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:: A constitutional law blog by Scalia/Thomas fan David M. Wagner, M.A., J.D., Research Fellow, National Legal Foundation, and Teacher, Veritas Preparatory Academy. Opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect those of the NLF or Veritas. :: bloghome | E-mail me ::

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    :: Tuesday, January 26, 2010 ::
    Re "Justice Scalia's Musical Interlude"

    Hey, that's Zerbinetta! If you read my other blog, you probably know all about her, but in case not, here's the brief.

    In this appearance as an extra at the Washington National Opera, as once several years ago (with Ginsburg), Scalia was an extra is Richard Strauss’s ARIADNE AUF NAXOS. This is a strange opera in two parts. The second part is actually the opera, ARIADNE AUF NAXOS. The first part is about an opera troupe hired by a rich man (vaguely modeled on Moliere’s Monsieur Jourdain) to put on an opera called ARIADNE AUF NAXOS. The obstacle they face is that the rich patron wants the opera to be followed by a performance by a commedia dell’arte troupe, headed by a coquettish clownette called Zerbinetta. This outrages the youthful composer of ARIADNE.

    Then the patron takes it to the next level: the opera and the comic entertainment are to be performed simultaneously. The Composer is about the walk out, but Zerbinetta talks him down. He’s very young and she’s very pretty, so things work out. Meanwhile the soprano who is due to sing Ariadne and the tenor who is due to sing Bacchus complain about their costumes.

    In part two, the opera proper, the opera and comedy are integrated by the clowns trying to cheer up Ariadne, who has been abandoned by Theseus on the island of Naxos, and by Zerbinetta singing her an aria about how men are like that and you can’t really take them very seriously. Eventually Bacchus appears and woos Ariadne, and the opera ends happily.

    The extras would be the guests and the rich man’s house in part one, and it would be just like Zerbinetta to sit in the lap of one of the men, especially a famous one. (And no, exactly as the Justice says, I don’t this meets the standard definition of a lap dance.)

    :: David M. Wagner 5:07 PM [+] ::

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