Truth is, I'm not a big opera fan but after watching this year's race for the GOP nomination play out, I might be newly converted. It has been entertaining to say the least; a sensational mix of comedy, drama, scandal, conflict and ultimately political death. For a bit of fun, here are the current and recently "formered" GOP candidates recast in the role of the opera world's most infamous characters. I'll admit the analogies don't always hold up until the last act, but you'll get the similarities between the memorable opera favorites and the complicated figures that are currently gracing our nation's political stage. For obvious reasons vital to the dramatic intent of this article, I have resurrected Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann lives one more day, as well.
Don Giovanni an opera in two acts by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with an Italian libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte.
Don Giovanni: Played by Hermain Cain; Meets his demise, in part, at the hands of women seeking revenge
Leporello: Played by Mark Block, Cain's campaign manager
Commendatore: Played by the GOP
Donna Anna: Played by the GOP Nomination
Don Ottavio: Played by the Anti-Obama, still to be cast
The Commendatore's Statue: Played by Sharon Bialek, Cain's first accuser to publicly come forward
"Late one evening outside of Commendatore's (an old nobleman we'll call the GOP) palace, Leporello (Don Giovanni's servant) is keeping watch as Don Giovanni tries to seduce Commendatore's daughter, Donna Anna (the GOP Nomination). The masked Don Giovanni fools Donna Anna initially as she thinks he is her betrothed, Don Ottavio (the real Anti-Obama who can win the election). When she realizes that it may not be him, she demands he remove his mask and screams for help. Commendatore rushes to her aid. As the two men fight, Donna Anna disappears to call for Don Ottavio. When they return, they discover Commendatore has been killed. They swear vengeance to the masked intruder."
The story continues with the rudimentary twists and turns, revealing Don Giovanni to be a bit of a scheming playboy without regrets. In the end, he is chased to his demise by justice-seeking, revenge-thirsty women and eventually and quite literally dragged off to hell (temporary political death, we all know he'll rise again) by the Commendatore's statue, a representation of Don Giovanni's past sins.
La Traviata- an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave.
Violetta: Played by the ailing GOP, still mostly pretty but ailing secretly from tuberculosis
Alfredo: Mitt Romney, A suitable suitor who just doesn't suit his party
"In her Parisian salon, Violetta (the GOP), a courtesan, is greeting guests as they arrive for her party. She has recently come into better health and decided to host a party in celebration (of her hopeful return to the White House). Violetta greets many friends including Gastone (Judd Gregg, Former New Hampshire Senator, key 2008 Romney backer, now on the fence), who introduces her to Alfredo Germont (Mitt Romney). Alfredo has admired Violetta for quite some time and even visited her bedside while she was sick. Gastone tells this to Violetta and Alfredo confirms. Alfredo confesses his love for her. She rejects him stating that love (meaning political experience and an actual record of governance) means nothing to her. Despite her initial rejection, Alfredo continues to declare his love for her. She begins to have a change of heart and tells him that she will meet him the next day. After the party is over and the guests are departing, she contemplates Alfredo and asks herself if he is actually the man for her. Singing the famous aria, Sempre Libera, she decides that she loves freedom (AKA certainty that the whole "Mormon" thing won't be an issue) more than love, while Alfredo is heard outside singing about romance (and a staunch belief that he'll be accepted after all)."
Over time they get together and Alfredo tries hard to keep Violetta happy. We see Romney doing the same with the GOP. If we were to hold to the plot it would mean that secretly the GOP really does love Romney though their love is complicated by outside interference and by people believing the match just is not made in Heaven. At the end, a very sick Violetta decides that, after a forced separation, the only thing she wants and what she truly needs is a life with Alfredo. Unfortunately, she dies before it can become a reality.
Stay tuned for Part 2 and 3 where we'll see Perry as Carmen and Santorum in Aida?!?! Check back to see who'll play Cho-Cho San and Rigoletto. For now, demand a re-casting if you'd like. Tell us which candidates you'd place in your favorite operatic roles. Former GOP hopefuls and Democratic Party figures are all fair game.