You are currently browsing the daily archive for May 20, 2011.

First, to any and all Christians who claim to believe the world is ending tomorrow, I don’t believe you for a second. I invite you to prove me wrong. Spend the rest of today donating every single penny and asset you have accumulated over you life to charity. Give up your house, your life savings, everything you own (maybe pack yourself a lunch) to the underprivileged. You won’t need it anyway, and the charity will look good on your resume when pining for positions in heaven. What’s the matter? Not enough faith? I thought not.

But before the second coming of christ (giggety giggety) we have another very important event: today is Draw Mohammad Day! Here is my 2011 contribution, a fine display of microsoft paint skills, if I do say so myself.

If you have no idea what this post is all about, here is a great vid from one of my youTube favs, Thunderf00t, explaining everything.

Don Giovanni premiered in Vienna in 1787.  The author of the libretto, Lorenzo da Ponte, described it as a dramma giocoso, a work that includes both comic and tragic elements.  The comedy includes a variety of mishaps, while the tragedy includes attempted rape, murder, and finally the Don being dragged straight to Hell, complete with a chorus of demons.

The background to the scene above:  Don Giovanni happens upon a wedding party.  Zerlina, played by Joan Rodgers, is the bride.  Giovanni decides he wants Zerlina, and arranges for her to become separated from the rest of the wedding party, including the groom.  He tries to seduce her, but the seduction is interrupted when one of Giovanni’s previous victims happens on the scene.  In the video clip, Zerlina is re-united with her future husband, who is extremely jealous of the attention Giovanni is paying to her.  Zerlina wins his affection back with a combination of flirtation and self-abasement.

I’m currently working on learning this aria.  There are a lot of things that make it fun to sing.  It’s fun to sing flirtatious characters.  The melody is relatively simple, but is entertaining from a technical perspective, with its interesting leaps and runs.  Done well, it’s an excellent show-off piece.  I hope to get it to that point.

I also hate it.  It seems to be a case of Feminism Ruins Everything.  To me, a woman who has grown up expecting to be treated as an autonomous human being and the equal of any man, it’s a really disturbing piece.  Masetto should be reassuring Zerlina that he will do his best to support and protect her, not blaming her for Giovanni’s unwanted attention!  And, given that Masetto is being a jealous prick, Zerlina should be tearing him several new orifices, not offering to stand like an unresisting lamb to be beaten and then kiss his hand.  Trying to wrap my emotions around the idea that Zerlina’s behaviour could be realistic for a woman of her social status in that era, is sobering.  It’s not really that long ago, after all, that women really did need to get married Or Else.  And that any suspicion of non-virginity or infidelity would lead to Or Else.  A woman like Zerlina might have been so totalized in her identity that it would never occur to her to expect anything but jealousy from Masetto, and that she would in fact blame herself for having attracted Giovanni’s attention.  Unfortunately, when I’m as disturbed as this idea makes me, I don’t sing well.  Still working on finding a way of singing this aria musically, without grossing myself out.

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