Tuesday my phone line was severed! School's out here and I was told that this is what we must expect. It cut my internet off too! Now we're talking serious inconvenience. So I put on my CD set of Mozart's Don Giovanni and cleaned my house -- As I listened to this masterpiece, President Clinton kept popping into my mind. There is such a comparison in personalities between the two men and a sudden thought caught me off guard.
I have written mean and terrible things about Clinton and it hit me that Salieri did the same thing to Mozart. I am sure you are all familiar with the film/play "Amadeus." The story is not a biography of Mozart; it is a perception of what Salieri assumed Mozart to be. Have I done this to Clinton?
Getting back to Don Giovanni. What all the poets have written about him is truly romantic stuff that women, and some men, find thrilling. Don Juan et al are wonderful fiction. No? The beginning of Don Giovanni sets the character of the man in all its horror and glory. He is found in the sack with a noblewoman "Anna" who is engaged to a nobleman "Octavio." As our "Don" is leaving the bedroom of Anna he is found out and is attacked by Anna's father. A wonderful sword fight (with full orchestra) ends with Don killing the lady's father and running away.
I'm not sure Clinton has the courage to duel another man, but he is absolutely able to seduce and run as Don did.
Here's an interesting observation that I made years ago. This opera is filled with breath-taking melodies from beginning to end but the most romantic heart-wrenching songs belong, not to the Don, but to Octavio. He adores his Anna and sings his heart out to her twice. Anna claims to love him, but we, the audience, know she has a flaming infatuation with our Don. (I saw Pinza do this role years ago and I never faulted Anna for this.)
I wondered for years why Mozart gave the good stuff to a loser-nerd like Octavio. Is there a moral to all this?
Don Giovanni self-destructs after a series of affairs that ruin the lives of nearly everyone on the stage. Are you beginning to see the comparison here with Clinton? The Don has put everyone in serious jeopardy with his amoral acts and is finally done in by the ghost of his father who opens up the earth and Don falls in with flames shooting up!! Hell? You bet!
Sorry to report that the moral and ultra-conservative Octavio is spurned by his Anna who has chosen to live in a convent. The art of opera doesn't always tie up loose ends and I have always felt that Octavio should have been able to find someone on the stage to love him after all this.
I believe that Mozart's Don and Clinton know only too well the power of their sex appeal, and know how to use it affectively. Obviously many women have fallen under the spell of both of these two.
Very few operas end with people still alive and walking around at the finale. I just hope the Clinton's finale is dramatic, quick and painless for the rest of us, though I wouldn't mind a flame or two licking at his departure.
I don't believe I have miss-judged Clinton's actions as Salieri did Mozart's. Poor old Salieri died insane many years after Mozart's death at 35.
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