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I am a stupid mathmo who doesn't understand Art. More to the point,… - Sally's Journal
August 1st, 2006
02:29 pm

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From:lonesomepioneer
Date:August 1st, 2006 02:45 pm (UTC)
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I am not familiar with the opera in question, but I've read the Aeneid so I'll take a crack:

1. She vowed never to love another man after her first husband, Sychaeus, died. Made a whole big production about it. So naturally she's embarrassed to find herself in love again.

2. Aeneas is supposed to be founding a new Troy, so shacking up with a barbarian queen is kind of a detour.

3. Er, don't know. Yes by proxy/duenna? (I don't know who Belinda is, she isn't in the book.)

4. Hee.

5. Backstory: Aeneas, a nobleman of Troy, and his intrepid band of survivors escaped the sack of Troy and are now wandering around under orders from Hector, the gods, and various and sundry of Aeneas' dead relatives to found a new and more glorious Troy with the ancient bloodlines intact (which they will eventually do, except it will be called Rome). Only they have wound up in Carthage, exhausted and starving, and Aeneas' mom, Venus, decided it would be a great idea to make Dido fall in love with Aeneas so she would be especially nice to Venus' pwecious baby boy. Except if Aeneas stays in Carthage he won't be able to found a new Troy, so this relationship was doomed from the get-go. Tragedy ensues.

6. Elissa is Dido's other name. I don't know why. It just is.

7. Hmm-- dunno actually. In the book there's a subplot about a barbarian prince who wants to force Dido to marry him or else he'll sack Carthage, but I don't know if that's what's going on here or not.

8. Heh, well in the Aeneid they had been shacked up together and living happily in sin for over a year before the god told Aeneas he had to get on with the founding of the new Troy, so her drama was a bit more appropriate.

9. In the Aeneid she gets her sister to help her build a big pyre to symbolically burn away her stupid feelings for Aeneas, and then she climbs up on top of it and stabs herself and lights it on fire. It's very sad. Perhaps the opera skips this bit.

10. Hee, again. In the Aeneid he does not offer to stay with her for love's sake. She is all, "I'll DIE if you leave me! No, literally! See, I will bury this dagger in this heart and it will cease to beat!" and he is all, "That is very upsetting and I will mourn you with great sincerity for the rest of my life. In the new Troy. Bye now." Aeneas would NEVER disobey god(s). His epithet throughout the book is pius Aeneas, "devout Aeneas."

This opera sounds fantastically trippy. I must see if I can locate it.
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From:atreic
Date:August 1st, 2006 02:49 pm (UTC)
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*lightbulb moment*

Thankyou :-) I feel slightly more educated now. Perhaps in the 16th century they didn't let you go to the Opera until you'd completed your Classics degree.
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From:lonesomepioneer
Date:August 1st, 2006 03:04 pm (UTC)
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I am more educated now also, as I was not aware there was an opera made out of this story. It's a great story.
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From:lonesomepioneer
Date:August 1st, 2006 03:02 pm (UTC)
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Oh! I should've figured that out, I was like, "Who's Belinda? Where's Anna?"
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