La Gazza Ladra ? It’s an Opera. An Opera by Rossini – I’m not mocking you – and the title – ah the title, it’s so pretty, the whole Italian countryside is already coming to sing to your ears. The story? a really lovely love story.
A love story is wonderful.
There we were, living in a gray way, pushing one day after the other in a small narrow world and suddenly, without warning, the whole world starts to sing, right up to our old cushion with its worn-out colors that hands us its little pompoms while singing: come, come, lovers.
We can even find ourselves seriously affected, we crystallize our beautiful love and it becomes irremediable: we will not heal from this one.
Yes yes, love is a story that makes you dream.
But to look at?
So okay, at the beginning, we are very happy for the happy lovers. They are charming, they snuggle tenderly, they look only at them, they coo, two doves bewitched under your nose, they invent silly little words to call each other, here are arrived on the front of the scene all the charming little nicknames.
And then, quite quickly, the show becomes… boring. On a stage, it will turn into a disaster in the hall if nothing happens.
After five minutes – come on, ten – the spectators will wonder when the catastrophe will finally happen. Because, seriously, who pays to see two lovers cooing to each other with “you’re the most extraordinary person in the world?” continuously?
It’s a terrible gamble for a creator: to show lovers? and that’s it?
And yet, this is indeed how this Rossini’s – now confidential – Opera begins.
She is very young – very beautiful – fresh as a rose on her branch, in the morning, under the summer dew. When he looks at her, he sings. He laughs. The desire to live and to love her takes him from head to toe. Ninetta and Giannetto are deeply in love, what do you want to do ?
But she is poor. And poor, really poor – she has nothing at all. Nothing but her, her beauty, her laughter, her enchanting eye and the softness of her arms.
On a bank account, none of this counts.
He, my goodness, his father is rich. And then he is a hero of the war, he comes home covered with glory: a perfect young man in short, a prince to embrace.
That’s the problem – this one is easy. This is real. He’s as old as the world.
We are all relieved: our beautiful lovers will have problems, we will cry with them, we will revolt against the bad daddy and then…
And then nothing at all. Rossini didn’t play the game at all. Dad is delighted. Is she poor? So what if she is? His son is happy as a king, she will be a splendid mother! The dad not only agrees, he arranges the marriage. He already sees himself surrounded by his grandchildren, flooded with the little nonsense of youth that will come to warm his old age.
We are horrified: this unbearable love story continues. The marriage is going well. Everyone is happy. Not a single cloud. No catastrophe in sight – nothing – happiness in all its insolence.
And then an event of nothing happens. A small spoon is missing.
Well, a nice little spoon, it’s true. With the initials of the Fiancé.
The story goes from character to character, but where did that spoon go? We’re not going to stop a wedding over a spoon?
And then the horrible possibility appears to the horrified spirits: the little spoon has been stolen.
But by whom?
Who is poor in this story?
Neither one nor two, the thief is her.
The poor, we know these people. You give them your hand, they take your whole arm – and your heart with it, those bastards.
Drama. Catastrophe – lies? felony ? – Here is our marriage fallen apart, the accused fiancée, the obvious catastrophe.
The spectator is enchanted.
The lovers are devastated.
The future grandfather between rage and despair.
The guests are disappointed, farewell feast, wines and dances.
But how? But why? She had everything!
She swears her innocence, she cries – she is poor, she is guilty.
Finding that spoon becomes the goal: without the spoon, no happiness on earth – at least.
As you paid attention to the title of this Opera, you know, you, who stole the spoon. That filthy magpie!
And all the joy of the spectator will stand there: when – who – is it? someone who will manage to identify the real thief, to give honor to the bride and happiness to everyone.
Well – yes – there is one character who doesn’t like Ninetta – it’s the mother : Lucia – the future mother-in-law then. Well – of course, there is always an unpleasant character in the stories.
It’s a frankly very pretty story.
An Opera full of freshness – with completely idiotic passages that allow it to enter, like a Prince, into the theme of the Fools, passages that can be made acrobatic and impressive that allow it to enter like a King in Virtual Reality shows for children – let’s be gentle and let’s go up to the trees to search the magpies’ nests!
Featured Image : From The Castafiore Emerald – The adventures of Tintin by Hergé – inspired by La Gazza Ladra – Opera – Giaccomo Rossini.