Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Resting on Laurels, Hardily

Ha! So all that crap I wrote about me learning the Figaro sextet way back when I was a teenager came back to bite me in the butt tonight. As we were staging it, I couldn't get the Ruth & Thomas Martin translation out of my head (I've done the R&T translation 4 times now- it's kind of hard to shake). It was mostly on the line in the recit where Fig tells the story about how he was stolen as a baby and he was wrapped in linens and surrounded by gold and jewels. Here's how our version is supposed to go:

"The gold, the jewels, the rich embroidered blankets in which I was wrapped, they were found by the robbers when they stole me. These are certain proof of my noble lineage."

The Ruth and Thomas version:

"The gold and precious jewels my abductors found near me, the fine embroidered linen I was wearing are confirmation of my noble extraction."

My version tonight:

"The gold, the jewels, the fine embroidered linen...blankets I was...in which...@#$% in which I was wrapped in...the....@#$% Sorry. What is it? They were found, the robbers....@#$%%!!!"

Ah well. This entire show is kind of a highwire act- will I teeter on the R&T side, or over to the Porter side. It's kind of exciting. And terrifying. It is sort of nice- it keeps me on my toes after having sung 3 of these already this season. It adds a new dimension to the character. Sure, that dimension might be fear, but that's interesting to watch, right?

For all I trash talked the R&T translation earlier this season, it definitely gets the job done. Any translation is going to have some klunky moments. Some of my favorites from this one:

"Out you come you imp of Satan, out you come and out you go" (Count to Cherubino)
"Love alone inspired the blow" (Figaro, Bartolo, Marcellina in reference to Susanna)
"O joy to feel you beating me!" (Fig to Susanna)
"I, the Vulcan for our century will catch them in my net" (Fig...channeling Spock?)

Good times. It struck me as we were working tonight that this is my last Figaro in this little run. I need to savor it- who knows when I'll get to do it again?


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