Monday, June 10, 2013

Cavalleria rusticana

Cavalleria Rusticana
A melodrama in one act

Music: Pietro Mascagni
Libretto: Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci


[The opera takes place in the mid-nineteenth century, in a small Sicilian village. During the prelude, the tenor starts singing from behind the curtain.]

Turiddu: [offstage] I met her in my mom's bar down in Sicily
And she was super hot and had sex with me, oh my Lola
L-O-L-A, Lola
And she went and got married while I was away
But I'm back and now I'm sleeping with her anyway, 'cause YOLO
Y-O-L-O, YOLO
And her husbands pretty tough and a jealous guy
But she's hot enough that I don't even care if I die, oh my Lola
Lo-lo-lo-lo-Lola

Mascagni: Actually, that pretty much covers the whole plot of the opera right there.

The Audience: So... can we leave now, or would that be awkward?

Mascagni: You can't leave yet! You'll miss all the Catholic guilt!

The Audience: Oh joy.

[The curtain rises on the town square, which has a church at one end and Turiddu's mom's wine bar at the other.]

The Audience: Religion and alcohol, the two staples of any Sicilian upbringing.

Me: To be fair, that also describes Ireland.

[The chorus enters.]

Chorus Women: WE ARE SIMPLE COUNTRY FOLK WHO ENJOY OUR SIMPLE COUNTRY LIVES

Chorus Men: YES INDEED WE WORK HARD ALL DAY AND THEN WE ENJOY THE SIMPLE COMFORTS OF OUR QUAINT HOMES

Chorus Women: YOU COULD EVEN SAY OUR LIVES ARE PRETTY RUSTIC

Chorus Men: AND CHIVALROUS

Chorus Women: THE ONLY THING WE LOVE MORE THAN AN HONEST DAY'S WORK IS OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST WHO WAS CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY, SUFFERED UNDER PONTIUS PILATE, WAS CRUCIFIED, DIED, AND WAS BURIED

Mascagni: Oh, right. It's Easter, by the way.

The Audience: Of course it is.

The Chorus: WE'RE SO EXCITED TO CELEBRATE EASTER IN A COMPLETELY PEACEFUL AND NON-MURDEROUS FASHION

[They exit. Enter Santuzza, a young woman from the village. She seeks out Mama Lucia, who is Turiddu's mother and the proprietor of the wine bar.]

Santuzza: MAMA LUCIA WHERE IS TURIDDU

Mama Lucia: I'm sorry; you must have me confused with someone who talks to dirty whores.

Santuzza: Rude.

Mama Lucia: Hey, I calls 'em as I sees 'em.

Santuzza: Pleeeeease I need to talk to Turiddu and I need to know where he iiiiiiiiis

Mama Lucia: He's not here; he's gone to Francofonte to buy more wine.

Santuzza: No, he's totally back.

Mama Lucia: BITCH IF YOU KNOW SO MUCH THEN WHY DID YOU ASK ME WHERE HE WAS IN THE FIRST PLACE

Santuzza: Someone saw him here in town last night!

Mama Lucia: What? Aw, hell naw. He can cavort with brazen hussies all he wants –

Santuzza: I have feelings, you know.

Mama Lucia: – but the minute he starts messing with my business, it is on.

The Audience: Good to know she's got her priorities in order.

[Mama Lucia beckons to Santuzza.]

Mama Lucia: Come inside; we can talk more.

Santuzza: I CAN'T ENTER YOUR HOUSE BECAUSE I'VE BEEN EXCOMMUNICATED

The Audience: We're pretty sure that's not how excommunication works, but whatever.

Mama Lucia: Fine. Just tell me what my son's been up to!

Santuzza: Well...

[Alfio enters. The chorus follows him on because they have nothing better to do.]

Alfio: BOY I SURE LOVE CARTING SHIT FROM TOWN TO TOWN

The Chorus: YEAH THAT'S APPARENTLY A THING THAT PEOPLE DO

Alfio: BUT I'M JUST HAPPY TO BE BACK HOME FOR EASTER SO I CAN SEE MY LOVING WIFE LOLA WHO WOULD NEVER EVER CUCKOLD ME

Santuzza: cough cough SLUT cough cough

Alfio: YAAAAY IT'S SO GOOD TO BE HOME

The Chorus: YAAAAAAAY

Alfio: Hey, Mama Lucia – do you have any of that wine I love so much?

Mama Lucia: Not at the moment – Turiddu has gone to get more.

Alfio: But he's back, isn't he? I saw him near my house this morning, looking completely inconspicuous!

Mama Lucia: GODDAMMIT HOW LONG HAS HE BEEN BACK IN TOWN

[Santuzza elbows Mama Lucia.]

Santuzza: [whispering] Ix-nay on the Uriddu-Tay.

Mama Lucia: Bitch, you know I don't speak Latin.

Santuzza: Just shut up.

[Singing can be heard from the church.]

Alfio: Y'all bitches are late for mass.

Mama Lucia: Aren't you gonna go?

Alfio: I have to drop some stuff off at home first, but I'm sure I'll arrive at the church at an appropriately dramatic moment.

[He leaves. The offstage chorus sings in Latin.]

Offstage Chorus: LOREM IPSUM DOLOR SIT AMET
CONSECTETUR ADIPISCING ELIT
VESTIBULUM FEUGIAT IMPERDIET
LIBERO UT ALIQUAM

Onstage Chorus: YAY FOR JESUS
HE HAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD AND STUFF

Santuzza: I AM SAD BECAUSE I CAN'T GO INTO THE CHURCH

The Chorus: ALLELUIAAAAAAAA

[Everyone goes into church except Santuzza and Mama Lucia.]

Mama Lucia: Soooo why did you tell me to shut up?

Santuzza: You know how Turiddu had sworn to love Lola forever before he went off to be a soldier?

Mama Lucia: Yeah...

Santuzza: Well, when he got back and saw that she was married, he seduced me to make her jealous.

The Audience: What a douche.

Santuzza: He said he loved me and promised that we would get married, but now he's just banging Lola whenever Alfio's out of town. OH GOD I'M THE TOWN HARLOT

Mama Lucia: Well, shit. And this is why you can't go to church?

Santuzza: More or less. But it's okay; I'll just wait outside and interact with the other main characters.

[Mama Lucia leaves. Turiddu enters.]

Turiddu: Oh, hey.

Santuzza: There you are! I've been waiting for you!

Turiddu: That's great. Aren't you going to church?

Santuzza: NO BECAUSE I'M A SINFUL SINNER AND IT'S YOUR FAULT

Turiddu: Oh, right. The pre-marital sex. Hey, have you seen my mom around?

Santuzza: Yeah, but I need to talk to you.

Turiddu: Not in front of the church. It might give people the wrong idea.

The Audience: Like the idea that you're an asshole?

Turiddu: More or less. Anyway, I'm gonna go –

Santuzza: Where have you been?

Turiddu: I was buying wine in Francofonte.

Santuzza: Bullshit. Half the town saw you creeping around Lola's house this morning.

Turiddu: HAVE YOU BEEN SPYING ON ME

Santuzza: YEAH MAYBE A LITTLE but this time it was actually Alfio who saw you.

Turiddu: Shiiiiit.

Santuzza: If you're going to be a two-timing dick, you could at least be more careful about it.

Turiddu: Shut up! Do you want to get me killed?

Santuzza: NO BECAUSE I LOVE YOU BUT YOU LOVE LOLA

Turiddu: Calm down. I don't love Lola; I love you!

Jerry Springer: Is that true? Let's find out! Come on out, Lola!

[Lola enters.]

The Audience: WOOOO

Santuzza: [expletive deleted]

Lola: DON'T YOU WISH YOUR GIRLFRIEND WAS HOT LIKE ME
DON'T YOU WISH YOUR GIRLFRIEND WAS A FREAK LIKE ME

Santuzza: [throws a chair]

The Audience: WOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Lola: Oh hey, Turiddu. Have you seen Alfio?

Turiddu: I dunno; I just got here.

Lola: Whatever; I'm sure he'll be here soon. [molto bitchy] Aren't you coming in, Santuzza?

Santuzza: People who have committed grievous sins aren't allowed in church.

Lola: [innocently] Well, I guess I should be glad that I'm not a skank like you!

Santuzza: Yeah, you're a fucking model of womanly virtue.

Turiddu: You know what? Your negativity is really bumming me out. Let's go, Lola.

Lola: No, thanks. You can stay out here and finish your conversation.

Turiddu: But –

Lola: Stay.

Turiddu: Yes, ma'am.

[Lola goes into church.]

Turiddu: GODDAMMIT SANTUZZA LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE

Santuzza: I JUST LOVE YOU SO MUCH

Turiddu: I DON'T CARE GET AWAY FROM ME

Santuzza: DON'T LEAVE ME

Turiddu: WATCH ME

[She tries to cling to him, but he shoves her away and runs into the church.]

Santuzza: I HOPE YOU HAVE... A BAD EASTER

The Orchestra: Dun DUN DUNNNNNNN

The Audience: … is that supposed to be some sort of grievous curse?

Mascagni: Of course. Everyone in the town is, like... super Catholic.

The Audience: It doesn't seem that terrible, though. “Have a bad Easter.” You might as well tell someone that you hope they overcook their dinner.

Mascagni: That would probably get you shot in some parts Sicily.

The Audience: … you people are weird.

[Alfio enters.]

Santuzza: ALFIO I HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU

Alfio: How late am I for mass?

Santuzza: I'm pretty sure it's ending in five minutes. But what's important right now is that LOLA IS CHEATING ON YOU WITH TURIDDU

Alfio: whaaaaaaaaaaat

Santuzza: Whenever you leave town, they pretty much fuck like rabbits.

Alfio: GodDAMMIT

Santuzza: Right?

Alfio: If you're lying to me, I will rip your heart out and eat it.

The Audience: Whoa. Calm down there, khaleesi.

Santuzza: I'm not lying!

Alfio: Okay, I'll just take your word for it and not bother to verify your statements in any way.

The Audience: Don't worry. It's all true.

Alfio: TIME TO GET MY MURDER ON

Santuzza: … maybe telling you like this wasn't the best idea.

Alfio: WHERE'S MY STABBIN' KNIFE

[They exit. An orchestral intermezzo plays.]

The Orchestra: Listen to how beautiful and melodic this is! There's no way this is all going to end in tragedy!

The Audience: Bullshit.

The Orchestra: Yeah, we're just fucking with you. Shit's about to get real.

[The mass ends and the chorus re-enters with Turiddu and Lola.]

The Chorus: Now that mass is over, let's go home to our families!

Turiddu: How about you, Lola?

Lola: I have to go home, too. I still haven't found Alfio!

Turiddu: Meh. He'll get here eventually. HEY EVERYONE LET'S GET DRUNK

The Chorus: That sounds way better than Easter dinner with our loved ones!

Turiddu: TRA LA LA WINE IS AWESOME BECAUSE IT REMOVES OUR INHIBITIONS AND MAKES GETTING LUCKY THAT MUCH EASIER

The Audience: You're gross and we hate you.

[Turiddu and Lola toast to each other.]

Turiddu: To your love life!

Lola: To your enormous... health. Ahem. To your health.

The Chorus: WOOOO WE LOVE BOOZE

[Everyone drinks. Alfio enters, looking pissed off.]

The Chorus: HI ALFIO

Alfio: Fuck off.

Turiddu: HEY ALFIO COME DRINK WITH US

Alfio: Actually, I'd rather drink poison. Or, you know. Kill you.

Turiddu: BRING IT

Lola: shit shit shit

Chorus Women: We're outta here.

[They exit with Lola.]

Turiddu: So when do you want to do this?

Alfio: Right now.

Turiddu: Fine.

[Turiddu embraces Alfio and bites part of his ear off.]

The Audience: JESUS CHRIST ALFIO JUST GOT MIKE TYSON'D

Mascagni: It's how Sicilians accept challenges.

The Audience: We think you're full of shit. You're not even from Sicily.

Alfio: Looks like we understand one another. I'll wait for you outside.

Turiddu: Just so you know, I'm sorry for screwing your wife and stuff – I'd totally commit suicide to right the wrong I've caused you, but I kinda promised to marry Santuzza and if I die then no one will want her because I took her virginity. Sooooooo I guess I'm gonna have to kill you!

The Audience: If you actually gave a shit about Santuzza's future, maybe you shouldn't have slept with her in the first place.

Alfio: And you also shouldn't have cuckolded me, so you can pretty much eat a whole bag of dicks.

[Alfio leaves with the chorus men. Mama Lucia enters.]

Turiddu: Hey, mom. I just have to go out into the fields for a few minutes, but if I don't come back for some completely unexpected reason, could you promise to take care of Santuzza for me?

Mama Lucia: Uh... what's going on?

Turiddu: Oh, nothing. I'm pretty sure it's just the wine talking.

Mama Lucia: Oh, okay.

Turiddu: Now that I think about it, though, I probably should have waited until I sobered up before agreeing to fight Alfio to the death.

Mama Lucia: Wait, what?

Turiddu: Gottagobye!

[He runs out.]

Mama Lucia: TURIDDU MARCO CAZZONE YOU COME BACK HERE RIGHT THIS INSTANT

[Santuzza enters and embraces Mama Lucia. A scream is heard in the distance.]

Offstage Voice: OH GOD TURIDDU'S DEAD

[The chorus enters, looking shell-shocked. Santuzza and Mama Lucia begin to weep.]

The Chorus: OH NOOOOOO

The Audience: Good fucking riddance. That guy was an asshole.

[Santuzza and Mama Lucia glare at the audience.]

The Audience: … too soon?

[End of the opera.]

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