Obama: The Opera
A very funny take on American politics sent to me by my sister in Australia, and a lust-read for opera buffs!
L'Obama, ossia L'Avvento del Messia
Opera in Tre Atti
Barracco Obama, Il Messia, Redentore del Mondo Tenore Miracoloso
Santa Micaela della Revoluzione, sua sposa Soprano Amaro
Giovanni Maccheno, Senatore, Avversario dello Obama Basso Buffo
Sara Palino, Governatrice del Alaska e Reginetta di Bellezza Coloratura Buffa
Guglielmo Priapo, Ex-Presidente Tenore Mentitore
Hillaria, sua Sposa, altra Avversaria dello Obama Soprano Ambizioso
Elena Tomasso, una strega Contralto Venenoso Giuseppe Bideno, "Il Pomposo" Tenore Buffo
Il Spirito di Giorgio Secondo, L'Abominazione Baritono Cattivo
Il Spirito di Ruscio Limbago, Bocca Grande. Basso Noioso
Jeremia Ritto, un uomo pazzo, pastore dello Obama Basso Demagogico
Guglielmo Ayers, terroristo Americano, amico dello Obama Tenore Anarchico
Un Sempliciotto Tenore Profetica
La Media Elite
La Piazza del Cattedrale di Washington.
It is the day after the election. Outside the Washington Cathedral, the People and La Media Elite celebrate the victory of Barracco Obama over his adversary, Giovanni Maccheno (Coro: "Esultate! Il Messia venuto!"). The World enters and joins The People in their celebration, singing their own chorus rejoicing in the fact that Obama's election will hasten the demise of American power and influence ("America Ã¨ in debolezza, evviva!") The two choruses swell and merge in a powerful contrapuntal choral episode. As the chorus reaches its climax, trumpets herald the arrival of Lord Obama the Most Merciful, who enters with his wife, Santa Micaela della Revoluzione and his retinue. The crowd becomes frenzied, with some falling in a swoon ("Obama! Obama! Redentore del Mondo! Io manco!"). Obama heals two lepers and resurrects the dead daughter of a Washington policeman. He then addresses the crowd ("Nel posar sul mio capo la corona"). At the sound of his voice, the crowd falls silent, gazing up at him with adoring, vacant expressions. In an eloquent aria, Obama promises that the dark days of the Tyrant, Giorgio Secondo, are over ("Dopo si lunga notte") and a new Golden Age will dawn for the world under his rule ("Un siglo d'oro Ã¨ venuto"): the economy shall heal, America's enemies shall beat their bomb jackets into ploughshares, the lame shall walk, there will be a chicken in every pot, the whole world shall have universal health care, all the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay will be released, and planes shall arrive and take off on schedule. Each stanza of this great aria is punctuated by the chorus ("Ohmmm! Salvatore!") At its conclusion, Obama invites The People and The World to a celebration at which he will personally change the water into wine and feed the guests with seven croissants and five grande lattes. He enters the cathedral for his coronation, followed by the crowd.
From the right, Giovanni Maccheno and Sara Palino enter the deserted piazza.
Giovanni laments his loss of the election to Barracco Obama ("O mia vergogna!"). In a rambling, boring monologue sung in a monotone, he recites his brave history on the battlefield ("Si, fui soldato!") and wonders why this was not enough to get him elected 30 years later. In a lilting refrain ("Tu sei troppo vecchio"), Sara Palino suggests that it might be because he's a worn- out old has-been with the excitement level of a rusty AAA battery. She reminds him of her own qualifications for Vice-President ("PuÃ² vedere Russia dalla mia casa") and what a help she has been to him. To cheer him up, the perky Sara launches into one of the best known arias in the score, the brilliant coloratura Polonaise "Io son Regina di Bellezza," in which she sings of her experience as a beauty pageant contestant. But Giovanni is inconsolable: in a touching duet, he and Sara lament how they will now have to go wandering across the country, begging for speaking engagements ("Andrem raminghi Ã¨ poveri"). Suddenly Giovanni hears someone approaching ("OhimÃ©, s'appressa alcun!") and he and Sara hide behind a column.
From the left enter former President Guglielmo Priapo and his termagant wife, Hillaria. Hillaria is furious over her defeat at the hands of L'Obama in the primaries. In a passionate outburst ranging up to a shrill, wobbly high C, she rages that the Prize was within her grasp ("Ã mio! Ã tutto mio!"), but she was betrayed by La Media Elite who abandoned her for un altro amore. Must she live to see this upstart novice on the throne while she languishes in boring Senate committee meetings? Is it for this that she has suffered public humiliation and eaten sh!t sandwiches served by her husband for the past 35 years? No, it is too much! (Ã troppo! non reggo! soffoco!") Gugliemo counsels patience: her day will come, and L'Obama will overreach himself. He tells Hillaria that he has a plan to get them both back in la Casa Bianca, where she can rule while he chases interns. Just then he spots Guglielmo and Sara off to the side, and he begins to make a move on Sara. He tells her she is a real babe, and this develops into the famous Quartet, "Bella figlia dell'Alaska:"
Guglielmo tries to grope Sara; Sara tells him a joke about lipstick on pitbulls; Hillaria sings that her day of vengeance will come; and Guglielmo stutters, in repetitive phrases, how Obama will raise everyone's taxes and endanger national security.
When the Quartet ends, the crowd surges out of the cathedral, proclaiming the new Messiah, followed by L'Obama in full regalia. A powerful concluding ensemble ensues: The People, the World and La Media Elite acclaim L'Obama; Barracco heals a lame man and exults in his new power; Giovanni Maccheno whines about the ingratitude of the American People while Sara Palino practices her baton twirling; Guglielmo plans that evening's rendezvous with his new cutie, while Hillaria plots her comeback. Unnoticed in the background, a small group of Islamic terrorists rejoice in Obama's election. Everyone then exits to follow Obama to the Reflecting Pool which he will walk on down the Mall to meet Il Congresso at Il Capitole.
The piazza is deserted and silent once more. Now enters the Simpleton, a crazy homeless man pushing a shopping cart filled with old newspapers. He sings a keening lament, weeping for the Motherland and the bitter years that lie ahead.
Cada il sipario lentamente.
Scena Primo: L'Offizia di Hillaria nel Capitole.
Hillaria is meeting with Guglielmo Priapo. She berates him for avoiding her and doing nothing to bring her any closer to la Casa Bianca ("PerchÃ© mi sfuggi?") Two years have passed, and she is still sitting in interminable committee meetings and having to pretend that she wants Obama to succeed! When is Guglielmo going to stop porking her pages and do something? Guglielmo replies that the two years have not exactly been wasted ("Deh, pensate!"): the hated, deposed Giorgio Secondo is dead, having been torn limb from limb by grieving war widows, mothers and children while he was giving a speech to a veteran's organization. Things have been going badly for Lord Obama as well, and Il Popolo are getting restless. The opportunity is ripening. And as an additional bonus, Ruscio Limbago has been driven from the airwaves by the revival of the Fairness Doctrine, which Obama has used to silence all effective opposition to him on radio and television. With no outlet for his hot air, Limbago floated off somewhere like an untethered balloon into the ether, presumably to his death. But Hillaria is not to be deterred: when is Guglielmo going to do something? ("Basta di parlare! Azione io voglio!") Guglielmo responds that he has done something: since Hillaria wants to know the future, he has arranged for the ancient Washington hag, Elena Tomasso, to visit Hillaria that very afternoon and tell her the future. Just at that moment, there is a knock on the door. Guglielmo leaves and Elena Tomasso enters, a hideous old woman with a tongue that drips poison.
Hillaria demands to know what the future holds for her ("Parlami dal futuro!"). In the impressive aria, "Re dell'abisso," Tomasso summons the spirit of Giorgio Secondo. His horrible visage rises from the floor, with bloody hands holding his very small brain. Giorgio demands to know who has summoned him and bemoans his fate in the afterlife ("Mal per me!"): condemned to be waterboarded enternally while his entrails are unwound and used to re-fence the ranch in Crawford. Hillaria demands to know her future ("Dimmi, o spirito!"). Giorgio replies in sepulchral tones that she has to ask one more powerful than him. To her horror, he summons the spirit of Ruscio Limbago, a disembodied fat head with a mouth twice normal size. In an eerie prophecy ("O Hillaria, Hillaria, Hillaria!") Limbago tells Hillaria that she will be L'Obama's successor, and that his days are numbered. But that her reign will be as scandal-plagued as was her husband's, she will accomplish nothing of note, and she will die the same frustrated, bitter woman that she is. Hillaria, elated by the first part of the prophecy ("O lieto augurio!"), fails to hear the second part. Elena gives Hillaria a magic dagger, which she is to plunge into Obama's back when the opportunity presents itself. In an exultant cabaletta, Hillaria rejoices with the dagger ("O, acciar!"), while in pertichini Elena Tomasso mutters that this woman is nuts ("Ã una pazzarella!") and that she wants to stay as far away from her as possible.
Scena Secondo: L'Offiza Ovale nella Casa Bianca.
The Secretary of Education, Guglielmo Ayers, and Jeremia Ritto, the Commissar of Culture and Obama's spiritual advisor, are discussing the state of the administration. Ayers asks where Lord Obama is ("Obama d'ovÃ©?). Ritto replies that he is returning from his daily walk on the Potomac but that he has been delayed by having to drive some demons out of a herd of swine. Ayers notes that conditions in the country have been worsening and the people will soon be ready for The Revolution. In a buffo duet ("Un segreto d'importanza"), Ayers sings of his secret plan to radicalize kindergartners, while Ritto keeps up a steady contrapuntal patter of "God Damn America!"
Lord Obama enters and after kissing his ring, Ritto and Ayers leave. Obama is in a foul mood, and he curses a rubber plant which promptly withers. Obama slumps at his desk and in the powerful monologue, "I have attained supreme power," he laments how his dreams and hopes have turned sour. The economy has worsened, and famine stalks the land. A new terrorist attack has killed thousands, led by a jihadist Obama ordered released from Gitmo because his constitutional rights were being violated. The disillusioned, disappointed People are starting to curse his name, and lewd graffiti about Micaela has started to appear in the subways. He starts to pray for guidance ("Gran Dio, soccorrimi!") but stops when he remembers that religious activity of any kind on Federal property is now a criminal offense. He launches into a tuneful arietta about the futility of life, "Ho bastante di niente."
Micaela enters and begins to nag Obama about his failure to turn American into a Worker's Paradise ("La revoluzione dov'Ã©?") Seeing his glum mood, she tries to cheer him up ("Mio caro sposino") and urges him to announce a new initiative at the upcoming State of the Union address. Encouraged by Micaela's words, Obama joins her in an exultant duet ("Ora di gloria s'appressa!) as the curtain falls.
Il Capitole: la Camera della Casa dei Rappresentativi.
The Chamber is divided into two groups: I Repubblicani on one side, and I Democrati on the other. This is the famous "Coro dei Partisani" - the Repubblicani sing how, after four years in the minority, they are nothing but a bunch of impotent weasels ("Sono donnole impotente). The Democrati mock the Repubblicani for not even being able to sustain a filibuster ("Ha! Ha! Ha! Non hanno di 40!") Up on the dais, the Parlatrice della Casa dei Rappresentativi, Nana Pelosi, and the Vice-President, Giovanni Bideno sit on their thrones. Nana Pelosi trills happily, while Giovanni Biden can only grunt ("Hmpf! Hmpf! Hmpf!") because after two years of progressively embarrassing gaffes, his foot is by now permanently implanted in his mouth. Giovanni Maccheno enters and sits with I Repubblicani, immediately putting the Senators on either side of him to sleep. Sara Palino sits in the balcony, primping for the cameras and doing her nails.
Lord Obama enters the chamber and the politicians crowd around him sycophantically. A woman touches the hem of his robe and is healed of an issue of blood. He progresses solemnly to the dais and begins his speech ("Ascoltami, Congresso!"). But no sooner has he begun to speak than the distant angry murmur of a crowd is heard approaching. The members of Congress all start in alarm ("Quai gridi!"). One of the Capitol police enters and announces, in frightened tones, that Il Popolo are approaching in an angry mob with scythes and pitchforks. L'Obama orders them to be admitted, and the mob rushes in ("Vendetta! Strage! Sterminio!"). They've had enough of two years of disappointment, failure and betrayal, and they want Real Change ("Vero cangia vogliamo!") Jeremia Ritto rushes around crazily, shouting "God Damn America!" L'Obama rebukes the crowd for its behaviour ("Quest'Ã¨ dunque del Popolo la voce?"): didn't they just acclaim him as their Salvatore two years before? Fistfights break out between the Repubblicani and the Democrati.
In an impassioned plea, Obama calls for peace ("Plebe! Patrizi! Popolo!") Moved by his appeal, Il Popolo and Il Congresso quiet down. But just as L'Obama resumes his speech, a cry is heard ("Guarda nel balcone!"): Sara Palino has begun twirling flaming batons in the Gallery while singing an inane coloratura ditty ("Belle fiamme"). While all attention is focused on Sara, Hillaria dashes up to the dais and plunges the dagger into Obama's back ("Quest'Ã¨ il bacio di Hillaria"). When attention returns to the front, everyone sees Hillaria standing where L'Obama was, rejoicing in her new-found power ("Salgo giÃ¤ nel Presidencia aurata!") As everyone proclaims the new queen ("Regina tu sei!"), Sara Palino remarks on how her and Hillaria's plan worked after all, and announces that her agreed-upon reward is that in the new administration, she will be Secretary of State so that she can get some foreign policy experience for her Presidential run in 2012. The crowd reacts ("Orror! Orror! Orror!").
Cada il sipario rapidamente.