As if opera weren’t daft enough already. It’s remarkable how much absurdity can be wrung from almost any plot if you put your mind to it. Putting MY mind to it tends to involve an awful lot of shortening and rhyming. Take that, Il trovatore. Serves you right for being so ridiculous.
Manrico sat down by his mother
and said: “Ma, I have to enquire,
what was it on earth that possessed you
to chuck that poor kid on the fire?
I know you were cross about Granny.
You want to make sure someone pays,
but round here they tend to use wood, Ma,
not children, to kindle a blaze!”
The gypsy cried, “Please don’t condemn me!
I’m cursed by my dreadful mistake,
and last night I dreamed that next week, oh Manrico,
I’ll find myself tied to the stake.
And during this dream you were singing.
Your voice was so huge it could kill!
From forty-five feet, it could shatter concrete,
and be heard all the way to Brazil.
I dreamed you were riding to save me
and singing so resonantly,
and then you just spoiled the effect by
transposing your song down to B.”
“I’ve no time for this, I’ve a date Ma,
with a girl of the noblest blood.
Her name’s Leonora, oh how I adore her,
And she thinks I’m rather a stud!”
“Manrico, beware of your rival.
The Conte di Luna’s his name.
He loves Leonora. He’ll murder you for her.
His passion has set him aflame.”
Manrico’s face darkened with hatred.
“Leonora likes men with some fizz.
My beard is much thicker, my sword is far quicker,
my codpiece more fearsome than his.”
“It’s time that I told you a truth son,
that’s known from Seville to Madrid.
Di Luna’s your brother, I’m not your real mother.
It seems that I torched the wrong kid!”
Manrico’s face crumpled in horror.
“I don’t want to end up a martyr.
I think I’ll apply for the job of that guy
who’s the tenor in La Traviata”