Volume 8 / Chapter 251
Don Ciccio, I ask you in tears.
As the Lord did Magdalena, have pity on us.
I am just a widow,
And he is a young child smaller than an olive.
Please protect your noble honor
And protect a young child’s life.
Please tell me.
That you will save
Such a miserable mother and son.
A mother’s cry to save her son, filled the theater. A few emotional people were already taking out their handkerchiefs to wipe away their tears.
Laura’s song ended and the 2nd aria’s music flowed out. Don Ciccio stood up without a word and turned his back to her.
His turning his back indicates his cruel intention to ignore the mother’s earnest wish and kill her other son.
When the tune went up an octave and expressed urgency, Vito Corleone’s mother, Laura, took a dagger out from her chest and pointed it at Don Ciccio’s neck.
The orchestra hit the bass with the love, anger, and despair of a mother trying to save her son. That moment of passion and the orchestra, that felt like it was smothering the person listening, were used as a foothold and another of Laura’s arias began.
Oh Lord, I am holding a knife
To the neck of this pig
Who killed my husband and son.
When I think of the pain he has caused me
My heart pledges revenge
But when I think of the danger facing my son
My heart wavers again.
It is a song that expresses the feeling of being at a crossroads for choice. A song is a better method of expressing one’s feelings than practical dialogue is.
Another of Laura’s emotional arias came to an end, and the audience could not suppress their sentiments and exploded in applause. This is the moment where the actress and conductor need to match up.
They cannot make it seem like the flow has been cut off by the sound of the audience clapping. Laura took a glance at Jun Hyuk’s baton, and let out a big cry when the baton moved again instead of singing.
“Corsa (run) Vito. Corsa!”
The sound of a child running came out through the speakers and gunshots sounded again. The stage grew darker as Laura clutched her chest and collapsed, and Ciccio’s underlings yelled after Vito.
The stage did not brighten because of the lights. The lights on the screens taking up the 3 sides of the stage came on, and the scenery of New York in the 1910s filled the screens.
People walking quickly, a street with horse carriages and cars. It is a New York street where gentlemen wearing top hats and Italian immigrants with impressive mustaches live together.
The young Vito Corleone escaped Ciccio’s bright eyes to New York, and had become a young man in his 20s.
He is gazing at infant Michael Corleone lovingly, and his wife Carmela is smiling next to him.
The two of them sang solos and duets for 15 minutes without rest. They are living in poverty, but they endure it with their love for each other and scrape by, drawing out the image of immigrants.
Three-fourths of the way through the overall dark atmosphere, 2 contrabasses brought out the theme and started to mix in with the two people’s songs.
With young passion
My heart is burning like fire
What gave me comfort
Was only the smile of love!
From the day he whispered
In my ear that he loves me,
The moments I am with you
Are like heaven.
I live in heaven.
This moment that I am spending with you,
I am living in heaven.
When his wife Carmela’s song ended, her seemingly sickly husband Vito Corleone sang. At that moment, low exclamations of pity came out from all over the audience.
He is one of the young first-class tenors but his voice did not have strength, technique, or high-frequency.
It is just a rather soft lyricism. He showed that he is just someone of lower class in New York where he is living without power or money.
You shined a light on me.
From that day on,
I came to live in great love.
A wave of great love
Came over me.
I’ll give you happiness
And take the pain and sadness myself.
Their duet continued without rest. The orchestra accompaniment also continued along with the faithful lyrics and songs.
My happy days
Are all because of you.
Everything is empty without you.
The joy of love disappears in a moment,
Flowers bloom beautifully,
When the moment passes,
They do not bloom again.
Feel great happiness
While our lives are burning.
The beautiful melody was enough to take over people’s souls and whispered to the audience, a love full of gentleness and affection.
As soon as the opera began, Laura’s tragic aria flowed out and the beautiful serenade of love continued to flow out as a duet, and the audience was already mesmerized, unable to take their eyes off the stage.
Vito Corleone became unemployed because of Don Fanucci, the area’s boss. He met Peter Clemenza by chance after that, and went into the dark path with Salvatore Tessio.
The cello and contrabass played with a heavy and solemn feeling. Continuing, there was the violin’s somehow nervous and chopped accompaniment, and woodwinds played a sad melody.
As though foreshadowing Vito’s future in which he cannot live normally under the sun, the tenor and baritone in the orchestra’s sad music went on continuously.
The stage’s background changed within moments with just the screen and lights. An empty house robbed from the street, a coffee shop in a New York alley appeared and disappeared.
The background switched so quickly that it was difficult to determine whether they were watching an opera or a movie. The audience could not stop admiring how the sound effects, orchestra, and singers mixed together without a single error.
A rare few knew that all of this began from the end of the white baton that Jun Hyuk is holding.
The gunshot that rang when he assassinated Don Fanucci, this street’s boss, went along with the timpani’s sounding and embedded in the ears of the audience as if an instrument and Vito Corleone’s image gradually changed.
He showed confidence and his voice was no longer sickly or weak. He was an image fit for the dominator of New York streets and he had taken his first step into the mafia family looking out for Italians. When the sign of ghost company ‘Genco Trading Company’ went up, more than 20 singers gleefully sang a song, ‘Ruler of the Street’.
When the pleasant woodwinds melody stopped, the cello sand the 2nd theme. The chorus’ joy and cello’s gloom intertwined, and the song showed the last development right before exploding.
At some point, New York changed into Vito Corleone’s hometown and the chorus changed into Don Ciccio’s underlings.
When an old Don Ciccio rubs his dull eyes and looks at the young Vito Corleone, the orchestra’s swelling music explodes.
Jun Hyuk put all of his strength into bringing out the climax with his baton, and the young hero showed all of his true skill, power, technique, and range to explode with Jun Hyuk.
Approaches like sweet wine.
Will be stuck in my flesh
Like a bitter olive seed.
A sweet revenge for me
A sharp blade for you.
The knife in my hand
That will cut open an old pig’s stomach.
You will have to spill more blood
Than my father, mother, and brother spilled.
Your children and wife will have to fill
The blood that falls short.
When Vito Corleone cut from Don Ciccio’s chest to stomach, blood splattered and Don Ciccio’s guts spilled out through special effects. When the overall color of the stage was stained red, there were even sharp shrieks from the audience.
But the young avenger’s song continued without a single rest.
Are you looking at this blood-stained blade?
Do you see his bowels, cut open on this blade?
Rest peacefully now.
Your son will protect you forever.
While the bloody tenor holding a blade wet with blood boasted an explosive voice overwhelming the audience, the stage grew dark again.
The audience could not accept the fact that the 1st act ended in shock and emotion.
They finally exploded in applause once the word ‘intermission’ came up on the stage screen.
Robert DeNiro in particular had been watching the actor who handled the role he had when he was younger, was not even able to stand up as he was moved to tears rather than applauding.
When the 2nd act came up, Dario Argento as 55 year old Vito Corleone and his daughter Connie Corleone were dancing on stage.
It is the highlight of the wedding reception, the bride and father’s dance.
Joyful noises of the wedding came out through the speakers and this bumbling melted into the orchestra’s music as though it were just a part of the music.
People appeared one by one near the two people dancing until they were no longer visible.
Connie Corleone disappeared from the stage as though by magic, and the dancing floor changed into the boss’ office.
Vito Corleone, his guest, and his underlings sang in low tones.
He is directing mafia related violence such as with undertaker Bonasera crying out singing for the murder of his daughter’s attacker, and producer Jack Woltz, who refused Johnny Fontane’s appearance in film, being put in his place.
As conductor, Jun Hyuk’s attention did not stray from Dario Argento. When the voice that Jun Hyuk had demanded, the old and thick yet weighty voice, added on to the orchestra’s melody to fill the stage, Jun Hyuk let out a sigh of relief.
Contrary to Jun Hyuk’s relief however, the audience even felt strange about this completely different voice that sounded as if it were scratching on metal.
For people who had been waiting for the tenor’s clear sound, the introduction to Argento’s ‘Irrefusable Proposal’ is music that they cannot hear in operas.
This song reaching 6 minutes 30 seconds is still a minor song, but it is deployed powerfully with a configuration that changes frequently between B major and G major.
Argento showed the skill of handling the bouncing modulation perfectly, and his thick voice was overall dark and heavy. He took care of all impediments with that heaviness and showed his strong will to achieve his purpose.
When the song was over, only non-Italians had expressions of surprise.
Argento’s voice is only an Italian’s aria, and ties the song and meaning together perfectly.
When Corleone got into a shootout on the street with the Tattaglia family over drug matters and Vito Corleone was in danger of dying, he started singing ‘Oh, What a Shame! How Embarrassing’ with regret.
I have made a big mistake!
Faith of friendship in vain,
Not a shameful belief
Is just an unscrupulous dream.
I have been too comfortable.
Oh, how can I
Correct this mistake?
I need to wash away this disgrace.
Oh, how shameful! This is embarrassing.
While the 2nd act went towards the end, Al Pacino’s expression from the 2nd floor VIP seats was not good.
It is because the scene in the movie where he pulled the trigger against his father’s enemies in a small restaurant and escaped to Sicily, which was crucial and dramatic in the film, was reduced to just one song and the orchestra’s fast tempo music.
Those underhanded Tattaglias… I won’t forgive you.
I will get revenge before the day ends.
I need to see blood. My body trembles in rage.
All that is left is rage!
I’ll kill the traitors like dogs
And throw them out on the ground!
Hyenas will gnaw up their bones and flesh
So there is not even a trace of them left behind.
New York, frozen in the winter wind
Will be overcome with a gruesome silence!
It was evident that Michael Corleone, the young son who led the movie ‘Godfather’ and the role he took on, was minimal and the opera followed Dario Argento’s view.