Tosca dress

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La Donna Mobile

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Jun 10, 2006, 8:12:41 AM6/10/06
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I've just had some texts from Mrs T who is attending the Tosca Dress
Rehearsal at ROH in the company of Mrs J, SJT and Lisa Gasteen.

At the interval, I was informed "Bryn is sex on legs" and now, "That
bitch stabbed Bryn".

I'm sure that one of them (but probably not Lisa) will report back in
due course.

Angela's doing a signing session at 2.30 in the Shop
--
http://www.madmusingsof.me.uk/weblog/
http://www.geraldine-curtis.me.uk/photoblog/

med...@hotmail.com

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Jun 10, 2006, 9:31:09 AM6/10/06
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She is attending WITH Lisa Gasteen?
How has this come to pass?
No aspersions against Mrs T but I didn't realise Brunhilde fraternised
with us regular folk.
S

La Donna Mobile

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Jun 10, 2006, 9:41:35 AM6/10/06
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I think it might be connected with the fact that Mrs J is acquainted
with Bryn's manager who is also present. And of course Bryn and Lisa are
adversaries in Die Walkure and on the golf course.

Always connect.

Mrs T xx

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Jun 10, 2006, 5:44:40 PM6/10/06
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La Donna Mobile wrote:
> I've just had some texts from Mrs T who is attending the Tosca Dress
> Rehearsal at ROH in the company of Mrs J, SJT and Lisa Gasteen.
>
> At the interval, I was informed "Bryn is sex on legs" and now, "That
> bitch stabbed Bryn".
>
> I'm sure that one of them (but probably not Lisa) will report back in
> due course.
>
> Angela's doing a signing session at 2.30 in the Shop
> --


We didn't all go to this thing together (well, Mrs J and I did) but the
others just happened to be there and we bumped into them all at various
intervals. We were all sitting in separate parts of the house

Lisa came out of the stage door afterwards and recognised us and we had
a nice chat. She's really lovely and friendly. I told her how
impressed I was with her chair throwing in Goetterdaemmerung and
apologised for not going to see Siegfried, because I wouldn't sit
through it unless Bryn was in it. She laughed and said she understood
what I meant.

There were loads of famous people there today - Simon Keenlyside,
Stephen Fry, Darcey Bussell, several actors/actresses that I recognised
but couldn't put a name to....
I didn't see Michael Portaloo but I suspect he might have been lurking
around somewhere. It was a great atmosphere

Mrs T xx

Mrs T xx

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Jun 10, 2006, 5:48:31 PM6/10/06
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Mrs T xx wrote:
> >
> There were loads of famous people there today - Simon Keenlyside,
> Stephen Fry, Darcey Bussell, several actors/actresses that I recognised
> but couldn't put a name to....
> I didn't see Michael Portaloo but I suspect he might have been lurking
> around somewhere. It was a great atmosphere
>

Oh, and I think I saw Placido Domingo sitting in the Lower Slips, but I
might be mistaken

Mrs T xx

Stephen Jay-Taylor

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Jun 10, 2006, 8:05:46 PM6/10/06
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Well that little lot pretty much covers the territory [ sorry I couldn't
post earlier, but I had an evening shift - Pletnev playing Tchaikovsky and
Schumann - at the Barbican, where I ran into a long-time friend whose
partner's just died, aged, quite seriously, 39, and needed a shoulder etc.
and a sympathetic ear but got me instead, doing my inadequate best.]

I spent more time talking to La Gasteen than I would have ever imagined
possible, nattering about repertory plans, career directions and choices [
gird your loins, O ye Met faithful : she's your next Brünnhilde, in 2008/9,
in the last outing for the Schenk staging. And I do believe a certain
pie-eating Welshman's involved too.] She is, in a word, wonderful, and I am
now her total slave, not least because she's singing the Dyer's Wife in
"Frau" for the first time next season [ in Hamburg, where I've never visited
: that's a junket settled.]

She and Jeffrey Black were VERY clear about Morticia's contribution to
proceedings, though I'm rather more conflicted about it. Trouble is, my
stage Toscas have included Blodwen, Nilsson, Behrens, Caballé, Verrett,
Bumbry and Vaness, all in their primes - as is Gheorghiu - and all of them
gave more of what I conceive the role to be about. It's quite a shock to see
the diva played pretty much as Mimi, all demure simpering in Act I, and
wounded innocence in II, with "Vissi d'arte" simply, reflectively delivered
[ leaning against the giant statue of San Michele, sword in hand, that one
would normally expect to see an act later on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo ]
as a genuine plea for understanding. On the other hand, this one's plainly a
jumper from the start, actually clambering up into one of the Palazzo's
giant windows in order to chuck herself out.

Silly things stick in my mind, like the pantomime after Scarpia's grisly
death, where the candles are duly laid out bang on orchestral cue, but the
crucifix is her own thumping great diamond one she rips off and throws on
the corpse, thereby utterly negating the point of the blood-soaked
safe-conduct. And "Assassino" has never before been uttered merely as a
heartbroken reproach : just as I've never heard "E avanti a lui tremava
tutta Roma !" sonorously sung, except for "lui" and "tutta", which get
spoken.[ and the invariably-cut two lines after "Vissi d'arte" are restored,
another real oddity to encounter.] The genuine physical violence between her
and Terfel was really rather impressively shocking to behold, because he
really mauls her, and she, astonished that this could be happening to her,
really struggles savagely.

Her costumes are exquisite, though it's a mistake to have her turn up in Act
III still wearing the diamond-encrusted white ball-gown from II, bearing in
mind she's been home to collect her money and jewels : the enormous train
catches on the Castle's front steps wherever she moves. (And I positively
purred finally to witness a firing squad march in step to the funereal tread
of their music like a kind of slow-motion see-sawing jackbooted juggernaut,
audibly what Puccini intended but which I've never seen done before.) Her
acting is truthfully excellent, but it's such a strange "take" on the role,
that much of her actual singing is therefore of necessity reined-in [
Jonathan Kent afterwards said he thought she was marking, but I can't say I
agree with him, not least because Meatloaf and Marcelo sang gangbusters all
afternoon, and she's not the sort of diva to be voluntarily upstaged in her
own opera. Indeed, after the roof-raising ovations accorded the tenor and
baritone, she was visibly calculating the damage done to her own, hearing a
tad less racket greet her appearance. Ouch ! ] In fairness, I should add
that the top C on "Lama" ( blade ) was an absolute belter, huge, gleaming
and really effortless : but then the top's no problem at all ; it's in the
oddly furry and indistinct mid-range that she lacks the heft to put the role
across, however you might conceive of it.

Terfel's first appearnce, as some bleary, seedy-looking, giant silver
skeleton - I thought we'd wandered into "Fliegende Holländer" - was a
masterstroke, though his auto-erotic fumblings round the font in the lower
chapel, whilst the Te Deum unfurls in panoply twenty feet above and behind
him, looked rather peculiar. But his singing throughout redefines the term
stentorian in its most positive construction, effortlessly riding the
orchestra, chorus, canon [ feeble drum-thwack, yuk ] the lot. And I have
never heard the very awkward vocal line of "Già mi struggea l'amor della
diva!" so precisely and cleanly negotiated before, every weirdly stressed,
panting exclamation flawlessly sung, without fudging or the ususal
"whoopsing" around the notes. Exemplary. I'm not at all sure I've seen him
do anything better than this in the House.

I certainly haven't seen Alvarez on this form either : perhaps a tad
cautious in the outer acts, where for some reason the blocking looked
tentative and stilted [ one, two, three, turn, four, five sit, seven, eight,
lean up ladder ] But his Act II was plain thrilling, and moved a clearly
Verona-trained spectator to burst into furious applause after "Vittoria !"
[ much to La Gasteen's hilarity : she is one colossal giggler ] And I don't
recall seeing him this committed to a role before ( no trace, by the way, of
the Domingo/Zeffirelli "he knows, you know" in Act III : this one thinks
he's all set for "Nuvole leggere" hereafter.)

I thought Pappano secured much excellent playing from the band : but the
principal cello had a torrid time of the Act III intro, as did his fellows
in the lead-up to "E lucevan le stelle" [ and indeed they were ; too much
so, in fact, because dawn never breaks in this staging, and we're left
literally in the dark from start to finish, except for some blue-ish
lighting on the enormous angel's wing, about twety feet tip-to-tip, hovering
above the stage. Well, I did warn that the sets weren't topographically
accurate, though they are mighty impressive, and certainly give us a new
"Tosca" fit for another forty years.] Other than Morticia's very original
but borderline bizarre account of the title role, my only real gripe
concerns Pappano's conducting, far too prone to etiolated dragging out of
largely irrelevant filler [ the passage after Cavaradossi's Act I "D'avanti
la Madonna!", the Sacristan's business, the whole sagging mid-section of Act
II - Puccini's fault I know, but the best conductors paper over the cracks,
they don't shine a spotlight on them - and the sequences of [here notably
noisy and unatmospheric] tone-painting that launch III. And ONCE AGAIN
stage-pit co-ordination goes awry, as Morticia got ahead in the second line
of "Vissi d'arte" and Alvarez got behind in the third of his Act III aria,
though the staging has them simply planted stage-centre, staring staight at
the podium. Slightly nip-and-tuck "Te Deum", as well, alas. I can't help it
: I learned the work on the first Karajan.

Most important though is the fact that, for the first time in I can barely
remember how long, the ROH mounts a new production of an Italian repertory
warhorse that is fully on the level of the one it replaces [ and indeed, in
some respects, surpasses it ] rather than the usual abysmal half-witted
travesties that've been foisted on "Aida", "Lucia", "Luisa Miller", "Ballo",
"Falstaff" or "Forza" not one of which is revivable. Ladies and gentleman,
we actually have a "Tosca".

When we'll get a Tosca anyone would recognise is another matter....

SJT

PS. La Lisa says the girl in gym-knickers on the crescent moon at the end of
"Götterdämmerung" was "hope for mankind". And then giggled..


REG

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Jun 10, 2006, 10:04:29 PM6/10/06
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What a great review, Stephen. Many thanks for this, it's very vivid and
gives me a sense of 'seeing' it.


"Stephen Jay-Taylor" <sjayt...@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:-KSdndzZS-9...@bt.com...

alanwa...@aol.com

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Jun 10, 2006, 10:31:40 PM6/10/06
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Christ, over the top bells from one of you and a feeble drum thwack
from another.

I am beginning to believe that The Hobbit may have marked these parts
up and/or down. We are not usually making these up, you know.

I blame the conductor myself. And in any case it is usually a safe
bet.

Kind regards,
Alan M. Watkins

Transy...@webtv.net

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Jun 10, 2006, 11:31:01 PM6/10/06
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Many thanks, Mrs. T and Stephen, for your reviews. Although I loved the
singing in Luisa Miller and Ballo, I was not impressed with the
productions, so I am pleased to hear that this Tosca sounds like a vast
improvement over those two.

Kay

Mrs T xx

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Jun 11, 2006, 2:33:29 AM6/11/06
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Stephen Jay-Taylor wrote:
> > gave more of what I conceive the role to be about. It's quite a shock to see
> the diva played pretty much as Mimi, all demure simpering in Act I, and
> wounded innocence in II, with "Vissi d'arte" simply, reflectively delivered
>
I felt she was more like Musetta - but we'll beg to differ. Although
her added vulnerability did make Scarpia look even more of a bastard.
But the whole reason Scarpia sees Tosca as such a challenge and wants
her is because she's supposed to be so totally different from the usual
simpering, innocent type. Angela played her like a flirtatious
teenager..... it's a shame she couldn't portray such demeure innocence
when she did Marguerite in Faust!


> Silly things stick in my mind, like the pantomime after Scarpia's grisly
> death, where the candles are duly laid out bang on orchestral cue, but the
> crucifix is her own thumping great diamond one she rips off and throws on
> the corpse, thereby utterly negating the point of the blood-soaked
> safe-conduct.

That whopping great diamond cross was so chavvy. I'm sure I saw David
Beckham wearing one just like it.

>>
> Terfel's first appearnce, as some bleary, seedy-looking, giant silver
> skeleton - I thought we'd wandered into "Fliegende Holländer" - was a
> masterstroke, though his auto-erotic fumblings round the font in the lower
> chapel, whilst the Te Deum unfurls

What auto-erotic fumblings? I blame Keith Warner for this! Ever
since Goetterdaemmerung then you just can't watch anyone on stage
playing with a bit of red ribbon any more without getting the wrong
idea!!!!
.


>
> PS. La Lisa says the girl in gym-knickers on the crescent moon at the end of
> "Götterdämmerung" was "hope for mankind". And then giggled..

Excellent! Glad that's cleared up. But next time you see her then
please ask her what she was doing in Act 2 of Walkuere when she went
down into the hole in the middle of the stage and reappeared with a
blue teatowel? Still don't get that bit.

Mrs T xx

Mrs T xx

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Jun 11, 2006, 3:48:14 AM6/11/06
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Stephen Jay-Taylor wrote:
>> The genuine physical violence between her
> and Terfel was really rather impressively shocking to behold, because he
> really mauls her, and she, astonished that this could be happening to her,
> really struggles savagely.
>

Maybe the reason she acted so convincingly shocked was because she'd
missed so many rehearsals that she wasn't aware that Scarpia was going
to grab her so violently at that point? :-)

Mrs T xx

alanwa...@aol.com

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Jun 11, 2006, 5:21:52 AM6/11/06
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You lot fret far too much about the rehearsal stuff. It's only Tosca.

It ain't Henze: Elegy for Young Lovers. That's what you need
rehearsals for.

Alternatively Morticia got enough of the stage directions to say: "Yup,
okay. I can do that. But why do I need to keep rehearsing it?"

Sorry to hear about the cannon - or Cannone sul palco as the composer
hopefully put it.

JKH

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Jun 11, 2006, 5:22:40 AM6/11/06
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Stephen Jay-Taylor wrote:


> the enormous train catches on the Castle's front steps wherever she moves.

Ah, fond memories evoked of Jane Eaglen at the ENO, hitching up her
skirts and clambering up the ramp to hurl herself off, as Spoletta and
crew tried ever so hard not to run too quickly and catch her up.

>though his auto-erotic fumblings round the font in the lower chapel,

Thankfully they do not seem to be as auto-erotic as Scarpia's
shoe-fetish in the same ENO production.

> "Già mi struggea l'amor della diva!" so precisely and cleanly negotiated before, every > weirdly stressed, panting exclamation flawlessly sung, without fudging or the ususal
> "whoopsing" around the notes.

That's good to hear. 'Gia mi dicon' used to be labelled 'Cantabile di
Scarpia' on some old 78s, and sung it should be.

>( no trace, by the way, of the Domingo/Zeffirelli "he knows, you know" in Act III : this one thinks he's all set for "Nuvole leggere" hereafter.)

I've always thought that Cav knows exactly what's coming, and in every
production I've seen where it seems he doesn't, I feel slightly cheated
dramatically.

> Slightly nip-and-tuck "Te Deum", as well, alas. I can't help it I
learned the work on the first Karajan.

Which is one of the very few Herbert von Nazi operatic recordings that
I can listen to with pleasure. The pacing and playing of the Te Deum is
superb.

Many thanks for such an illuminating review - it was a pleasure to read
and has whetted my appetite even further.


JKH

Mrs T xx

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Jun 11, 2006, 6:37:26 AM6/11/06
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alanwa...@aol.com wrote:
> >
> You lot fret far too much about the rehearsal stuff. It's only Tosca.
>

I'm starting to sense you don't like Tosca much, Alan?

I think it's a masterpiece, a great score that never drags and has no
padding or dull bits. In fact I usually recommend Tosca to any friends
who have never been to the opera before because I think it's one of the
best works for beginners and very accessible.

Mrs T xx

alanwa...@aol.com

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Jun 11, 2006, 6:57:43 AM6/11/06
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No, I love it but it is not rocket science to play. It's very
straightforward and well written for the orchestra (as with all Puccini
I know) and there are only a few tricky places.

But nowhere near as tough for the players, for example, as some of
Janacek or Richard Strauss.

Michael Bednarek

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Jun 11, 2006, 7:57:24 AM6/11/06
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On 10 Jun 2006 14:44:40 -0700, "Mrs T xx" wrote in rec.music.opera:

[snip]


>Lisa came out of the stage door afterwards and recognised us and we had
>a nice chat. She's really lovely and friendly.

[snip]

People from Brisbane tend to be lovely and friendly; it's the weather.

--
Michael Bednarek http://mbednarek.com/ "POST NO BILLS"

Mrs Jones

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Jun 11, 2006, 8:13:18 AM6/11/06
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It is so difficult to add anything of worth about a performance once
Mrs T has posted her excellent and amusing descriptions and SJT has
contributed a first rate, erudite review. It always takes me much
longer to think through what is behind my initial reactions to a
performance and then to turn that into a post that makes any kind of
sense to those who weren't there. So, I always get stuck with
following these two and wondering if it is worth me saying anything at
all. Anyway, for what it is worth these are my thoughts on the dress
rehearsal yesterday.

It is always difficult when you go along with such high expectations.
This was such a big event at the ROH, the festive atmosphere and
excitement was palpable before curtain up and the place was packed with
celebrities. As SJT said to me in the interval " I found myself
desperately trying to like it". This so well describes how I felt
watching the first act, which did perhaps inevitably disappoint
slightly. I don't want to appear too critical because my overall
feeling was that I really loved it and it is a fantastic new production
that is going to go well for many years to come, but it just didn't
quite fall into place.
I loved the set. It looks fabulous and the dim candle light lighting
effect is gorgeous. The man sitting next to me said at the end " this
is going to be known as the candle-light Tosca for me". The lighting
is dark and mysterious and subtle throughout.
I can't put my finger on what was wrong but the orchestra did seem a
bit ropey to start.
I have always found Cavaradossi the most difficult character to get
excited about in Tosca. It needs real determination and acting skill to
make this rather 'flat' character have life and come off the page.
(I love Domingo in the role as he is the only one I have seen who makes
him into the exciting, revolutionary Bohemian character that he can
be). Not so Alvarez, who though acting better than his usual just
didn't project anything other than a two dimensional ,
one-size-fits-all lead romantic tenor. He looks good and sounds great
though and his 'Recondita armonia' was beautiful. I agree with SJT
totally about the blocking in this act. It just didn't flow and
seemed rather awkward, movement by numbers and that really didn't
help. The passion between Tosca and Cavaradossi just didn't hit me.
Alvarez had more passion and commitment in acts 2 and 3 though, with
more excellent singing. The 'vittoria, vittoria!' was fantastic.
Angela Gheorghiu said in interview that she wanted to show a different
side to Tosca. She certainly does and whether or not it works is
probably very much a matter of individual taste. For me it didn't.
She is a thoroughly tamed down Tosca. Her calls of 'Mario, Mario,
Mario' have none of the usual firmness and impatience. It is evident
right from the start that this Tosca is not the strong, confident diva
that we usually see but a much less secure character. Vocally she
certainly lacks the heft to do anything other than play the character
this way (unless she was just not singing out in rehearsal, we will
have to wait and see). Her voice is beautiful, especially the top, but
it is in danger of being lost in the thick Puccini orchestration as it
lacks bite, despite Pappano doing a good job with the balance between
singers and orchestra. She does look stunning though. But this
intepretation of Tosca meant so much was lost. Surely, as a singer, a
woman on the stage, living with a Bohemian, rebel painter Tosca is a
woman outside of respectable society? She should be a passionate, very
sexual woman, sure of her charms. The way she is being played here is
as a delicate, vulnerable innocent. I have always thought Scarpia is
so fascinated by Tosca because she is such a challenge to him. All this
Tosca has is physical beauty. In the act two scenes with Scarpia there
is no sense of a contest between the two. This Tosca is no match for
Scarpia and he simply dominates her. When she picks up the knife at the
end and stabs him it is a real surprise. Not just because you can't
actually see what she is doing, but because you just don't think she
has it in her. And, my God, she gives him a real good stabbing! First
he starts to slowly undress, off comes the waist band and then he
starts to loosen his waistcoast and shirt and then he leaps onto her on
the table (he managed to grab her backside but were are not sure if
that was intentional). She plunges the knife into his chest the first
time, as he collapses onto her she stabs him again and finally
administers a third, vicious stab in the heart. It was really violent
and it shocked.
Bryn took the lions share of the applause at the curtain call and very
deservedly. His performance was in a league of it's own. Vocally he
is in tremendous form. He is singing with a beautiful control and the
whole thing sounds effortless, even the really high bits with no hint
of shouting or barking. Act one really only came alive when he made his
grand entrance. From the moment he sings 'Un tal baccano in chiesa'
he dominates the stage. Thoroughly menacing throughout, his Scarpia
also has an extra dimension. There is a mix of tenderness and violence
in this man. He is obsessed with power and wants to control Tosca, but
he first has to control his own feelings for her which are running away
from him. I think I liked the Te Deum. I need to see it again to be
sure though. It was certainly clever with the church service taking
place on the upper level while down below in the shadows Scarpia lurks
wrestling with his lustful fantasies that seem to both terrify and
fascinate him. However, I am so used to seeing this staged with the
procession moving around the stage and the music so strongly projects
that movement that I found the rather static tableau a bit odd. It will
probably grow on me and the symbolism of heaven above with Scarpia down
in his hell below was good. I loved the end where he falls to his knees
to sing 'Tosca mi fai dimenticare Iddio'.
SJT perhaps you enlighten me further about the auto-erotic fumblings
around the font...I must have missed that bit. Unless it was something
to do with the red ribbon that seemed to have escaped from the recent
Goetterdaemerung?
I am now really looking forward to seeing it several times more over
the next few weeks as I am just a simple soul that needs time to really
get the most out of these things!

Mrs Jones xx

REG

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Jun 11, 2006, 10:25:36 AM6/11/06
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Question: Where do you get this from? I am not quarreling, but curious. Is
it somewhere in the background material, or a stage direction I don't
remember from the score? I am not entirely sure what motivates Scarpia in
Act I. As I think I've said, I see Scarpia as kind of minor South Italian
nobility placed in a position where he's given a responsibility that he can
fulfill, but where he also feels inferior to those around him (kind of Joe
Volpe, no?). Putting the sexual sadism aside, although it's there, it's the
class issues I focus on - I do think his intimidating personality in Act I
is no more confident than that of any thug. So I never really have
understood why he gets the hots for Tosca from the beginning. Is it that
she's just attractive, or something about her relationship to the court (to
which he's a kind of toad) or that she's the moll of Cavaradossi and he
feels inferior to this artsy type (Cavaradossi) and want to take his girl?
It sure works dramatically, but I don't know why.


PS What does "chavvy" mean?

"Mrs T xx" <mrs.t...@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:1150007608.9...@h76g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

Little Jimmy Olsen

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Jun 11, 2006, 2:17:28 PM6/11/06
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"REG" <Rich...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:AJVig.8498$7e....@news-wrt-01.rdc-nyc.rr.com...

> Question: Where do you get this from? I am not quarreling, but curious. Is
> it somewhere in the background material, or a stage direction I don't
> remember from the score? I am not entirely sure what motivates Scarpia in
> Act I. As I think I've said, I see Scarpia as kind of minor South Italian
> nobility placed in a position where he's given a responsibility that he
> can fulfill, but where he also feels inferior to those around him (kind of
> Joe Volpe, no?). Putting the sexual sadism aside, although it's there,
> it's the class issues I focus on - I do think his intimidating personality
> in Act I is no more confident than that of any thug. So I never really
> have understood why he gets the hots for Tosca from the beginning. Is it
> that she's just attractive, or something about her relationship to the
> court (to which he's a kind of toad) or that she's the moll of
> Cavaradossi and he feels inferior to this artsy type (Cavaradossi) and
> want to take his girl? It sure works dramatically, but I don't know why.
>
>
> PS What does "chavvy" mean?
>

Short for Chavvrolet, an American automobile. Also:
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=chavvy

REG

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Jun 11, 2006, 4:47:19 PM6/11/06
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It doesn't seem very flattering.

"Little Jimmy Olsen" <seniorcu...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:Y6Zig.11839$921....@newsread4.news.pas.earthlink.net...

La Donna Mobile

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Jun 11, 2006, 5:22:45 PM6/11/06
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A real chav would be delighted to be so called.

Ask Mrs T...

shir...@hotmail.com

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Jun 11, 2006, 6:33:49 PM6/11/06
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Mrs Jones wrote:

A very interesting review, which I've snipped for the sake of
bandwidth.

> It is so difficult to add anything of worth about a performance once
> Mrs T has posted her excellent and amusing descriptions and SJT has
> contributed a first rate, erudite review. It always takes me much
> longer to think through what is behind my initial reactions to a
> performance and then to turn that into a post that makes any kind of
> sense to those who weren't there. So, I always get stuck with
> following these two and wondering if it is worth me saying anything at
> all. Anyway, for what it is worth these are my thoughts on the dress
> rehearsal yesterday.
>

Mrs. Terfel. SJT and Mrs. Jones, thank you for all your very
interesting and articulate input on Tosca. In spite of Angela
Georghiu's less than perfect Tosca, I'm now bloody envious I'm not in
London to see this opera! I'd LOVE to see and hear Bryn sing Scarpia.

Melissa

Mrs T xx

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Jun 12, 2006, 4:31:12 AM6/12/06
to

REG wrote:
> Question: Where do you get this from? I am not quarreling, but curious. Is
> it somewhere in the background material, or a stage direction I don't
> remember from the score? I am not entirely sure what motivates Scarpia in
> Act I.

Sorry, not quite sure what exactly you mean. If it's why Scarpia is
attracted to Tosca then maybe I am reading between the lines too much -
but in Act 2 when he talks about her clinging to her lover like a
leopard or something then that implied to me that it was her
passionate, fiery nature that attracted him. Obviously such behaviour
in a woman in those days was not normal....... and certainly frowned
on in a very strict Catholic society where unmarried women were
supposed to remain virgins and not go round sleeping with painters and
performing on stages. That's why I interpreted it as meaning Tosca
was a challenge to Scarpia because she was so different from other
women in those days. But that's just how I understood it, and I could
very well be wrong !!!!

>
> PS What does "chavvy" mean?
>

Apologies, it's comes from the word "chav" which is a very recent
English slang word.

The closest American equivalent I can think of is "trailer trash". It
means a vulgar person, usually poorly educated and of a lower
socio-economic class who is loud-mouthed and likes to show off by
wearing really ostentatious and flashy jewellery, designer sports
clothes with the labels showing, a lot of fake Burberry and the men
tend to wear baseball caps. Lots of gold chains, bracelets and rings
are also obligatory.

Tosca's cross was made of diamonds and was absolutely enormous. It's
the sort of thing a chav would wear, which is why I used that word.

For more details on chavs, including photos to help you identify them
then see the below website

http://www.chavscum.co.uk/howto.php

Mrs T xx

Mrs T xx

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Jun 12, 2006, 4:58:37 AM6/12/06
to

Mrs Jones wrote:
> It is so difficult to add anything of worth about a performance once
> Mrs T has posted her excellent and amusing descriptions and SJT has
> contributed a first rate, erudite review. It always takes me much
> longer to think through what is behind my initial reactions to a
> performance and then to turn that into a post that makes any kind of
> sense to those who weren't there. So, I always get stuck with
> following these two and wondering if it is worth me saying anything at
> all. Anyway, for what it is worth these are my thoughts on the dress
> rehearsal yesterday.

I always love to read as many reviews as possible - and mostly I find
the reviews on RMO far more interesting than the official ones in the
press. Mainly because we can be more candid here (and bitchy - if
necessary!) whereas the official media naturally have to be a bit more
restrained in what they write. SJT is my favourite RMO reviewer but
unfortunately he liked this show........he's so much funnier when he
hates something and goes into a really bitchy rant about it! :-)


> Scarpia and he simply dominates her. When she picks up the knife at the
> end and stabs him it is a real surprise. Not just because you can't
> actually see what she is doing, but because you just don't think she
> has it in her.

I couldn't see her grab the knife at all. Either they should give her
a bigger knife or make it a bit more obvious what she's doing. I had
no idea if she only grabbed the knife a second before she stabbed him
or if she'd taken it earlier and was hiding it behind her dress or
something.

> the table (he managed to grab her backside but were are not sure if
> that was intentional).

I think he was trying to grab her around the waist but misjudged the
height difference.

Mrs T xx

shir...@hotmail.com

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Jun 12, 2006, 3:32:51 PM6/12/06
to

Mrs Jones wrote:
SNIP> Angela Gheorghiu said in interview that she wanted to show a
SNippage

I didn't get a chance to reply as thoroughly as I wanted, yesterday. So
here is the rest of what I wanted to say. In essence, the plot of
Tosca turns on her being a jealous woman, ready to fly off the handle
on the smallest suspicion. It's what gets both Mario and Angelotti in
trouble. And Scarpia, although he was evidently not personally
acquainted with Tosca before the opera begins, knows this about her,
and manipulates her very easily. So Tosca must be pretty famous for
this quality for those in the know. Having a non-jealous Tosca would
be a definite flaw in this opera.

Regarding her relationship with Cavaradossi, I agree, Tosca should
be a sensual, sexual woman--with all he puts up with from her, there's
GOT to be a payoff for Mario in there somewhere! And he does appear to
genuinely love her throughout the opera. And yes, Tosca is far enough
outside the mainstream culture of Rome in 1800 to have a bohemian,
borderline rebel of a Voltairean painter for her lover. BUT....we have
to remember, she's respectable enough to be asked to sing for the Queen
on the night of a supposed victory. She's also quite devout, while
Cavaradossi is a definite Agnostic, if not actively atheistic. He does
refuse to see a priest, knowing he's about to be executed in Act III.
My own impression of Tosca and Cavaradossi's domestic arrangement is
that, while she's certainly spent the night at his villa and he has
spent the night with her, she and Cavaradossi do not actually live
together openly. He has his villa, and she undoubtedly has a nice
lodging suitable for a celebrated singer somewhere in Rome. It's more
of a "my place or yours, tonight, Cara/Caro?" arrangement. Remember,
she comes to the church in Act I to suggest they get together that
night, and she's ticked off because he's not enthusiastic enough about
the idea. And in Act III in "Lucevan le Stelle" Cavaradossi sings
about waiting for her to come to his villa for a visit. Both of which
suggest to me that they aren't together every minute of the day, and
must negotiate the time and place they do spend together. And well...
Mario MUST need a rest from her and some privacy SOMETIMES!

But I remain jealous as hell about not being able to see this
production and Bryn as Scarpia!

Melissa

REG

unread,
Jun 12, 2006, 11:17:46 PM6/12/06
to
An word on 'trailer trash'. I don't know how polite chavvy is in terms of
being used by people of decent background - I really don't, and I gather
that if you and LDM use it it's not the equivalent of trailer trash - but in
this country "trailer trash" is a term that's vitually never heard or used
as colloquial English; you'll see it as the title of a movie, and in a
couple of other gimmicky commercial contexts, but that's it. It is basically
a variant of "white trash" - that is, a demeaning and nasty attitude towards
poor whites. I suspect that trailer trash was used as a replacement after
'white trash' was seen for what it was - pure bigotry - but the substitution
didn't work, and I haven't heard anyone use trailer trash resident in this
country for a long time. I think it's fair to say no one would use it in
polite society in this country (and I am defining 'polite society' pretty
broadly), or who wants to be thought a decent person, because it brands the
person who uses it more than the supposed object of the use. I suspect it
would be like calling someone in England nowadays a 'bedint', or perhaps in
this country or in England a 'yid' if they were Jewish, or a faygele (for
gay) or a 'cracker' (for white) or in fact if we here call people
'hillbillies", a term which some people can turn and use on themselves
effectively, but which is obviously so demeaning if used seriously that it's
not used at all.

In fact, the closest I have heard of 'trailer trash' was an episode maybe a
decade ago on Dynasty, where Alexis Carrington Colby et al. finds her most
recent husband alone and unsupervised with Diahann (sp) Caroll, who played
the role of a half-sister/chanteuse to Alexis. Alexis turns to Caroll and
says to her "I figured you for what you always were - from lounge lizard to
trailer tramp (sic)" That's as close even then as anyone could get to a
serious use of the word. I think that British English is a lot more colorful
and varied right now than American English, and I think you can probably get
away with more there of this nature than here - perhaps in part because your
society was until recently more clearly stratified (not that we weren't and
aren't, but it's a different kind of statification, and not so much a matter
of being stable through generations).

As to your read of Tosca, I think it's very interesting, and a very
impressive (fwiw) interpolation of the libretto. Very smart. I am just not
sure I buy it for the dramatic situation in Act I, thought I am not too
helpful I know in what I do think I buy there. But your reading makes sense,
and would actually help Scarpia be seen as more 'normal' - maybe he's not so
sadistic, and maybe it's Tosca's open passion that brings some of his
challenge to her to the foreground. I am not sure I go with that, but it is
certainly in the text and the story.

Thanks


"Mrs T xx" <mrs.t...@btinternet.com> wrote in message

news:1150101072.2...@h76g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

Mark

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Jun 12, 2006, 11:49:11 PM6/12/06
to

REG wrote:
> In fact, the closest I have heard of 'trailer trash' was an episode maybe a
> decade ago on Dynasty, where Alexis Carrington Colby et al. finds her most
> recent husband alone and unsupervised with Diahann (sp) Caroll, who played
> the role of a half-sister/chanteuse to Alexis. Alexis turns to Caroll and
> says to her "I figured you for what you always were - from lounge lizard to
> trailer tramp (sic)" That's as close even then as anyone could get to a
> serious use of the word. I think that British English is a lot more colorful
> and varied right now than American English, and I think you can probably get
> away with more there of this nature than here - perhaps in part because your
> society was until recently more clearly stratified (not that we weren't and
> aren't, but it's a different kind of statification, and not so much a matter
> of being stable through generations).
>
REG,
I hate to be a nit picker, but Dynasty was 20 years ago. :-)

REG

unread,
Jun 13, 2006, 12:18:06 AM6/13/06
to
How could that be ????

"Mark" <mark.c...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1150170551.3...@f6g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

Mark

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Jun 13, 2006, 12:31:19 AM6/13/06
to

REG wrote:
> How could that be ????
>
> "Mark" <mark.c...@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1150170551.3...@f6g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> > REG,
> > I hate to be a nit picker, but Dynasty was 20 years ago. :-)
> >

It was called "The 80's". Remember the 80's? Of course, that means
that Joan Collins is probably 110 now. :-(

Little Jimmy Olsen

unread,
Jun 13, 2006, 2:12:41 AM6/13/06
to
REG, I'm afraid you've been leading a very protected life. "Trailer trash"
is in wide use in the south and elsewhere. Have you heard of The Blue Collar
Comedy Tour? Four stand-up comedians pretending to be white trash
themselves - Jeff Foxworthy is one of them and he is wildly popular; not
with me because I'm above all that. Just do a Google search for "white
trash" and brace yourself.
LJO


"REG" <Rich...@hotmail.com> wrote in message

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Mrs T xx

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Jun 13, 2006, 3:13:30 AM6/13/06
to

REG wrote:
> An word on 'trailer trash'. I don't know how polite chavvy is in terms of
> being used by people of decent background - I really don't, and I gather
> that if you and LDM use it it's not the equivalent of trailer trash - but in
> this country "trailer trash" is a term that's vitually never heard or used
> as colloquial English; you'll see it as the title of a movie, and in a
> couple of other gimmicky commercial contexts, but that's it. It is basically
> a variant of "white trash" - that is, a demeaning and nasty attitude towards
> poor whites.

In Britain to call someone a chav is only mildly insulting and doesn't
really have any negative reflection on the person who uses the word.
It's widely used in the newspapers and on tv now. Some people are even
proud to consider themselves chavs and boast about it. I believe the
word originally had connotations with gypsies and people living in
caravans (which is why I assumed - perhaps wrongly - that it was
similar to "trailer trash") but now it is a general term for anyone who
dresses and behaves in a certain way. As far as I know I don't think
it has any racist connotations, although the majority of chavs do seem
to be white.

I'm afraid my knowledge of American slang is restricted to what I've
seen on American tv shows.......(of which Dynasty was by far the best -
I was a big fan as a child!!) - so you'll have to please excuse me if I
get it wrong sometimes.

Out of interest....while we're on American/British slang...... can
anyone advise me if it's considered racist/offensive to refer to
Americans as "Yanks"? It's a genuine question.... I'm not trying to
stir up trouble!!!! Was just curious.....

Mrs T xx

REG

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Jun 13, 2006, 3:50:40 AM6/13/06
to
She is 110 now, Mark.....

"Mark" <mark.c...@gmail.com> wrote in message

news:1150173079.0...@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

REG

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Jun 13, 2006, 3:58:22 AM6/13/06
to
I had actually done the search see how off my own thoughts were - I did see
that use, which is why I allowed for some commercial uses as well as the
movie - but I am not as sure as you that it might be an actual regionalism
at this point. There are some 'usage' dictionaries, and I'm curious enough
that I may try to take a look this weekend, but I think I will stick to my
guns till then (and undoubtedly beyond). It would be a great Safire column
in the Sunday TIMES, and I wonder if he's done one.

Anyone have any experience or knowledge about some of them usage
dictionaries? I guess I could also ask our junior Senator.

Thanks

REG, guns sticking

"Little Jimmy Olsen" <seniorcu...@earthlink.net> wrote in message

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REG

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Jun 13, 2006, 4:10:27 AM6/13/06
to
Even I don't get offended at Yanks, although I don't particularly like
dentists. I'd never heard it as a negative connotation. Is there a sense
that "Brits" is inappropriate?

Even if LJO is right about the regionalism, I do think there's a difference
between where 'tt' can be used, and how you use chavvy. Your supposition
about the relaitonship to gypsies is fascinating, and makes intuitive sense,
but I don't think I saw it in the references I was looking at before I stuck
my neck out and waited for the last lines of Maria Stuarda. There was a
period when there were songs like "I'm an Oakie from Fenokie" (sp?), where
it was 'cute' to use some term like that, but I don't think it ever applied
to trailer trash - again, there may be some regional acceptance but I doubt
that anyone would identify themselves as trailer trash other than in some
kind of comedy skit.

Remember there's this guy who comes on to the group every once in a while to
correct people's linguistic expressions - he's the one who said you're
'only' a translator - and whether or not he knew, I'm sure he'd tell us.

I feel badly that I didn't think of the regionalism issue before I wrote,
especially in terms of the South, but I'll be curious to see now. One thing
on reading everyone's posts is that you do see how there is a very different
body of slang - although again I suspect you in the UK do have a richer use
of it. I don't know how much the politically correct movement has insinuated
itself into UK speech, but it has been pretty effective here - I don't think
that's good - quite the opposite - but it clearly has in almost all the
media. The reason I don't think it's good is that it drives real feelings
underground; it's not like it changes things terrifically, it just masks
them. I'd much rather know where I was than be in a land of bland speech.

Glad you liked Dynasty. When I say that here, I am on the receiving end of
snobbery and condescension - not the only time, obviously, but it always
brings that out.


"Mrs T xx" <mrs.t...@btinternet.com> wrote in message

news:1150182810....@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

Donald Grove

unread,
Jun 13, 2006, 7:15:12 AM6/13/06
to
The fact that Jeff Foxworthy and others make jokes does not take away
from the viciousness of the label. I grew up in Central Illinois. My
parents were teachers. But my best friend's mom cleaned rooms for a
Howard Johnsons, and her dad (and brothers) worked at a gas station.
They lived in a mobile home (trailer). They had all the struggles
that come with poverty.

Poor people are always objectified by the bourgeoisie. When the
bourgeois are feeling generous, the consider the lives of the poor to
be picturesque, perhaps even enobling. But when the bourgeoisie are
confronted by an image or idea that they fear or dislike about
themselves, then the poor are "trailer trash". The expression really
has nothing to do with how poor people live (e.g., in trailers), it
has to do with their poverty, and how the rest of the society comes up
with vicious ways to deflect their own responsibility for the misery
of the poor.

Ironically, "verismo" was supposed to challenge these sorts of norms,
by portraying life as it "truly" is. To be more accurate, it claimed
to take on the stylized theater which had dominated in the West for
centuries, including the stylized portrayal of povertry. The goal of
verismo wasn't necessarily to take on socio-economic issues, but some
people saw that as a piece of what traditional opera ignored.

Il Tabarro is an example of a verismo opera that was intended to
portray poverty truthfully. Whether it did or not is a separate
question. More often, verismo was ignoring the presence of poverty
among the characters in its librettos.

dsg

Mark

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Jun 13, 2006, 7:38:27 AM6/13/06
to

Mrs T xx wrote:
> Out of interest....while we're on American/British slang...... can
> anyone advise me if it's considered racist/offensive to refer to
> Americans as "Yanks"? It's a genuine question.... I'm not trying to
> stir up trouble!!!! Was just curious.....
>
> Mrs T xx

Dear Mrs T,
I've been to Europe 3 times in the past year and haven't heard the word
used once. The context I usually think of outside of America is "Yankee
Go Home". Inside the US, Yankees only refers to residents of New
England and New York. No self respecting Texan would ever let anyone
call him a Yankee.

Mrs T xx

unread,
Jun 13, 2006, 8:04:11 AM6/13/06
to

Mark wrote:
> > Dear Mrs T,
> I've been to Europe 3 times in the past year and haven't heard the word
> used once. The context I usually think of outside of America is "Yankee
> Go Home". Inside the US, Yankees only refers to residents of New
> England and New York. No self respecting Texan would ever let anyone
> call him a Yankee.

I honestly wasn't sure what American people thought of the term, which
is why I asked.
I always try my best not to inadvertantly offend people. In Britain
the word "Yank" is often used as a general term for Americans but it's
not necessarily meant by us as something derogatory, unless proceeded
by a swear word such as bloody, or something.
I assumed it was no worse than you calling us "Brits" which most people
don't find remotely offensive.

But I had no idea the term "trailer trash" was so bad........ guess
I've been watching too many episodes of Jerry Springer!!! I've only
spent about 3 weeks in my entire life in the USA, so obviously the
impression I get from watching tv shows is not particularly accurate -
sorry!

Mrs T xx

Mark

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Jun 13, 2006, 8:22:54 AM6/13/06
to

Mrs T xx wrote:
> But I had no idea the term "trailer trash" was so bad........ guess
> I've been watching too many episodes of Jerry Springer!!! I've only
> spent about 3 weeks in my entire life in the USA, so obviously the
> impression I get from watching tv shows is not particularly accurate -
> sorry!
>
> Mrs T xx

Dear Mrs. T,
Don't ge me started on Jerry Springer! That show encapsulates
everything that is wrong with TV and taste in this country. It can be
described as poor people being encouraged to act poorly. Perhaps you
can answer this question for me: Who the hell is Simon Cowell and what
makes him the supreme arbiter of talent?

REG

unread,
Jun 13, 2006, 8:25:52 AM6/13/06
to
<ark - I can't believe we agree on something (Jerry Springer).

To Mrs. T, I'd say again it's intersting that across the cultural divide,
Springer plays differently in England than in America. I don't know if the
musical is still running on the West End, but the fact that it got up there
was not insignificant. There were some plans, apparently, to bring it to
Broadway, but those haven't worked, in part, I think, for funding reasons,
and in part because of differences in perception and taste. I just think the
class issues and differences are, to be redundant, different.


"Mark" <mark.c...@gmail.com> wrote in message

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Mrs T xx

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Jun 13, 2006, 8:30:36 AM6/13/06
to

Mark wrote:
> >
> Dear Mrs. T,
> Don't ge me started on Jerry Springer! That show encapsulates
> everything that is wrong with TV and taste in this country.

Sorry! Obviously we don't take Jerry seriously and from what I
understand then a lot of the time it's just actors and the
confrontations are staged. I don't go out of my way to watch him but
often if I'm stuck in a hotel room on a business trip then I'll watch
it if there's nothing else on.

> described as poor people being encouraged to act poorly. Perhaps you
> can answer this question for me: Who the hell is Simon Cowell and what
> makes him the supreme arbiter of talent?

He's an arrogant pratt who is very powerful and influential in the
British pop industry. He became famous for his rudeness to wannabe
singers on tv talent shows and is one of those people that everybody
loves to hate. He prides himself on this bad image and fosters it.

I don't usually watch these things.......although the early rounds are
quite funny when they show people who really are terrible singers.
It's no fun once it gets down to people who are actually quite good

Mrs T xx

Ken Meltzer

unread,
Jun 13, 2006, 8:31:42 AM6/13/06
to

Mark wrote:

> Dear Mrs. T,
> Don't ge me started on Jerry Springer! That show encapsulates
> everything that is wrong with TV and taste in this country. It can be
> described as poor people being encouraged to act poorly. Perhaps you
> can answer this question for me: Who the hell is Simon Cowell and what
> makes him the supreme arbiter of talent?

And who is Tony Sinclair, and is he ready to Tanqueray?
Best,
Ken

REG

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Jun 13, 2006, 8:40:40 AM6/13/06
to
And what about Franco Bonisolli?

"Ken Meltzer" <comm...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:1150201902.4...@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...

Mrs T xx

unread,
Jun 13, 2006, 8:50:20 AM6/13/06
to

REG wrote:
> <ark - I can't believe we agree on something (Jerry Springer).
>
> To Mrs. T, I'd say again it's intersting that across the cultural divide,
> Springer plays differently in England than in America. I don't know if the
> musical is still running on the West End, but the fact that it got up there
> was not insignificant. There were some plans, apparently, to bring it to
> Broadway, but those haven't worked, in part, I think, for funding reasons,
> and in part because of differences in perception and taste. I just think the
> class issues and differences are, to be redundant, different.
>

Jerry Springer the Musical isn't on in the West End any more but I know
it was doing a nationwide tour in the UK fairly recently. Not sure if
it's still going......

I never saw the musical live but I did watch it when they showed it on
tv. A lot of the Christian groups got really offended by it - but as
a Catholic myself then actually I confess I did find it quite amusing,
in a "so bad it's good" kind of way. (OK, musically it was crap - but
I meant the overall concept)

But I have a very silly sense of humour and I do confess to a penchant
for enjoying trashy tv like "Dynasty", "Footballers Wives" etc.
Condemn me if you will! :-)

Mrs T xx

REG

unread,
Jun 13, 2006, 8:54:06 AM6/13/06
to
I condemn you for thinking Dynasty is trashy :)

REG, who though a high point in Western Art was seeing Joan Collins wearing
a nun's costume.


"Mrs T xx" <mrs.t...@btinternet.com> wrote in message

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Mark

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Jun 13, 2006, 9:50:55 AM6/13/06
to

REG wrote:
> I condemn you for thinking Dynasty is trashy :)
>
> REG, who though a high point in Western Art was seeing Joan Collins wearing
> a nun's costume.

No, no, no. I shall forever and always remember her as Princess
Nellifer in the favorite movie of my childhood, Land of the Pharoahs
,opposite Jack Hawkins. Of course, this was 50 years ago when she was
an actual bombshell.

Little Jimmy Olsen

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Jun 13, 2006, 9:57:28 AM6/13/06
to

"REG" <Rich...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:yeujg.8728$ci....@news-wrt-01.rdc-nyc.rr.com...

>I had actually done the search see how off my own thoughts were - I did see
>that use, which is why I allowed for some commercial uses as well as the
>movie - but I am not as sure as you that it might be an actual regionalism
>at this point. There are some 'usage' dictionaries, and I'm curious enough
>that I may try to take a look this weekend, but I think I will stick to my
>guns till then (and undoubtedly beyond). It would be a great Safire column
>in the Sunday TIMES, and I wonder if he's done one.
>
> Anyone have any experience or knowledge about some of them usage
> dictionaries? I guess I could also ask our junior Senator.
>
> Thanks
>
> REG, guns sticking
>

In Florida, where I live four months of the year, "trailer trash" is firmly
in the language. But if you were limiting your observations to "polite
society" I'll have to disqualify myself. The only thing I know about polite
society I learned from Dan and Leonard.

ljo

Little Jimmy Olsen

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Jun 13, 2006, 10:08:15 AM6/13/06
to

"Donald Grove" <donal...@verizon.net> wrote in message
news:dj6t82tnf6olj6rvj...@4ax.com...

> The fact that Jeff Foxworthy and others make jokes does not take away
> from the viciousness of the label. I grew up in Central Illinois. My
> parents were teachers. But my best friend's mom cleaned rooms for a
> Howard Johnsons, and her dad (and brothers) worked at a gas station.
> They lived in a mobile home (trailer). They had all the struggles
> that come with poverty.
>

I agree. I wasn't expressing approval of the label, only commenting on its
usage. ljo

Little Jimmy Olsen

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Jun 13, 2006, 12:32:14 PM6/13/06
to

"Mark" <mark.c...@gmail.com> wrote

> No, no, no. I shall forever and always remember her as Princess
> Nellifer in the favorite movie of my childhood, Land of the Pharoahs
> ,opposite Jack Hawkins. Of course, this was 50 years ago when she was
> an actual bombshell.
>

Wasn't she mummified when the film was finished?


shir...@hotmail.com

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Jun 13, 2006, 1:04:00 PM6/13/06
to

Precisely. In the northeast the term Yankee is not a problem.
Anywhere south of Washington D.C.-- problem! It has to do with the
great unpleasantness known as the Civil War, although the term Yankee
was in existence before then. I don't think you'd seriously offend an
American by calling them a Yank--I'm sure we've been called much worse.
You might get an odd look at most. But it's not very widely used in the
U.S. in my experience. Of course, I'm on the West Coast, so it may be
more widely used in the East.

Melissa

Silverfin

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Jun 13, 2006, 1:46:30 PM6/13/06
to

Mrs T xx wrote:
> Mark wrote:
>
>>>Dear Mrs T,
>>
>>I've been to Europe 3 times in the past year and haven't heard the word
>>used once. The context I usually think of outside of America is "Yankee
>>Go Home". Inside the US, Yankees only refers to residents of New
>>England and New York. No self respecting Texan would ever let anyone
>>call him a Yankee.
>
>
> I honestly wasn't sure what American people thought of the term, which
> is why I asked.
> I always try my best not to inadvertantly offend people. In Britain
> the word "Yank" is often used as a general term for Americans but it's
> not necessarily meant by us as something derogatory, unless proceeded
> by a swear word such as bloody, or something.
> I assumed it was no worse than you calling us "Brits" which most people
> don't find remotely offensive.


I have also always thought of 'Yank' as being a non-offensive
term for Americans in general. It is interesting, though, how
these terms take on different meanings, and are acceptable in
some places and offensive in others. For example, I used to work
with a Kiwi guy (which is how he would describe himself), and I
had to take him aside and explain that if he went around using
the term 'Paki' in London, he was liable to get himself in some
serious trouble. (In the UK, as far as I know, it is generally
considered very derogatory, but in NZ it is simply an
abbreviation of Pakistani, of the same kind as Aussie, Brit,
etc.) And more fun explaining to a Saffa (her own choice of
terminology) that 'Brownie' was not some kind of racial slur,
but a trainee Girl Guide/Scout.

Silverfin

capa0...@aol.com

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Jun 13, 2006, 2:57:45 PM6/13/06
to

Donald Grove wrote:

>
> Poor people are always objectified by the bourgeoisie. When the
> bourgeois are feeling generous, the consider the lives of the poor to
> be picturesque, perhaps even enobling. But when the bourgeoisie are
> confronted by an image or idea that they fear or dislike about
> themselves, then the poor are "trailer trash". The expression really
> has nothing to do with how poor people live (e.g., in trailers), it
> has to do with their poverty,

==============
I would take issue with that characterization. I think the meaning of
the expression has much more to do with 'trash' than with trailers, and
nothing much to do with poverty at all.

I have never heard the expression used to denigrate all
trailer-dwellers, although I can see how someone would think that such
denigration is implicit in the phrase. In my experience the expression
is used to describe people with certain undesirable qualitites **
without regard to where they actually live -- or, to some extent, to
their income level. There are milions of people in poverty that almost
no one would call 'trailer trash' -- and there are millions of lower
middle class people whose behavior might earn them that unflattering
designation.

(** ignorance, lack of ambition, slovenliness, promiscuity, substance
abuse, given to loud and/or obscene language... that sort of thing)


For our European friends who might be looking for an example -- Tonya
Harding -- the figure skater whose pals attacked Nancy Kerrigan -- is
someone often described as 'trailer trash' -- without reference, I
think, to whether she ever actually lived in a trailer.

I don't think "trailer trash" characterizes trailer-dwellers in general
any more than "limousine liberal" characterizes people who ride in
limousines. A certain subclass of people could be considered "trailer
trash," I think, whether they live in a trailer, a tenement, or a
farmhouse.

I would agree with LJO, though, that the expression is in common usage
-- at least in the two areas where I have lived -- the midwest and
southern California.

Pat

Mark

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Jun 13, 2006, 3:12:50 PM6/13/06
to

capa0...@aol.com wrote:
>
> I don't think "trailer trash" characterizes trailer-dwellers in general
> any more than "limousine liberal" characterizes people who ride in
> limousines. A certain subclass of people could be considered "trailer
> trash," I think, whether they live in a trailer, a tenement, or a
> farmhouse.
>
> Pat

There are certain distinctions trailer dwellers make amongst
themselves, ya know. The top of the heap is the "Double-wide". Usage:
"Ooh, they're special. They live in a double-wide, Momma." 8-)

Mrs T xx

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Jun 13, 2006, 3:13:41 PM6/13/06
to

Silverfin wrote:
>> > I have also always thought of 'Yank' as being a non-offensive
> term for Americans in general. It is interesting, though, how
> these terms take on different meanings, and are acceptable in
> some places and offensive in others. For example, I used to work
> with a Kiwi guy (which is how he would describe himself), and I
> had to take him aside and explain that if he went around using
> the term 'Paki' in London, he was liable to get himself in some
> serious trouble.


I always find it very interesting to see the way certain words have
different meanings in different countries. Especially when it comes to
slang.

I remember going to a shopping mall in California a few years ago with
my half brother who lives over there. We were in a shop which sold
trousers and there was this enormous poster about 10 feet tall saying
"WE HAVE YOUR PANTS" written in huge letters. I was dying of
hysterics for about 5 minutes and this poor shop assistant came up to
me and innocently asked what the matter was. Naturally I explained
that in Britain pants are underwear, not trousers.

The other source of potential embarrassment I can think of is the word
"fanny" which means something totally different in Britain compared to
the U.S. I'm sure there are many other examples too.

Before I started writing on RMO I didn't have so much contact with
Americans and I must say I've learned a lot about the differences
between British English and U.S English and do find it very
interesting. Do Americans really not use the adjective "bloody" at
all? It really is such a frequently used British adjectives and I
know this will sound silly, but I would feel totally lost if I didn't
have that particular word in my vocabulary!

I think I'll avoid using the word "Yank" because I can never tell where
people come from - and am totally useless at recognising different
types of American accents. La Donna Mobile was horrified when during
a night of baritone stalking at the ROH Figaro I commented to her
"Gerald Finley's such a nice bloke - I had no idea he was a Yank". It
seems he's Canadian and I gather that they get very upset when mistaken
for Americans and vice versa. Oops.

Mrs T xx

La Donna Mobile

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Jun 13, 2006, 3:17:37 PM6/13/06
to
That's why I like the term 'chav'. They used to be called 'council' in
England or 'schemies' in Scotland, the implication being that if you
live in social housing you are an inferior sort of person. Which, in my
view is disgusting, for the reasons you cite. Whereas 'chav' can be
applied to people of any social background, including the England
football captain and wife (a former pop star), and at least one Prince,
as well as eg my 'step'son, none of whom who come from deprived
backgrounds and were never poor, but for whatever reason seem to think
that being a bling-covered fashion victim is the ultimate state of being.

Properly poor people do not do the bling-chav stuff.


--
http://www.madmusingsof.me.uk/weblog/
http://www.geraldine-curtis.me.uk/photoblog/

La Donna Mobile

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Jun 13, 2006, 3:21:53 PM6/13/06
to
When my friend and I arrived at New Orleans airport and had the bad luck
to choose the world's most incompetent taxi driver, and then he got lost
and we had to give him directions, he called us "Expletive-forgotten
Yanks", presumably because he thought we were from the North East.

La Donna Mobile

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Jun 13, 2006, 3:30:41 PM6/13/06
to
REG wrote:
> Even I don't get offended at Yanks, although I don't particularly like
> dentists. I'd never heard it as a negative connotation. Is there a sense
> that "Brits" is inappropriate?
>

Almost never. Eg Mrs T and I attended the Classical Brits last month,
although we called them the Crossover Brits...And "The Brits" is the
annual pop music award glitz thing. I noticed on a bus map this morning
that one of the main cricket grounds has been renamed the "Brit Oval".
Damon Hirst, Tracy Emin and others are categorised as BritArt. Well, I
would categorise them somewhat different. But what do I know - I know
what I like...I am a member of the BloggingBrits webring and the
Britblog catalogue. Etc etc etc

But in some parts of Northern Ireland "Brits Out" is a highly charged
graffito.

La Donna Mobile

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Jun 13, 2006, 3:33:33 PM6/13/06
to
I'm sure he's too nice to be offended by a genuine mistake.

shir...@hotmail.com

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Jun 13, 2006, 5:29:25 PM6/13/06
to

Mrs T xx wrote:
> Stephen Jay-Taylor wrote:
> >> The genuine physical violence between her
> > and Terfel was really rather impressively shocking to behold, because he
> > really mauls her, and she, astonished that this could be happening to her,
> > really struggles savagely.
> >
>
> Maybe the reason she acted so convincingly shocked was because she'd
> missed so many rehearsals that she wasn't aware that Scarpia was going
> to grab her so violently at that point? :-)
>
> Mrs T xx

Maybe Bryn looked truly fierce at close range at that point? =o) It was
a definite discourtesy to him that she missed so many rehearsals.
Scarpia has to be able to play off Tosca for a lot of the first act,
and most of the second. How can he know how to do that, if he doesn't
know what she's going to do? I think he should have used the knife on
Morticia, instead of getting stabbed!

Melissa

Mrs T xx

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Jun 13, 2006, 5:35:18 PM6/13/06
to

shira...@hotmail.com wrote:
> > Maybe Bryn looked truly fierce at close range at that point? =o) It was
> a definite discourtesy to him that she missed so many rehearsals.
> Scarpia has to be able to play off Tosca for a lot of the first act,
> and most of the second. How can he know how to do that, if he doesn't
> know what she's going to do? I think he should have used the knife on
> Morticia, instead of getting stabbed!
>

Well, before the dress reheasal I did suggest to Bryn that he should
use plastic cutlery when eating his dinner but did he listen to me???
No. And look what happened to him!

Fortunately I'm too kind to say "I told you so"

Don't worry, the knives will be out for Morticia in the press reviews
tomorrow morning....

Mrs T xx

Ortrud Jones

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Jun 13, 2006, 5:37:35 PM6/13/06
to
The village idiot from Texas who acts as your "president" has a better
idea, Uncle Tom.

-Ortrud Jones

REG wrote:
> I guess I could also ask our junior Senator.

.

Silverfin

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Jun 13, 2006, 8:03:15 PM6/13/06
to

Mrs T xx wrote:
> I always find it very interesting to see the way certain words have
> different meanings in different countries. Especially when it comes to
> slang.
>
> I remember going to a shopping mall in California a few years ago with
> my half brother who lives over there. We were in a shop which sold
> trousers and there was this enormous poster about 10 feet tall saying
> "WE HAVE YOUR PANTS" written in huge letters. I was dying of
> hysterics for about 5 minutes and this poor shop assistant came up to
> me and innocently asked what the matter was. Naturally I explained
> that in Britain pants are underwear, not trousers.


This is almost ONtopic: I once got the hysterics in the library
while reading a description of a performance of Einstein on the
Beach. It was the bit where it said the stage was full of lots
of Einsteins, all dressed in "baggy pants and suspenders". I
mean, what a mental image...


> The other source of potential embarrassment I can think of is the word
> "fanny" which means something totally different in Britain compared to
> the U.S. I'm sure there are many other examples too.


There are many. But that's a particularly funny one.

Silverfin

Silverfin

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Jun 13, 2006, 8:07:01 PM6/13/06
to

capa0...@aol.com wrote:
> Donald Grove wrote:
>
>
>>Poor people are always objectified by the bourgeoisie. When the
>>bourgeois are feeling generous, the consider the lives of the poor to
>>be picturesque, perhaps even enobling. But when the bourgeoisie are
>>confronted by an image or idea that they fear or dislike about
>>themselves, then the poor are "trailer trash". The expression really
>>has nothing to do with how poor people live (e.g., in trailers), it
>>has to do with their poverty,
>
> ==============
> I would take issue with that characterization. I think the meaning of
> the expression has much more to do with 'trash' than with trailers, and
> nothing much to do with poverty at all.
>
> I have never heard the expression used to denigrate all
> trailer-dwellers, although I can see how someone would think that such
> denigration is implicit in the phrase. In my experience the expression
> is used to describe people with certain undesirable qualitites **
> without regard to where they actually live -- or, to some extent, to
> their income level. There are milions of people in poverty that almost
> no one would call 'trailer trash' -- and there are millions of lower
> middle class people whose behavior might earn them that unflattering
> designation.
>
> (** ignorance, lack of ambition, slovenliness, promiscuity, substance
> abuse, given to loud and/or obscene language... that sort of thing)


This implies an assumption that everyone (apart from the trailer
trash, obviously) considers all of these things undesirable. :-)

Silverfin

REG

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Jun 13, 2006, 8:24:39 PM6/13/06
to
The film was finished?

"Little Jimmy Olsen" <seniorcu...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:iMBjg.5215$lf4....@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...

REG

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Jun 13, 2006, 8:26:09 PM6/13/06