And Gutenberg Lived Here: So Why Is Oscar Wilde Dancing The Can-can In “Die Fledermaus?”

Hi to everyone reading this.

(And Thanks)

And although it’s a bit late, wishing you all a happy and blessed New Year

This has been a wild,

or Wilde,

start for us into the new year.

As in:

Christmas eve found us circling Gutenberg City

and playing musical churches-

each church we were a member of, or had sung in, or had an affiliation to

with a problem:

too small for the larger than the facilities could hold expected crowd,

the university church asking university people to come Monday

to leave seats on Sunday for those who aren’t but live in the area,

the dean’s church, St Johannes,

whose pastor we worked for often and whose organist is a friend

suddenly discovered dinosaur, and saints bones under their floor recently,

and is under full excavation,

leaving us in the huge gold Catholic baroque cathedral St Augustine,

with a crowd of protestants who had been sent there

(by he dean),

and a large group of Catholics

who were used to going there for the five pm service.

Hey, isn’t that what it’s all about?

The next morning, we headed out to meet family in Frankfurt,

and ended up in a hotel when it got too late to get back on the train safely.

And since said hotel had British tv

and it being Christmas day,

we decided to do it British style-

high tea in the room with stollen

(a particular German dry yeast and fruit cake)

and tea we had been given as a present.

Then all quieted down,

thank heavens,

until New Years’ Eve,

when we met friends

and went to see Oscar Wilde’s “An Ideal Husband.”

A modern “director’s theatre” interpretation.


instead of an enormously funny social commentary,

that cuts,

with rapier-like wit

to the heart of the matter,

and still leaves you laughing,

and thinking,

(and also extraordinarily sad

at the intolerance of a society

that would send a man with the sensitivity of Oscar Wilde to jail

for his, at that time unacceptable,


This version, however,

preferred a hammer.

Make that a sledge-hammer.

Screaming, yelling, fights all over the stage,

an abundance of sex scenes,

and, perhaps worst of all,

continuously interrupted set speeches.

And, in the end, the entire cast, matched into couples,

male-male, female-female, male-female,

six-foot two blond male in dress and heels with a very small male servant,

all kissing for several minutes as a final statement.

People, I’m not a prude,

and to each his own,

but this just simply wasn’t  Oscar Wilde.

In fact,

thinking back on this New Years’ Eve,

I am so incredibly glad

we didn’t follow our first impulse,

and go to see an old, often viewed by us on New Years,

classic piece here that both Harold and I have sung in,

“Die Fledermaus.”

After what they did to Oscar Wilde,

I would really hate to see what the theatre did with this favorite piece of ours,

whose theme,

sung by Prince Orlofsky,

one of the best,

and happiest,

mezzo-soprano roles around,

is “chacun son gout”-

“to each his own.”

Copyright 2017 All rights reserved.

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