Volume 8 / Chapter 250
In <Poetics>, Aristotle defined tragedy as representing men “as better than in actual life” and comedy as “representing men as worse”.
The opera is the closest art form to classic Greek tragedies in format, and the ruin of a noble and elegant is the most complete tragedy.
The argument that lasted over 2000 years of boundaries drawn between tragedy and comedy in the history of western culture of opera buffa (comedy) or seria (tragedy) argument came crashing down with Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Don Giovanni freely surpassed that boundary and formally used the title opera buffa to mock and break apart human relationships to expose tragedy.
Jun Hyuk’s opera ‘Godfather’ did not hesitate to use elements of total tragedy, but he made all of the characters into normal people, not people who are better or worse.
A group of people working toward their ambitions. They are modern people, not those of tragedy or comedy.
He also used a dissonance method of song and acting to take the pole in verismo (extreme realism) opera.
“I don’t know about singing. I’m telling you to express your spirited determination with just song. Don’t overdo it with serious expressions for no reason. You need to kill the person in front of you, but will that person stay still if all of that shows on your face? Make your expression temperate. Okay?”
The director in charge of acting kept shouting in order to suppress the exaggerated action of operas. He emphasized elegance and moderation in order to bring out the dry and composed mafia of movies.
Star class singers, who had only heard praises until now, were not comfortable with these stinging words.
This is the first time they needed to sing an exploding aria with plain expressions, so it was a difficult period for even those with confidence in their abilities to act.
“What is this? Why is the sound going down? Are you filming a movie right now? Are you reciting a dialogue? You need to sing!”
When singing with a plain expression as requested by the director, Jun Hyuk started yelling.
They still have the shock that they felt when they first received the script. The first thing they thought of was Mozart. Before Mozart, all dialogue in operas were not made in song.
There were a lot of normal parts that were as though in dialogue, but Mozart put his thought that ‘music should always be flowing’ in his operas.
They were complete banquets of music, that the singers even complained that there were too many songs that made it too difficult for them to perform.
Jun Hyuk’s opera does not fall short in any way when compared to those of Mozart.
It is packed with songs, so that it feels like an endless feast of arias. They thought it a relief that it was just 3 acts.
But between these 2 directors who are telling them to act like Hollywood actors and sing with the essence of Italian operas, it was hard for cast members to endure each day. But time did not care and passed fleetingly.
Two days before the performance, Laura flew to Milan from Frankfurt and finished rehearsals fastest. She is a supporting character who just sings 2 songs and unlike the other characters, her role is the only one where the songs and acting are aligned.
The cast members who listened to her sing could not deny that Laura would develop another level again.
“You’ve worked hard until now.”
Jun Hyuk, the acting director, and staff members bowed to the singers and orchestra.
Acting, singing, frequently changing lights, stage equipment, and sound effects. This is a genuine gesture toward the cast members who tossed their images as stars and did their best in order to implement an opera where all of this falls together perfectly.
All of the cast members went to Jun Hyuk and embraced him with strength. Dario Argento in particular even showed a tear in his eye as he held Jun Hyuk in his arms.
“Thank you, Jun. For giving me the chance to spend the last of my life in such a grand manner. Thanks a lot.”
This work has the special effects of musical “Love and Soul”, the narrative of “Les Miserables”, and the magnificence of “Turandot”, and the opera singers could not stop their beating hearts with the work’s opening tomorrow.
That day, it is not an exaggeration to say that all of the reporters in Milan gathered.
“Godfather” actors including Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall, James Caan, and director Francis Ford Coppola came in for this and and documentary director Martin Scorsese was busy filming their arrival.
Hollywood stars praised the opera “Godfather” with anticipation that it would continue the legend of the movie they filmed 40 years ago.
Maestros who know and those who have never met Jun Hyuk before pushed in endlessly, and singers who had not been cast along with their die-hard fans paid the expensive airfare to get to Milan.
All of the stars entering the theater needed to talk in front of cameras and microphones for over 10 minutes. The person who did not fall short in any way when compared to these stars in front of the cameras was Yoon Kwang Hun, who entered with President Stern and Tara.
Reporters considered Yoon Kwang Hun the father of today’s star, Jun Hyuk, and kept asking him questions. Of them, there were those who mistook him for Jun Hyuk’s biological father and asked when Jun Hyuk’s talent started to show.
“Isn’t it time you get used to it? A star’s family is inevitably exposed to camera flashes. Ha ha.”
President Stern whispered to a flustered Yoon Kwang Hun and Yoon Kwang Hun responded to interviews with a trembling voice. He became more and more stable, and started to enjoy the flashing cameras in a relaxed state.
The front of La Scala Theater was like the Academy Awards red carpet, and received the world’s attention.
Everyone who prepared for today’s performance with Dario Argento at the center gathered and prayed to perform safely and successfully, and orchestra members went into the theater first.
The audience’s murmuring stopped when the lights went down. Everyone held their breaths as they waited for the conductor to enter.
The 18th century opera theater was a place where noble ladies could bring their dogs. ‘Dog accompaniment’ was allowed by society.
Since they could not dim the lights to quiet the audience as is done now, the atmosphere was not much different from that of the streets.
That is why they needed a device to tell the audience that the opera was starting, and that was the ‘overture’.
Before the opera’s curtains really rose, the light overture was called a ‘sinfonia’ and that is how the history of the symphony we enjoy today began.
The only light was a small ray that lit up the scores for the orchestra right under the stage.
Clapping started from the very front of the audience and spread out throughout the entire theater. They had discovered Jun Hyuk, the conductor, walking out quietly among the orchestra members.
He bowed to the audience and held up his hand in response to the applause, and then raised his baton high.
As soon as the baton started moving, there was a low exclamation from the audience. The music of Nino Rota that they have heard so much. It is the movie Godfather’s main theme song.
Jun Hyuk was only thinking of using this song as an intermezzo, but everyone related to the box office convinced him to do otherwise.
When they emphasized the emotion and immersion that people would feel when music that they are used to comes out, Jun Hyuk also accepted it. He could not deny that the movie’s main theme song is great.
After the overture and before the curtain rose, 2 gunshots rang through the theater.
Then, a woman’s shriek.
“Oh! My son, Paolo!”
Paolo had been swearing revenge at his father’s funeral when he was murdered by Francesco Ciccio’s underlings. Whether one saw the movie or not, anyone could tell that Paolo had been shot to death.
As the curtain slowly rose, there was a man sitting on a rocking chair in the middle of the stage. His face was full of arrogance, as though he dominates over this entire village.
He is the boss, Francesco Ciccio, who cannot wear a belt because of his full stomach and is wearing a shoulder strap. A woman is begging with her head down, below his arrogant feet.
The violins’ tender melody began and when the oboes and clarinets intensified this, the woman with her face in the ground, Laura Goldberg, stood up. Tears were already flowing down her face.
The violins and violas worked together to play a melody of a lamented atmosphere. Then, the cello followed in. As these 2 melodies crossed and changed, the introduction was flowing.
With a darkening melody and the violas and cellos left in the background as if mumbling, Laura’s heavy and deafening aria began.