Opera ends before the fat lady sings!
For immediate release: Dropped Diva Dischord
(ACPA-Milan) Mayhem erupted in the aisles of Milan's La Scala Opera House with spectators shouting obscenities, smashing chairs, and demanding refunds after Sunday's world premiere of Antonio Pecorry's latest opera, "La Dolce Valquira". The crowd became incensed when the production unexpectedly broke one of the great taboos of opera by abruptly ending before the fat lady sang.
Such unprecedented scenes of bedlam and riotous behavior have not been seen since the melee during opening night of Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" in 1913, when the out-of-control Russian composer used a symmetrical tritone divided by minor thirds.
After that violence, no musician ever attempted such genre-shifting dramatics again, until Yoel Levi and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra presented their infamous re-interpretation of Shostakovich's 5th Symphony.
"Look, few remember Tchaikovsky's neurotic fear that his head was going to fall off, or the scandal surrounding the near drowning of Hector Berlioz while wearing ladies' clothing, but this debacle - it's worse than consecutive fifths," exclaimed one irate critic. "I'm sending him the bill for my intermission Gin and Tonics."
There is some speculation that the troublemakers were English opera thugs who had come to Lombardy itching for a fight. An Italian police detective said he recognized at least three of them as the same louts who were arrested earlier this year in Munich for clapping between movements during a performance of Beethoven's 5th.
"We think London's Millwall Opera Society may have had inside information on the new production, so they went to Milan hoping to incite the appalled Italians," he said.
The protests, criticisms, and rebukes spread internationally, with Germany's leading opera critic joining the fray. "Pecorry is not rejecting a juxtaposition of Wagnerian soprano with orchestra on aesthetic grounds," sniffed Hector Frankel, critic with "Opera-Now!" magazine, adding "it's cut short so he can fit in more commercials on TV."
Meanwhile, furious fat-activists screamed discrimination and sent dozens of protest letters demanding the final scene be rewritten "with appropriate consideration for the role of a full figured person."
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