Newly revised and once again, with my sincerest apologies to the ghost of
Clement Clarke Moore!
T’was the night before New Years and all through the Met
Idle chatter expanded to grand tête-à-têtes
The stockings were held up from garters with care,
As freshly smoothed legs stung from shaving, (or Nair).
The lovely and well heeled strode carpets of red,
While visions of Milanov danced in some heads.
Some told of nights’ past and of old opera glories,
(While others preferred much more risquéier stories. )
Then the chandeliers rose and one heard so much clatter,
As the shushrats were shushing all pre-curtain chatter.
Then a diva so glam’rous (it must be Renee!)
Looked perplexed at her program, “What the . . . ‘Rondine?’”
But before she could exit, the house lights were dimmed
And La Gheorghiu appeared, flapper skirt, hat wide-brimmed.
“Chi il bel sogno di Doretta,” the piano started,
Then a crude blast was heard, oh God, someone has . . . .
Whispered one: “That’s appropriate I can’t stand Puccini,”
Snapped his partner, “Oh, it’s lovely, quit being so queeny!”
Memories of other nights, we begin to remember
How opera’s the best way to end a December,
So give us cadenzas, and bel canto trills,
And tonic and dominant and all else that thrills.
Give us Handel, and Strauss, Debussy and Bellini
Give us nights that’ll thrill ev’n Signor Tommassini.
And bring on the rare stuff, Mercadante and others
And broadcast ‘em all while we’ve still got Toll Brothers!
Yes, those operas by Mozart, Wagner, Donizetti
We love them mit Schnitzel or con la spaghetti
Yet hours of parlando and leitmotifs galore,
Will, no matter how beautiful, cause someone to snore.
Just make sure that our Butterfly dies by the blade,
And not from a gunshot wound fired by her maid,
And make sure that a gentle soul, like Violetta
Won’t be required to lap dance, through her difficult stretta . . .
Don’t let Salome die as she hangs from a rope
As staged by some hack, wacked out, weird regie dope.
For ‘tis opera we love, and ev’n though we may fight,
Or poke fun at others who don’t see the light,
I ask you to please raise your champagne (or beer)
And join me in toasting a new Opera-L Year!
Happy New Year, Everybody!