Chapter 5 – Let Me Tell You a Story

For context on this post, go here.

Eleven years since I last spent time with Fiordiligi, Dorabella, Despina, Ferrando, Guglielmo, and Alfonso. I actually didn’t think I missed them, but I’m glad to have them back. The thing is, they’ve changed. Or perhaps it’s not they who have changed.

This is the Così of words, of linguistic intelligence. I’m writing my first set of supertitle translations and uncovering things I never noticed before. And I’m recently hyper-focused on telling stories to opera audiences in a new way.

My own kids are now the prototypes for the couples in Così. I don’t feel like Fiordiligi or Dorabella any more, perhaps sadly. Rather, I feel like their poor benighted mother. Get a grip, girls!

Having had teenage boys in and out of my house since my last experience with Così, I can no longer get exorcised about Ferrando and Guglielmo. They’re just immature. And any teenage girl worth her salt understands that.

And I’m kind of newly pissed-off at Alfonso. Really, he should know better. I don’t care if he’s developed this warped world-view of love. He should be grown up enough to keep it to himself. Finally, I feel kind of sorry for Despina this time around. She’s kind of happy with her single-minded focus, but it’s still evil of Alfonso to use her and not clue her in to the whole scheme.

As I tweak the translation, I listen to these people talk to and about one another. For the first time, it doesn’t just feel like “opera world,” it feels like the real world. And I’m determined to use language to flesh out that feeling as far as I can.

Now it’s time to stop talking about Così and to start to find out what this chapter really holds. See you at The Barns at the end of June!

Fortunate is the man who always looks on the bright side
and lets reason guide him through the pitfalls of life.
That which makes others weep will bring him laughter.
And he will find lovely calm in the chaos of the world!

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