a blog with cultural bulimia.

Monday, May 17, 2004

A glitch in the system

Carmina Burana: Ego sum abbas Cucaniensis, (excerpt)
Ego sum abbas Cucaniensis
et consilium meum est cum bibulis,
et in secta Decii voluntas mea est,
et qui mane me quesierit in taberna,
post vesperam nudus egredietur,
et sic denudatus veste clamabit:
Wafna, wafna!
quid fecisti sors turpissima?
Nostre vite gaudia abstulisti omnia!
I am the abbot of Cockaigne,
and I take counsel with my drinking companions,
and my persuasion is that of the gambling fraternity,
and if anyone consults me in the tavern at matins,
come vespers, he'll have lost the shirt off his back:
and being thus fleeced of his raiment will cry
Save me! Save me!
What have you done, god-forsaken dice?
Now you've made me sacrifice
all I knew of paradise!

This weekend one of my posts disappeared and a new one showed up in its place at the host site. Hacker. First thought. So I changed my password. Then I went to check the post left: The Words. And it is a link to the words to Carmina Burana.

Carmina Burana is my favorite opera but, beyond that, it is also the last production I sang in Belo Horizonte, a few days before I moved to New York in June of 87.

That's right.

In Brazil it is a requirement to play soccer and to sing, preferably while playing the guitar (but NOT to play soccer and the guitar at the same time, as that would be hard. Like 'whistling while sucking sugar cane', a saying that does not travel well). That was always a source of frustration to me because I could not do either. Or any.

One day, already a grown up, I went to pick up my friend Flavia from her chorus rehearsal and told the chorus director about my frustration. She said 'everybody can sing' as she pulled me to the piano to test my 'singing' voice which she classified as a Bass, meaning very low, a section in desperate need of members in the chorus. Because my 'singing voice' was so low, when I tried to sing along with my friends I would do it in Falsetto and it was a disaster (Serenata: something you do after the girls curfew and you and your friends are drunk. You go from house to house singing love songs by the girl's window, which she eventually opens so you can give her a rose. Talk about romantic naivité).

So, one of my greatest satisfactions in life has been the time I sang in that chorus. It was one of the best in the city and anytime the Municipal Theatre was putting together an opera they invited us to add on voices to their chorus. And that's how I ended up on stage singing Carmina Burana.
Hollywoodod sort of overkilled the opening --- for some reason it is used a lot in previews of upcoming movies that do not have its own score yet. But the whole opera is very interesting and extremely weird. It was written by Carl Orff in 1937.

Anyway, coincidences...

I decided to post the words to my favorite part --- and the one my 'section' of the chorus actually sang because being the bass you are relegated to producing sound effects for the tenors --- 'Ego sum abbas Cucaniensis', which translates as 'I am the abbot of Cockaigne'

Alright, so Cockaigne also happens to be a painting that serves as inspiration for this blog.

Too weird.

If there was really a hacker (maybe I've become a zombie blogger) it must be someone that knows me too well and that's even more scary. But a good start for a screenplay.