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June 13, 2006


Kip W

"Pal-yat-chee" is kind of amusing, and shows Homer and Jethro's usual virtuosity (I saw them live in 1969, and they had a table full of instruments they'd switch whenever they felt like, and they could play the hide off of all of them), but it's almost Rovean in how it takes the opera's strengths and reverses them.

* "Seven hours later?" It's about an hour long. One of the shortest in the repertory.

* "He sings 'I am dying, I am dying..." No, he doesn't. He kills two people and says, "The comedy is over!"

* "Then he stabs the lady and his self..." No, he doesn't stab himself. Jeez!

The opera was a ground-breaking "verismo" tale with less of that laff-riot artificiality than operagoers of its time were really ready for. So the songwriters here had to make up stuff to make fun of, like there weren't any operas that really were long, or full of tedium that they could have taken on. Jones frequently hit the heights of genius, make no mistake, but they should have done this one as an instrumental.

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