Guerra, guerra!

Well, it’s that time of year, isn’t it? La Cieca is full to overflowing with the holiday spirit, so full of it, in fact, that she’s going to speak her mind, just as if this were a company party. There are some out there who have forgotten the true meaning of this time of year, and La Cieca is just not going to put up with that one minute more. There’s a war on, mon cher public, and it’s a war on what this special season is all about.

La Cieca is speaking, of course, about the war on the winter solstice, which falls this year on December 21. And what better way to mark this important annual milestone than to listen to a performance of an opera about druids – that is, Bellini’s Norma? Anita Cerquetti stars in a 1958 performance of this sublime masterpiece on the current Unnatural Acts of Opera, and long-time friend of parterre box The Urbane Pagan contributes an essay on Shamanic Opera-Going.

5 Responses to “Guerra, guerra!”

  1. Boringwhitegirl Says:

    What a wonderful treat! Thank you, La Cieca

  2. Thanks for the Urbane Pagan’s essay. It was a Winter Solstice treat.

  3. Boringwhitegirl Says:

    Yes, thank you Urbane Pagan. And, although I know it demonstrates my ignorance, please more on Mantua in 1597. I’ve been trying to track down information — in a desultory way — on the Societa della Incogniziente (sp?), but every site I’ve found is in Italian — and my French doesn’t get me much past “Casta Diva.” Any change of an article on their occult connections?

  4. urbane pagan argues eloquently for a regrounding of theatre (and opera as its most exacerbated form) in an animisitc or pantheistic substratum of our post-modern collective conscience. however, and at the risk of sounding pedantic, s/he is pushing the shamanistic shtick a step too far when s/he suggests that opera was invented in 1597 by a bunch of crypto-pagan artsy-fartsies with occult connections… which is what boringwhitegirl seems to have retained from the essay.

    so to set the record straight, let’s not forget that the renaissance conceit of recreating classical greek theatre (the original idea of a gesamtkunstwerk complete with singing, dancing and acting) was born in the 1570’s among the humanists and physicists of the camerata fiorentina, like vincenzo galilei (father of galileo) who tried to explain the mythical power of music on the human spirit by serious experimentation in acoustics, involving the physics of vibrating stings and columns of air, thus establishing the relation between the tension on a string and its frequency of vibration, probably the first expression of a non-linear physical law.

    now if you’ll just excuse me while i quickly retire to smear my body with belladonna purée and celebrate the rebirth of the sun god by belting huascar’s “brillant soleil” from les indes galantes at the top of my lungs while dancing ecstatically around the closest menhir.

  5. Boringwhitegirl Says:

    Yeah, but isn’t it infinitely groovier to think about the crypto-pagan artsy fartsies? Like Iolo Morgannwg, I’ll take a good story over the facts any day. But thanks for the real info, anyway.

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