Part of me wanted to write a fake review of some kind for April Fool’s Day, but I couldn’t think of anything to write about. Besides, I’m not sure that I could write a parody of one of my own DVD reviews that would be readily distinguishable from the real thing. I would either end up meaning it or it would sound so like something that I might say that I would start wondering whether it wasn’t in fact true.
But it did occur to me that there are some fairly painful practical jokes in the world of opera. Here is the one that Don Giovanni and Leporello play on Donna Elvira:
As with many practical jokes, the intent is to humiliate as well as to trick. And I can never decide at what level Elvira is complicit in the deception. After all, in this case she is more than willing to be literally blindfolded. This is one of the reasons why I think she’s one of the most interesting operatic characters in Mozart. As a friend of mine said to me while we were watching this very production once, “What is her DEAL?” Which is one of those questions that is more sophisticated than it sounds. I mean – you could write a whole book on what Donna Elvira’s deal is, couldn’t you.