully. Her ingenuity and sense of competiveness with Sachs, for example, felt timid and unsure where it should be forceful and forthright. A little unsteadiness in the highest reaches marred an otherwise pleasurable assumption.

Praise must also be given the Night Watchman of British basso Matthew Rose, mellow toned and wistful, although he drifted from the pitch at times. His comic antics pleased the audience to no end. Rose got a solo bow at the conclusion of Act II, a nice touch on the Met’s part.

Die Meistersinger is many musical motifs removed from the world of The Ring or its companion piece, Tristan und Isolde. Yet the ghost of both the Ring and Tristan remain ever present, in the first scene of Act III and in many of Sachs’ midsummer reveries during Act II.

With these in mind, the acid test of any Meistersinger production is the Act III quintet. The lead up to it was expertly articulated by Volle, clearly comfortable with his native German and the style of the music. Maestro Levine took the number in a leisurely but not too lugubrious pace. Soprano Dasch began the main melody, softly and assuredly at first, with Botha firmly joining in and Appleby applying just enough sound to stand out from the rest. The same goes for Volle, who followed as well as he could the vocal lines of the other participants. It ended quietly and dreamily, one of the better quintets I’ve heard in a long time of opera-going.

Johan Botha as Walther
Johan Botha as Walther

Rounding out the cast were mezzo Karen Cargill as Magdalene, baritone Martin Gantner as Kothner, and tenor Benjamin Bliss as Vogelgesang, all contributing to the success of the afternoon. The biggest news of the day was that Michael Volle survived this marathon assignment with voice and honor intact, and without sounding too frayed on top, or too tired by the end — a major accomplishment that hints toward a future traversal as Wotan and the Wanderer in the Met’s patented hi-tech Ring cycle.

Copyright © 2015 by Josmar F. Lopes

‘Through the Dark of Night’ (‘Pela Escuridão’): The Songs of ‘7 – The Musical’

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Fairy Tales Can Come True

The original cast of 7 - The Musical
The original cast of 7 – The Musical

With the box-office success of the Disney Studios’ film adaptation (directed by Rob Marshall) of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods, it behooves me at this point to revisit an overlooked masterwork of Brazilian musical theater: Möeller-Botelho-Motta’s 7 – The Musical, an adult version (a VERY adult version, I should strongly add) of the Snow White story.

This elaborate excursion into the fairy-tale realm, a dark-themed noir extravaganza that explores the libidinous motivations of its principal protagonists, made its triumphant debut on September 1, 2007, in Rio de Janeiro. And since 2010, when I first heard about the show, I have spent these past several years viewing, studying, and describing the origin and background of this fabulous musical-theater piece in several blog posts (see the following link: https://josmarlopes.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/be-careful-what-you-wish-for-a-brazilian-fairy-tale-musical-comes-to-the-rio-stage/).

Today, however, I want to focus primarily on the English translation of its remarkably cogent songs, some of the catchiest and melodious numbers — be they Brazilian, American or otherwise — of any stage musical in recent memory.

So, without further interference from yours truly, here are the songs of 7 – The Musical, in the order in which they appeared in the original 2007 production:

 

7 – THE MUSICAL

 

Book by CHARLES MÖELLER              

Music by ED MOTTA          

Lyrics by CLAUDIO BOTELHO

English Adaptation by JOSMAR LOPES

 

Musical Numbers 

ACT ONE:

 

  1. “SONG OF THE REQUESTS” (The Seven Young Men)

A PALE WHITE RODENT

SOME POMEGRANATE SEEDS

A TOOTH THAT’S ROTTED

A LADY’S HIGH-HEELED SHOE

A HOLY BIBLE

A WEDDING BAND

 

Amela (Alessandra Maestrini) & Carmen (Zeze Motta)
Amelia (Alessandra Maestrini) & Carmen (Zeze Motta)
  1. “NIGHTTIME” (Carmen, Seven Young Men)

NIGHTTIME

ALL AROUND US IS THE NIGHTTIME

ALL AROUND US IS THE BLACKNESS

ALL AROUND US IS DISTURBANCE

BUT BEHIND US IS THE DRABNESS

 

ALL THE CATS ARE DRAB AND DREARY

ALL THE AIR AROUND IS WEARY

ALL THE ALLEYWAYS ARE TWISTED

CURVING OUT OF SIGHT AND

 

Seven Young Men

IN THE DARK OF NIGHT!

 

Carmen and the Cast

AH… NIGHTTIME

SUDDENLY IT WAS THE NIGHTTIME

SUDDENLY THE SOUND OF SCREAMING

SUDDENLY A BODY FALLING

SUDDENLY IT LEFT A BLOODSTAIN

 

ON THE STREET THERE WAS A BLOODSTAIN

ON THE WALL THERE WAS AN OUTLINE

ON THE COBBLESTONES WERE FOOTSTEPS

AND THE FOOTSTEPS ECHOED

 

THROUGH THE DARK OF NIGHT

 

Carmen and the Cast

NIGHTTIME

WHEN WE LISTEN TO THE CHATTER

WHEN WE HARKEN TO THE CLATTER

OF THE VOWS THAT SEEM TO MATTER

AFTER THAT, WHAT ELSE BUT DAY BREAKS

 

WHEN THE LIGHT OF DAY ADVANCES

WHEN THE RATS GO INTO TRANCES

AND THE PIGS TURN UP THEIR NOSES

WHILE THE DEVIL SLIPS AWAY

 

THROUGH THE DARK OF NIGHT

THROUGH THE DARK OF NIGHT

THROUGH THE DARK OF NIGHT

 

 

  1. “MAGIC MIRROR’S FIRST RESPONSE” (Seven Young Men)

NOT IN THIS KINGDOM

NO, NOT IN ALL THE WORLD

IS THERE A FAIRER MAID THAN YOU

NOT IN THIS KINGDOM

 

 

  1. “MAGIC MIRROR’S SECOND RESPONSE” (Clara)

SO FAIR AND FRAGILE

THAT LOVELY GIRL, SNOW WHITE

SNOW WHITE IS FAR FAIRER THAN YOU

 

 

  1. “THE SEVENTH REQUEST” (Carmen)

BRING ME A HEART THAT’S STRONG

STILL YOUNG AND VIBRANT

HAPPY AND FREE

 

Seven Young Men

HAPPY AND FREE!

 

Amelia (Alessandra Maestrini)
Amelia (Alessandra Maestrini)
  1. “HE’LL BE BACK” (Amelia)

LIKE A RUNAWAY SERVANT

WHO RETURNS TO HIS MASTER

LIKE A DEAR OLD COMPANION

LIKE A WAVE ON THE WATER

FLOWING ONE AFTER ANOTHER

 

HE’LL BE BACK, I VOW

HE’LL COME RUNNING BACK

AS THE SUN AND STARS,

THE MOONLIGHT

WILL COME OUT AS WELL

ALWAYS

 

NO EXCEPTIONS, NONE

NO THOUGHTS OR WORDS, NONE

 

HE’LL BE MINE, I SWEAR

MY LOVER

AS I’VE ALWAYS DREAMED

ALWAYS

I SWEAR

 

YOUR EYES ARE ON MINE, MY LOVE

YOUR ARMS SURROUND MY HEART

THE DOORS ARE NOW CLOSING

CLOSING FAST, MY LOVE, MY HEART

THE ONE I ADORE

 

Odette (Rogeria), Madeleine (Marya Bravo) & Elvira (Gottscha)
Odette (Rogeria), Madeleine (Marya Bravo) & Elvira (Gottscha)
  1. “DANCE AROUND THE DEAD MAN” (Odette, Elvira, Madeleine, Dead Man)

Odette

HE’S DEAD

HE’S GONE

THE DOORS HAVE CLOSED BEHIND

HE’S DOWN

HE’S OUT

HE’LL NEVER COME AROUND

 

HOW LOUD

HOW SOFT

HOW STRONG

HIS WHINE

HIS SHOUT

HIS SONG

 

AND THE FLIES BUZZING HERE

 

HOW KIND

HOW MEAN

HOW HARD WAS HE IN LIFE

A FRIEND

A FOE

A HUSBAND TO HIS WIFE

 

BUT NOW

HE’S OFF

HE’S THROUGH

HE’S FLAT

HE’S BROKE

HE’S STEW

 

AND THE FLIES BUZZING HERE

ALL THOSE THINGS ‘ROUND HIS EARS

WHAT A MEAL FOR THE FLEAS

SUCH A JUICY SIGHT

THOSE BLUE FINGERTIPS

THOSE RED EYES, THOSE LIPS

ARE THEY SAYING: WHAT NOW?

 

Elvira

HE’S DEAD

HE’S DOWN

NO SOCCER GAMES, FOR SURE

HIS TRAIN

LEFT TOWN

BUT NOW HE’S GONE FOR GOOD

 

HE LEFT

HIS DOG TO MOAN

HIS LEGS

ARE STIFF AS BONES

 

HIS POOR KIDS, STRANDED THERE

 

NO MOM

NO POP

TO SAVE HIM IN THE END

NO JOY

NO HOPE

NO SERVICE FOR A FRIEND

 

IT HURTS

TO DIE

ALONE

TO LIE

HERE ON

HIS OWN

 

JUST TO WATCH ALL THOSE WORMS

DO THEIR SAMBAS AND TURNS

THEY DON’T CARE HOW HE CHURNS

WE’RE THE SAME INSIDE

FRUIT IS FRUIT INSIDE

WE ALL ROT INSIDE,

KEEP IT OUT OF SIGHT

IT’S TRUE!

 

Odette

HE’S DEAD

HE’S GONE

THE DOORS HAVE CLOSED BEHIND

 

HE’S DOWN

HE’S OUT

HE’LL NEVER COME AROUND

 

 

HOW LOUD

HOW SOFT

HOW STRONG

HIS WHINE

HIS SHOUT

HIS SONG

 

 

 

 

 

ALL THOSE FLIES

BUZZING HERE!

AH!

Madeleine

ALL RIGHT, ALL RIGHT

I THREW IT UP,

ALL RIGHT?

I REALLY CAN’T GO ON

 

I CAN’T GO ON

WITH THIS

I HAVE TO GO

FOR PITY’S SAKE

SAINT JUDE

AND SAINT JEROME

BY ALL THAT’S RIGHTEOUS IN

THIS WORLD I’M LIVING IN

I REALLY HAVE

TO GO

 

OH MY SAINT GENOVIEVE

AS LONG AS I CAN BREATHE

I KNOW I CAN’T GO ON

 

 

ALL THOSE FLIES

BUZZING HERE!

AH!

Elvira

HE’S DEAD

HE’S GONE

THE DOORS HAVE CLOSED BEHIND

 

HE’S DOWN

HE’S OUT

HE’LL NEVER COME AROUND

 

HOW LOUD

HOW SOFT

HOW STRONG

HIS WHINE

HIS SHOUT

HIS SONG

 

 

 

 

 

ALL THOSE FLIES

BUZZING HERE!

AH!

 

The Dead Man

I’M DEAD

I’M SCREWED

NO ONE LEAVES ME ALONE!

 

NO REST

NO JOY

ANNOYING BITCHES TOO!

 

WHY DON’T

YOU GO

AND SCREW

 

YOUR MOMS

AND POPS

PLUS TWO?

 

CAN YOU SHOW ME THE WAY

TO THE NEAREST CAFÉ

HELL’S A GREAT PLACE TO STAY

 

Dance Around the Dead Man
“Dance Around the Dead Man”
The Dead Man

THAN TO BE HERE

WITH THESE FOOLS

I BET

 

 

 

PURGATORY’S BETTER

THAN THIS

PLACE

 

 

I SWEAR THAT

PURGATORY’S BETTER THAN THIS PLACE,

I SWEAR

 

I CAN’T GO ON!

Madeleine

OH, I CAN’T, I CAN’T

I WON’T GO ON

EVEN HELL IS BETTER

THAN THIS PLACE

 

 

WHAT A CURSE!

OH WHAT A MESS!

PURGATORY’S BETTER THAN THIS

 

I JUST

CAN’T GO ON,

NO MORE, NO MORE

MY GOD

 

I CAN’T GO ON!

Odette & Elvira

THAN TO BE HERE

WITH THESE FOOLS

I BET

 

 

PURGATORY’S BETTER

THAN THIS

PLACE

 

 

I SWEAR THAT

PURGATORY’S BETTER THAN THIS PLACE,

 

I SWEAR

 

I CAN’T GO ON!

 

  1. “THE HUNTER’S PLEA” (Hunter)

FLEE FOR YOUR VERY LIFE

MY POOR YOUNG PRINCESS

FLEE TO THE WOODS

NEVER COME BACK

 

  1. “WHEN A WOMAN WANTS” (Carmen, Rosa, Amelia)

Carmen

WHEN A WOMAN WANTS

A MAN OF HER VERY OWN

SHE BECOMES THE IMAGE OF A SIREN

SHE HOLDS IN HER HAND

AN APPLE FOR HIM TO EAT

A SIMPLE ACT WITH DIRE CONSEQUENCES

 

AND WHEN THE LIGHTS GO DOWN LOW

HE’LL TAKE A BITE AND THEN SHOW

HE IS IN HER ARMS WHEN HE HOLDS ON TO YOUR ROBE

 

AND WHEN YOU EXCHANGE A KISS IN HER PLACE

YOU WILL REMIND HIM WHEN HE LAYS BESIDE YOU

IT’S HER HAND THAT HE IS HOLDING

IT’S HER BACK THAT HE’S BEEN SCRATCHING

EVEN THOUGH YOUR BLOOD IS FLOWING

 

Rosa

TAKE THIS WOMAN FAR

AWAY FROM MY LITTLE GIRL

MAKE HER FIND HER FATE SO FAR FROM HERE

TAKE THIS WOMAN NOW

WITH ALL OF HER CARES AND FEARS

TO A PLACE THAT’S NOT SO VERY NEAR

 

AND MAY SHE FIND HER RELIEF

IN A HOLE IN THE GROUND

ON THE SIDEWALK, IN A SHELTER,

WHERE SHE LAYS DOWN

 

AND WHEN SHE AWAKES, AWAY FROM THIS PLACE,

MAKE HER AWARE OF HER SURROUNDINGS

SO PRINCE CHARMING SEES WHERE SHE’S BEEN SLEEPING

SHE WHO TRIED TO GET INSIDE HIM

MAY HER HAND BE ALL HE’S SEEKING

 

Amelia

FOR ME

 

Carmen

YOU’RE THE ONE WHO PUCKERS

BUT HER LIPS ARE THOSE HE’S KISSING FREELY

 

Amelia

FOR ME

 

Rosa

LET HER FORCE HERSELF ON OTHERS

ON THE STREET OR WHERE SHE’S KNEELING

 

Carmen and Rosa

YOU’RE THE ONE THAT HE IS HOLDING

BUT IT’S HER THAT HE’S BEEN FEELING

 

Amelia

FOR ME!

 

  1. “HERCULANO’S LULLABY” (Herculano)

SLEEP MY LITTLE BABE

YOUR DADDY CAME

 

SLEEP MY LITTLE DOVE

YOUR MOMMY’S GONE

 

Old Stepmother (Ida Gomes) & Clara (Marina Ruy Barbosa)
Old Stepmother (Ida Gomes) & Clara (Marina Ruy Barbosa)
  1. “HEIGH-HO” (Clara, Seven Young Men)

ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN DWARFS!

HEIGH-HO

HEIGH-HO AND NOW WE’RE GOING HOME

AND NOW WE’RE GOING HOME

 

12.   “CARD DECK” (Amelia, Carmen)

Amelia

THE TOOTH OF A CAT

AND THE TAIL OF A RAT

AND THE WING OF AN OWL

STIR THEM ALL TOGETHER

 

Carmen

TOGETHER!

 

Amelia

THE TOOTH AND THE TAIL

AND THE SHELL OF A SNAIL

WITH A BUCKET AND PAIL

YOU MIX THEM ALL AT ONCE

 

Carmen

ALL AT ONCE!

 

Amelia

BOIL THEM ALL IN A POT

LIKE A SOUP IN A SHOP

IN A KETTLE SO BLACK

THEY’LL BE COMPLETELY MELTED

 

Carmen

MELTED!

 

Amelia

FILL THE TOP OF THE POT

THE MOST POWERFUL POT

YOU CAN FIND IN YOUR SHOP

BRING THEM ALL TO A BOIL

 

Carmen

ALL TO A BOIL!

 

CARD DECK

DEAREST OF CARD DECKS

TAROTS, SHOW ME THE WAY

SEEK, AND YOU SHALL FIND

COME, MAKE ME ALL POWERFUL

 

Amelia

THE TIME OF NO TIME

THE HOUR’S SO FINE

WHEN THE MOON’S GETTING READY TO SHINE

GATHER ‘ROUND THEM CLOSER

 

Carmen

CLOSER!

 

Amelia

THE DAY IS A SAD ONE

A DAY WITHOUT SUN

WE TAKE UP OUR SONG

THEN IT’S OVER AND DONE

 

Carmen

OVER AND DONE!

 

Amelia

THEN YOU WISH FOR A WISH

AND YOUR WISH WILL COME TRUE

IF IT’S ALL THAT YOU DO

A HUNDRED TIMES OVER

 

Carmen

A HUNDRED TIMES OVER!

 

Amelia

YOU VOW AND YOU SWEAR

AND IT ALL COMES YOUR WAY

‘TILL YOU SAY WHAT YOU SAY

A THOUSAND TIMES OR MORE

 

Carmen

A THOUSAND TIMES OR MORE!

 

CARD DECK

OPEN MY EYELIDS

HELP ME, SHOW ME THE WAY

SPEAK, GRANT ME A SIGN

SPEAK, DON’T MAKE ME WAIT ANYMORE

 

Carmen

ASK, AND YOU’LL RECEIVE

 

COMMAND, IT SHALL BE DONE

 

PLEASE, SHOW ME THE WAY

MY ONLY TASK IS TO OBEY!

Amelia

ASK ME, AND I’LL RECEIVE

 

I SWEAR IT SHALL BE DONE

 

SAY IT’S NOT TOO LATE

MY ONLY TASK IS TO OBEY!

 

 

  1. “SCRUB THAT DIRTY STAIR” (Elvira, Madeleine, Amelia)

Elvira, Madeleine

SCRUB THAT DIRTY STAIR

TRA LA LA LA LA

CLEAN IT UP WITH SPIT AND POLISH

PRESS DOWN HARD, NOW TOSS THE RUBBISH

 

WAX THAT FILTHY FLOOR

TRA LA LA LA LA

MAKE IT SHINE AND DO IT SNAPPY

OR ODETTE WON’T BE SO HAPPY

 

WRETCHED WOMAN

USELESS VERMIN

LIFE OF EASE

JUST OUR LUCK

 

Amelia

YOUR FACE IS WITH ME HERE, MY DARLING

MY HEART IS IN YOUR HANDS

EACH PASSING HOUR

IT’S YOU THAT I SEEK

AND STILL I AWAIT,

MY TRUE LOVE

 

Elvira, Madeleine

GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES

HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE

IT’S JUST SHAMEFUL, SO DISGUSTING

SUCH A LAZY GOOD-FOR-NOTHING

 

LOOK AT ALL THAT WASH

TRA LA LA LA LA

PICK THAT UP, IT’S NEVER-ENDING

HERE’S SOME MORE THAT NEED A MENDING

 

WRETCHED WOMAN

USELESS VERMIN

LIFE OF EASE

JUST OUR LUCK

 

Madeleine

HEAVY WOMAN

 

Elvira

BEAST OF BURDEN

 

Both

LIFE OF EASE

JUST OUR LUCK!!!

 

7 Curses, 7 Wishes
“7 Curses, 7 Wishes”
  1. “SEVEN CURSES” (Madeleine, Elvira, Carmen, Bianca, Seven Young Men)

BITE A PLUM PIT

CHEW A FISHBONE

FILL THOSE VEINS UP NOW

SPITTEL CHOKING

SPIRITS POKING

DRINK THAT POTION NOW

 

MALEDICTION

MALEFACTION

SUPERSTITION NOW

SPELL ALL-BINDING

STUPEFYING

BLINDLY CURSING SOW

 

TOXIC FOAM

ROUNDABOUT

OVERLOAD

CRY AND SHOUT

 

WRINKLES SPREADING

DISRESPECTING

EARTH IS QUAKING

SKIN IS SHEDDING

 

MILK TURNS SOUR

NOW’S THE HOUR

SPILL THAT BUTTER

DYING MOTHER

 

STIR THE CAULDRON

HEAT THE OVEN

HANDS IN FIRE NOW

IN THE GARDEN

BEASTS OF BURDEN

IN THE CUPBOARD NOW

 

MOLDY STORAGE

TRY THAT PORRIDGE

PLUCK A PULLET NOW

IN YOUR BEDROOM

ALL IS BEDLAM

WASH THOSE EYEBALLS,

WHERE AND HOW?

 

TRIM YOUR BODY

CUT TO RIBBONS

FEED YOUR PONY

APES AND GIBBONS

 

BORE A HOLE IN

ROOF AND CEILING

MAKE A HOME FOR

LICE AND WOMEN

 

SWEAR A CURSE AND

KILL YOUR FATHER

SHOW THE WEAPON

THEN AIM HIGHER

 

SEVEN CURSES

SEVEN WISHES

TAKE THEM BACK

THEN DO THE DISHES

 

 

  1. “THE LIGHT OF DAY” (Carmen)

THE LIGHT OF DAY

IS THERE, WAITING FOR YOU

THE MORNING GLOW,

THE SIDEWALK’S JUST FOR YOU

 

AND THERE’S

A SEA OUT THERE

WITH SEASHELLS

AND SAND OUT THERE

 

ALL OF RIO AWARE

A RED CARPET TO SHARE

CITY LIFE AT YOUR FEET

WAITING, HOPING THERE

AT YOUR BECK AND CALL

AT YOUR FEET!

 

Herculano (Jarbas Homem de Mello) & Bianca (Alessandra Verney)
Herculano (Jarbas Homem de Mello) & Bianca (Alessandra Verney)

 

  1. “IF THIS PATHWAY” (Bianca, Herculano)

Bianca

IF THIS PATHWAY

COULD UNLOCK MY HEART

I WOULD PAVE IT

WITH THE GEMS FROM MY PART

STONES, MOST PRECIOUS STONES THAT I HAVE LAID

FOR MY ESCAPE

 

Bianca

FROM THE SILENCE

WHERE HE LOCKED ME IN

FROM THE FENCES

WHERE HE KEPT ME BOUND

FROM THE DOORWAY

WHERE HE FORCED ME DOWN

EVERY DAY AND NIGHT

 

THIS IS MY HELLHOLE

 

THIS IS MY PENANCE

 

I WANT MORE

I NEED SO MUCH MORE…

 

IT’S SO COLD INSIDE ME

 

SO EMPTY INSIDE ME

 

A TIGER INSIDE ME

 

AND NOW I MUST LEAVE YOU

FOR US

FOR US

 

IF THIS PATHWAY

COULD UNLOCK MY HEART

I WOULD PAVE IT

WITH THE GEMS FROM MY PART

STONES, MOST PRECIOUS STONES

THAT I HAVE LAID

FOR MY ESCAPE

 

THERE ANCHORS MY VESSEL

 

THERE LIES A NEW FUTURE

 

I WANT MORE

I NEED MORE

OH, SO MUCH MORE

 

OUTSIDE A SWEET WINTER

 

OUTSIDE ENDLESS SUMMERS

 

A SUNSHINE INSIDE ME

 

AND NOW, I MUST LEAVE YOU

FOR US

FOR US

 

PATHWAY

PLEASE UNLOCK MY HEART

 

IF THIS PATHWAY…

Herculano

ALL I HAVE IS YOURS

MY LOVE

MY LOVE

 

 

 

 

 

THIS IS OUR LOVENEST

 

THIS IS OUR DREAM HOUSE

 

STAY WITH ME HERE

WHERE IT’S OH, SO WARM

 

IT’S SO COLD OUTSIDE ME

 

SO UGLY OUTSIDE ME

 

A WOLF AT THE WINDOW

 

DO IT FOR ME

FOR US

FOR US

 

SAVE OUR LOVE TONIGHT

MY LOVE

MY LOVE

 

 

 

 

 

FAR FROM ANY STORM CLOUD

 

SAVE OUR LOVE TONIGHT

 

OUR LOVE

IS ALL

WE NEED

 

OUTSIDE THERE ARE OGRES

 

OUTSIDE STRIFE ETERNAL

 

OUTSIDE AN INFERNO

 

DO IT FOR ME

FOR US

FOR US

 

PATHWAY

DON’T TEAR OUR LOVE APART

 

IF THIS PATHWAY…

 

 

  1. “BEFORE I FORGET” (Amelia, Alvaro)

Amelia

BEFORE I FORGET MYSELF IN YOU, STAY

BEFORE I REMEMBER WHAT I DO, STAY

COME, STAY WITH ME HERE

DON’T LEAVE ME, I FEAR

 

BEFORE MY TEMPTATION TO SAY YES, STAY

BEFORE CONTEMPLATION TELLS ME LESS, STAY

STAY, I’VE BEEN AWAY

DON’T LEAD ME ASTRAY

 

STAY, TIME GOES BY FASTEST WHEN WE SAY:

STAY!

 

Alvaro

CLOCKS WITH ALL THEIR HANDS WILL STOP AND SAY: STAY

SHINGLES ON THE CEILING FALL AND SAY: STAY

SAY I FOUND YOU HERE

PRAY, NO ONE COMES NEAR

ALL THAT IS FORGOTTEN’S IN THE PAST

STAY

 

Both

FOREVER,

AND ALWAYS

TOGETHER,

STAY WITH ME

 

Amelia

STAY, MY NIGHTS ARE FADING OH SO FAST, STAY

 

Both

STAY, THE DOORS ARE CLOSING TO THE PAST, STAY

 

STAY, BEFORE THE SPRING

STAY, BEFORE THE THAW

BEFORE WE FORGET HOW MUCH WE SAY:

STAY

 

FOREVER

AND ALWAYS

 

Alvaro

LONGING

 

Amelia

SWEAR IT

 

Both

STAY!

 

Full Cast in Finale to Act 1
Full Cast in the Finale to Act One
  1. FINALE: “TIME AND AGAIN” (Entire Cast)

Madeleine, Elvira, Seven Young Men

TIME AND AGAIN

NIGHTTIME HAS COME

 

Seven Young Men

THE PATHWAY, PATHWAY, PATHWAY, PATHWAY

 

Madeleine

STAY WITH ME!

 

Elvira

HEY THERE!

WHAT’S IT TODAY?

 

Madeleine

WHO WILL CARESS ME?

 

Madeleine, Elvira, Seven Young Men

TIME AND AGAIN

WE’RE ALL THE SAME

 

Seven Young Men

THE STAIRWAY, STAIRWAY, STAIRWAY, STAIRWAY

 

Madeleine

STAY WITH ME, OH STAY

 

Elvira

MAKE OF ME

YOUR HEART’S DESIRE OR SOMETHING MORE

 

Madeleine

WITH ME THE LIGHTS ARE BURNING BRIGHTER

 

Elvira

WITH ME THE FLAMES STAY LOW

 

Both

NEAR TO YOUR CHAMBER

A CUP ON THE FLOOR

AND STILL I AWAIT

 

All

MY TRUE LOVE

 

Seven Young Men

TIME AND AGAIN

NIGHTTIME HAS COME

 

Bianca

THE PATHWAY, PATHWAY, PATHWAY, PATHWAY…

 

Madeleine

STAY WITH ME!

 

Elvira

ANYONE

OR NO ONE

 

Madeleine

WHO WILL CARESS ME?

 

Seven Young Men

TIME AND AGAIN

WE’RE ALL THE SAME

THE STAIRWAY, STAIRWAY, STAIRWAY, STAIRWAY…

 

Madeleine

STAY WITH ME, OH STAY

 

Elvira

MAKE OF ME

YOUR CRUEL HEAVEN OR YOUR HELL!

 

Elvira, Madeleine, Seven Young Men

AT NIGHT MY PRINCE IS WAITING FOR ME

HIS FATE IS IN MY HANDS

 

Carmen, Odette, Rosa

INSIDE OUR SOULS WHERE

IT’S WARM AND IT’S COLD

 

All

AND STILL I AWAIT

MY TRUE LOVE

 

BLACKOUT

Curtain

End of Act One

 

(To be continued…) 

Copyright © 2015 by Josmar F. Lopes