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Castaway - Chapters 13-14

September 21, 2015
Posted at 10:59 am

Two more chapters to get us over the hump of comparative inactivity. Once again, I have little to add.
I might, however, make one point to any purists out there who object to my continuing references to the composers of operas as if they were the works' sole creators. The fact is that the librettos-the scripts, as it were-of most operas were written by poets of the period whose names are otherwise mostly lost to history; only a very few composers-Richard Wagner comes especially to mind, Arrigo Boito and Gian-Carlo Menotti (both of whom wrote libretti not only for their own compostions but those of others as well), very few others-wrote both the words and the music. Tosca's libretto, for example, was a joint venture between men named Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. Even so, it's common to ignore these diligent authors' contributions for the most part and refer to the operas as their composers' creations. Objectively speaking, that's mostly justified; most operas' plots are ltttle short of ridiculous, their characters only loosely delineated by the words put in their mouths, and the language itself falls well short of mellifluous. You go to opera to hear the music, not the words.