Volume 8 / Chapter 252
The 3rd act showed what quintessential stage effects really are. The war between 5 New York families with the blade of revenge and drug business before them showed excitement beyond that in movies.
The confused image of citizens on the street, avoiding the terror of this war, was shown via video and their movements and the actors on stage created a perfect balance.
It was to the point where the audience could think that the actors spent more time practicing their timing than they did on rehearsing their songs.
Shots from the endlessly sounding automatic rifle surpassed sound effects and mixed in with the woodwinds as though a new percussion instrument, and the verbal argument between family executives surpassed Mozart’s techniques to provide a chorus of comic relief.
Vito Corleone rose from his sickbed and arranged peace talks between New York’s 5 families, which resulted in the end of the war.
The 3rd act, which was the shortest, was trying to end the long journey with one person’s death.
The image of a young grandson running around and playing, implemented through a hologram, looked like an apparition to the audience and 64 year old Vito Corleone chased that apparition around while laughing joyfully.
However, he soon grabbed at the left side of his chest and came to a stop, feeling his stopping heart and sang his last song full of sorrow.
A life full of sin is dying!
Oh, my trust and hope
All of this was just a dream.
My heart, my long faith.
All of it was a waste!
Happiness and all pain will disappear.
The tomb of death with end everything!
I can no longer water this wilting flower
And only the cross on this bell tower is looking at me!
Oh, this wasted body, forgive me.
Look down on my poor soul!
It is all over now…..
As though trying to show that the opera’s last song is the last song of his life, Dario Argento sang passionately with all of his strength.
It seemed like the tempo was wavering because he got lost in emotion, but he did not care. He sang faithfully to his feelings.
Jun Hyuk followed this shaking tempo exactly in order to light up this great’s last stage, and led the orchestra.
It is exactly 5 minutes.
When these 5 minutes are over, the opera and Argento are La Fin (The End).
The two people on and below the stage did their best.
And 5 minutes passed.
A silence without music or singing dominated the theater, and all of the lights went out.
It felt like darkness and silence would press on ‘La Scala’ forever.
The slow lowering of the heavy curtain notified the end of the performance, but no one moved.
Below the stage, Jun Hyuk came down from the podium and quietly left first, while the orchestra members followed suit backstage.
With the bustling sound of the members moving backstage, a storm of clapping and cheering exploded.
And their faces are wet.
If possible, operas are often embellished with chorus finales. Ending with magnificent music is the best way to leave the audience with the greatest emotion.
However, it ended with a tenor’s song screaming in sadness.
The audience can only hold on to a sad sorrow instead of intense emotion. Their tears were expressing that sadness.
Cast members smiled brightly with the following curtain call, entering the stage one by one, and Dario Argento entered last.
The audience’s cheering grew louder and a new cry was added in.
“Bravo! Don Argento! Bravo!”
Argento was a perfect big boss to the Italians in the audience. It was the success story of a young immigrant from Sicily who came to dominate New York. His death was natural, but it is a pity that there is still business to complete.
And the audience is not stupid. They are people who love the opera.
They realized that Dario Argento had handled an immense amount of practice in order to express a perfect Vito Corleone, and had purposefully made his voice sound rough.
They do not know how many times this show will be performed, but they could also guess that this is the last time that they are hearing Dario Argento’s beautiful and elegant voice with Vito Corleone’s end.
It is because that roughly transformed voice cannot be applied to any of Dario Argento’s other roles.
The audience clapped expressively for the old tenor who would remain as the eternal Godfather Don Vito Corleone.
Lastly, the old and young Vito Corleone embraced Jun Hyuk as he walked out slowly.
Before he could even bow to the audience, applause for him exploded.
The cheer ‘viva’ instead of ‘bravo’ is their way of showing respect to Jun Hyuk. A feast of an aria that contains Italy’s essence. At this moment, Jun Hyuk is the audience’s Verdi, Puccini.
After several endless curtain calls that they could no longer respond to, the theater speakers played the movie’s main theme ‘Parla piu piano’. It was a gesture to the audience to leave the theater while listening to the music, but not a single person left their seat.
People finally began to leave once the theme song ended.
Reporters were camped out waiting outside the theater. They were just waiting for stars to come out in order to get interviews from those with the closest relationships to this opera.
The first person that reporters held their microphones out to was the director of movie ‘Godfather,’ Francis Ford Coppola. The director is the only person who they can speak about the opera in comparison with, since the original novelist has passed away.
“I had goosebumps the whole time I watched it. The music? Direction? Singing? Of course all of this was absolutely amazing, but the most surprising aspect while watching this opera was Maestro Jun’s sharp eye digging into the characters. It is surprising that he analyzed Vito Corleone and Mr. Argento’s character so closely.”
Director Coppola gave his composed thoughts on Jun Hyuk.
“He did not capture the mafia’s politics or war, but a single person. Before calling Maestro Jun a great, I felt like he is an observer.”
Al Pacino, who had been the main character in the movie, laid on the praise but he did not hide his disappointment.
“Maestro Jun created another opera for Michael Corleone’s life. Before I even die. Ha ha.”
“I hope more aren’t made. This friend can’t come out better. I wish people would be satisfied with me.”
Robert DeNiro smiled into the camera toward Al Pacino with a fully satisfied expression.
While the cast members were holding their champagne flutes high, celebrating the successful performance and recognizing each other’s toil, the singers’ managers, theater officials, and the performance promotion company were gathered to discuss the follow-up plans to this successful performance.
“It does feel a bit early, but can’t we start discussing additional performances?”
President Stern is this performance’s top investor and producer. Additional performances is referring to those that would be opened once leaving Milan’s La Scala, in other cities and countries.
He had already finalized contracts with several places, but they always included a last condition that the final decision would be made after the first performance.
The decision will be made with the evaluation once all of Milan’s performances are over, but if they consider the reaction of today’s audience or the criticism that will fall tomorrow, it is not a decision to rush even if it is a huge success.
“Twice a week, for a total of 10 performances. This is Mr. Argento’s condition, but have you confirmed to see if he intends to continue?”
“Yes. There is no change in his decision to retire after the Milan performances.”
Argento’s manager did not hesitate even for a moment in responding to President Stern’s question.
“How is Maestro Jun?”
“This is the same for him. The Milan performances will be the last in which he conducts himself. Every opera house has a great orchestra and conductor anyway. And there will be preparations being made to perform the Godfather opera as a symphony right about now.”
The others’ expressions were not bright in response to President Stern’s positive answer.
The original cast is collapsing after just 10 performances.
And it is the 2 most important people who are busy, the conductor and main character.
As President Stern said, the conductor can be replaced at any time. But Argento, the main character? Who could reproduce his rough tone in his place?
Everyone was frustrated, but no one could blame Argento. He publicly announced that this would be the last performance of his music career, so they cannot beg him to extend his performances.
“First, take a look at this.”
Names filled the sheet of paper that President Stern held out.
“Choose one of these tenors who would be able to handle Vito Corleone’s role. I will take responsibility for signing them on.”
The officials looked over the tenor list and went into a heated debate. Such a great performance is something that might or might not appear once every 10 years. And it is sure to have a long run that they cannot see the end to yet.
The show must go on.