November 15, 2013

If Magic Flute characters hired attorneys

Anthony Weiner, famous shamed politician
Here's a sight we've all grown accustomed to in this age of constant scandals and their attendant perpetual media coverage: a celebrity facing the press to read a "prepared statement" in order to address some scandal in which he or she has been involved. Adultery, assault, slander, almost any naughtiness now calls for one's attorney to craft an oh-so-carefully-worded apology which, upon closer inspection, seldom renders any actual apology. No, the objective in these cases is simply to protect the "shamed one's" butt from future legal action. Actors, athletes, politicians, rock stars - anyone in the public eye may find themselves before a battery of microphones, blandly reciting some lawer's version of "my bad, but not really that bad".

What if opera characters did that?

Right now Virginia Opera has Mozart's The Magic Flute playing around the region, so let's give this concept a whirl, whattaya say? Here we go!

Monostatos (the creepy guy who ties up Pamina and clearly wants to "hit that"):
"I would like to say that Pamina is one of the finest young ladies I have met and I have utmost respect for her. I deeply regret the misunderstandings that have led to the deterioration of our personal relationship. At no time was she subjected to the outlandish sexual behavior of which I have been accused. I now realize that in my zeal to detain her, a task which was not my choice but assigned me by Sarastro, for whom I also have utmost respect, I may have used some tactics which, in hindsight, went too far. Again, I deeply regret this and feel this is not characteristic of the responsible manner in which I go about my business as Chief Jailer of the Temple of Isis and Osiris. It is my hope that I can put these events behind me and restore these personal relationships, which I value highly. Thank you.

There! That oughta do it! Hmmm... you know who else could use some sound legal advice? Pamina's mother. Hey, here she comes now, emerging from her lovely home in the suburbs to greet a phalanx of reporters on her front lawn!

Queen of the Night
Thank you all for being here. I am grateful for this opportunity to set the record straight and clarify recent events. I have been accused of lying to Tamino, of slandering Sarastro's name and even of attempted murder. This has been very stressful for me and my family. I am so grateful for the support of my dear husband, the King of the Night, who has been my rock. 

First of all, to be clear, when I sang my Act 1 aria to Tamino, my only goal was to enlist his aid in doing what any mother would want: the removal of her daughter from what I truly believed was a dangerous cult. I told no lies in the course of that aria; in fact, police records reflect that Pamina's abduction happened just as I described in the "Adagio" portion of the aria. I now realize that I was not in possession of all the facts, which caused me to mis-judge the Temple of Isis and Osiris and all its employees. I still maintain that Sarastro, for whom I have utmost respect, could have avoided our misunderstandings had he simply contacted me to explain his intentions, rather than just snatching her in the middle of the night. Of which, to be fair, I am Queen.

That said, I now concede that Pamina is happy with her husband Tamino. All I ever really wanted was whatever was best for my daughter. As any mother would.

As for accusations of murder, I maintain that this is a mis-characterization of my thought process. These accusations are deeply hurtful to myself, my family, and my Three Ladies. I am not a violent person and would never murder anyone, nor ask anyone else to commit murder. At the time, I considered my plan to be based on the legal concept of self-defense: I felt that Pamina had the right to defend herself from a lifetime of captivity by a possibly dangerous cult. I was merely equipping her for the task at hand. In hindsight, my emotional state and my fear for Pamina's safety may have led me to behaviors which placed innocent people in jeopardy, which I deeply regret.

I am resolved to put these events behind me and repair relations with Pamina, Tamino, and all priests, employees and followers of the Temple of Isis and Osiris. For which I have utmost respect.

Thank you. No questions, please.

Well, I feel better! But that's because attorneys make everything better - don't you agree?

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