EXPLAINING OPERA MUSIC
Of all the noises known to man, opera is the most expensive. (Moliere)
In practice, to be well educated means to be able to cope with any situation, including the most difficult and/or surprising ones. Human destiny is impredictible and Black Raptors, not vegan Black Swans- can appear suddenly putting you in great trouble. One of such possibilities predicted in principle, but with timing and all the relevant circumstances absolutely unknown, is the meeting with an extra-terrestrial - let’s call her/him/it simply E.T.
I have my own ideas regarding the first meeting of Humanity with an E.T. How will it be? No red carpets, no solemn festive music, not great bosses and leaders at both sides, no exchange of experience- how to (mis)lead the masses, no discussions regarding sex, war , genocides, energy sources, money, science, research.
You cannot learn anything useful from stars and celebrities and other privileged individuals. The information of real value can be obtained only from the simple (or somewhat more complicated) human beings you meet on the street, in the bus, tram, airplane
or at his/her favorite pub. E.T. is smart beyond the known limits and has studied us for thousands of years and knows this well.
Quite unexpectedly, one evening E.T appears in your room when you are alone and instantly you become very,vitally, important. You are the representant of Mankind- it is your life’s Exam! You start to realize that your answers are decisive for the destiny of all people, born and yet unborn. If there will be future- these E.T.s are millions of years in advance to us and they can make with and from us everything they want- we are absolutely helpless.
I am thinking that perhaps I have real chances to be chosen by E.T.s perhaps they will want somebody with a broad life and professional experience and still not completely senile, also possible that they find some of my ideas (from my former newsletter and this Blog) as intriguing. The same ideas that my earthly brothers mostly ignore- their loss!
Between imagination and reality there is only a fluid wall- one night I am staying till very late at my PC and at once E.T. appears near me. E.T. has huge hypnotic eyes – my luck that I see so badly that “his” looks are not catching me. Paradoxally we communicate by telepathy at short distance, I hear his words but I cannot determine which language is he actually using. I am speaking Romanian, English, Hungarian a few words in Russian, German, Italian, French (you will see why) but he understands everything. I offer him a drink,,tzuika- but he does not want it, the poor guy (?). He says that cosmic ether is his unique food i.e. practically nothing, I become envious- what an excellent method to avoid food crises! He looks quite nice, but just when I start to think that he is quite an inoffensive being.. he starts a terrible attack- an unbelievably hostile and aggressive discourse. And everything changes: DANGER!
“ Listen to me, man! On a distance of a hundred billion light-years and starting from the Big Bang, yours is the most selfish, primitive and megalomaniac civilization around, ever. It existed only one worse than this in which the twins killed and ate each other in their mother’s womb. But this has disappeared fast when the last-but one being ate the last (or vice-versa) and have died of hunger. But even those born criminals have not imagined that their Planet is the Center of the Universe- an universe that was created especially for you! You are the most greedy, wolfish, cruel and intolerant species, the most skilled in destroying your small Ship. You detain the Cosmic record for auto-destruction and you do this both positively (how could you supra-populate so much this unhappy Planet?) and negatively – killing each others incessantly for millennia? You also are on an absolute peak regarding demented dictatures- millions of people being killed or dying for a single individual. You are retarded with at least 2000 years compared to the age of your species. And even now when you slowly start to understand how the world works, you are always coming back to your old, deeply confusing stories and fairy tales. I have nowhere, never seen- and I have travelled for many centuries- such a slavish addiction to old symbols and such a continuous, idiotic struggle for the Deity you call “money”. Or such a tyranny of pernicious hateful ideas that had to be forgotten so much time ago. Or such a cannibalization of the future by the past!
Many years ago, we have concluded that you, Homo sapiens are useless and harmful, so perhaps we will organize a small rain with asteroids for your planet, hoping that something more valuable than you will later emerge here. Can you tell a single argument in your favor, have you done something good here downstairs – after killing all the animals that ate you or were in your way?”
Overwhelmed by this apocalyptic speech, I knew that I am in the deepest trouble ever. This dreadful being is angry and upset, judges us based on our “News” at TV and does not know that 90% of us is so busy living that have no time and no opportunities for doing evil.
Or he knows about the Zimbardo Experiment? About Groupthink?
How could I fight with this huge mountain of cold and razor-sharp logic? What kind of mitigating circumstances can change the Mind of this Monster? But I have to do something, I have an immense responsibility- as nobody had during the Human History.
I have to solve a Problem!
I have learned something during this 73 years and I remembered a most efficient slogan:
To NOT be surprised but to surprise!
I am aware, the situation is critical...I have to use the best words this Being understands, plus something ELSE, more greater than all the words together. I get the saving idea in the very last moment as so many times in my life. I am improvising as fast I can, I don’t care if I will err and I continue, asking myself in terror, if in the huge brain of E.T. there is a small place for feelings? I am in a room with somebody who is 10000 times more intelligent than me and who can transform me in vapors in a fraction of a second- and despite this, I have to remain calm, systematic and coherent- what a stress!
I don’t want that this Creature should see how terrified I am.
And I start my small speech.
“You, honorable E.T. know the world so much better than me, you know all its wheels and you feel its pulse I guess you can even move some smaller galaxies if you wish. But you are fixed in this Universe and cannot move in other.
What if I show you an other universe, small- and you cannot enter it without my help? A small universe that was created by Man, is only his and even does not belong to all humans? We can express ourselves in more-than-words and without words.
We are able to create alternative universes – paradises and habitats and Hells- in many combinations.
I will show now you an universe, useless and futile, aside to Nature and contrary to logic- but I cannot imagine my life without this different reality I adore.”
My PC is in front of me, I am exploring fast the Web, go to the charming site http://www.aria-database.com – and in greatt haste and quite subjectively I start to show E.T. my strongest arguments:
“Perhaps our logic is not the best, but with our feelings it is different.
E.T., do you understand what is seduction, that irresistible call of love, not always sincere and good? Please let me know if you, asexual and evolved as you are. can you resist to these women?
Or to wonder why we are so many of us?
Or do you have a daughter and she says you “dear Daddy’? Can you imagine what do you feel when you hear this? I can – I have a daughter and two small grand-daughters and I am fighting with you now for their existence:
Or you have a son and you want that he should come back home?
I had one, lost him due to cancer and he will never come back and we will not meet again. Nothing comes after death- but what do you know about death? Do you have children?
Do you understand what means to be young, in love but to know that you will die soon, to be in despair, hopeless? Listen to this man: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CIPyWHCwWw
Has your language words like to wait and to hope? If yes what are you using them for? Listen please to this one:
Or suddenly you realize that you are old, the woman you love is despising you and it does not count that you are powerful, a king- your world collapses:
What if death will come to take you much too early exactly when you want, can and do live so intensely, what do you feel then? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mX7ugJ5NM8
You surely do not believe in the divine, being a god yourself, but do you know how much beauty can faith? Generate?
Can you understand that even the evil can be beautiful?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pesXB2rtMBw
Do you know in how many places and in which forms can love
transcend the limits of possible?:
I have explained patiently and methodically to the monster why Traviata is my favorite opera- I feel subconsciously that Violetta, the fallen sinner, poor sick woman having an immense ability to love and not a bit of luck, a victim of a cruel society is in some way a symbol of Mankind.
I try very hard to fulfill my mission of saviour.
“E.T., I know we are mentally and morally retarded, wicked, corrupt, absurd, irrational, ill-willed, sadistic, ridiculous but PLEASE listen to our music and look to our paintings, buildings, sculptures; talk with our mathematicians and poets and you will see that we are not only a bad species that must be deleted or discarded. Give us time , a little time, just few centuries and we promise you to bring light both scientifically and morally
E.T. looks at me, he seems sad and for the first time he is in some way… human.
“We do not hear the sounds, therefore I don’t know what have you tried to show me there. And we do not have that weird idea of “beauty” However, I have seen how excited, enthusiastic, transfigured you was, with H20 in your eyes. OK, I will not kill the Earth- I give you an extra millennium for thinking. But THINK!!!
So, or almost so, it has happened.
What a wonderful guy you are Peter. I too am an opera freak. Trouble is, I agree with Adolf Hitler: "There is no such thing as too much Wagner". (Love Trav, too).ReplyDelete
So - when ET visits you next time, play him Wotan's Farewell to Brünnhilde from Act 3 of Die Walküre - see if this bug-eyed unmusical fascist from another world can understand the tragedy and comedy of a megalomaniac god kissing away his daughter's immortality as he sends her to sleep for a few decades until an as yet unborn hero breaks through the protective Magic Fire and claims his own auntie as bride.
Don't get me started, Peter. Don't get me started on opera, my young son.
We can speak about opera as much as you wish,Daddy. I am 74 years old/young; and you? In our family my wife likes more Wagner operas- I am admiring him too have visited Bayreuth- not the Festival some 40 years ago.But I prefer Italian and French opera. If you read my septoes and the writings labelled Bisinis you will see why I have limited attraction to the mystery. (the mystic kind)
I have many times thought why the Greek mythology
has not found its Wagner.