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‘‘Opera for dummies, by dummies.’’
The Smooth Operators team have so far abridged:
This series provide examples of:
- Anachronism Stew: Frequently lampshaded.
- An Aesop/Spoof Aesop
- Author Avatar: The series’ four creators appear as characters in their own right.
- The Cameo: Minnie Mouse appears as a “collections agent for Euro Disney”, as well as a mortician and healer.
- Either or Title: Each opera has multiple alternate titles that change with each act. Sometimes veers into Short Title Long Elaborate Subtitle.
- Fan Character: Each opera features at least one fan-created character.
- Framing Device: Each parody begins with the Smooth Operators team attending the opera.
- Plot Induced Stupidity: Whenever a character is hit by the Opera Character Intelligence-Sapping Ray.
- Portmanteau Series Nickname: “Smoperators”.
- Punny Name: Smooth Operators.
- Tradesnark: Each time the Opera Character Intelligence-Sapping Ray is mentioned.
Così fan tutte
“The maid in the chapel with the revolver. Goodness, I think Lorenzo da Ponte would be most surprised to discover he’d written that.”
- Angrish: Ferrando.
- Back From the Dead: Don Alfonso.
- Beta Couple: Despina and Fig.
- Canon Foreigner: It’s revealed that Fig is the very same Figaro from the Beaumarchais plays (and related operas).
- This is (unwittingly) Lampshaded fairly early on:
Inverted-Jabberwocky: A guy whose name is only a few letters away from being “Figaro” and who used to be a barber is flirting with a snarky maid . . . we haven’t accidentally wandered into the wrong opera, have we?
- Chewing the Scenery: Done quite literally by Despina early in the second act.
- Fan Character: Fig the waiter, Marlena the maid and Ciliegia, Dorabella and Fiordiligi’s pet dog.
- Funetik Aksent: Despina, when disguised as a doctor.
- Fun with Acronyms: Order for the Protection of Earnest Rock Appreciators.
- Gratuitous German: Despina, as the doctor.
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: Smoperators team members WitchChao and NatureTheZafara express confusion regarding Marlena’s gender when she first appears.
- Manipulative Bastard: Don Alfonso, by his own admission.
- Shout-Out: Multiple, but among the most notable:
Fiordiligi: After acquiring all the necessary accoutrements, I must be sure to cut my hair, rename myself “Ping” and then . . . where does one even find a dragon? Is there a store?
- Straw Feminist: Marlena has shades of this.
- Title Drop: Despina supplies (and lampshades) a fairly liberal translation: “They’re all like that . . . hey, that’s a good title for an opera!”
- Theme Naming: Fiordiligi – whose name literally translates as “lily flower” – is given a series of flower-related nicknames by Ferrando.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Despina, when disguised as the doctor.
- You Need to Get Laid: Fiordiligi, according to Dorabella.
The Marriage of Figaro
- A Date with Rosie Palms: Antonio thinks Bartolo is spying on Susanna and Marcellina for this reason.
- Cherubino also mentions it in the fourth act by way of a rather painful pun.
- Bilingual Bonus: Cherubino’s song to the Countess.
- Calling Your Attacks: Susanna. It later helps Figaro recognise her when she is in disguise.
- Cloudcuckoolander: The Countess borders on this, often lapsing into non sequitur and frequently getting distracted by her own trains of thought when speaking.
- Colourful Theme Naming: The names of the village girls are variations on different shades of red.
- Dirty, Snooping Old Man: Doctor Bartolo.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Cherubino, according to the audience:
“Between that voice and those hips, “he’s” not fooling anyone.”
- Early-Bird Cameo: Monsieur Fal, from the third story in the Figaro trilogy, appears briefly in the third act.
- Fan Character: Bavón, the baker’s apprentice.
- Fan Service: Barbarina claims disguising Cherubino as a girl serves only “to appease the silly audience members who like this ‘yoo-ree’ stuff”.
- Girl-On-Girl Is Hot: Cherubino certainly seems to think so:
“Sometimes I dream about Godmamma, and sometimes about Barbarina, and sometimes about [Susanna] too! And sometimes, I dream about the three of you together!”
- Girly Run: Susanna instructs Cherubino how to do this when disguising him as a girl.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Cherubino; possibly Bavón.
- I Want Grandkids: Antonio becomes like this after learning Barbarina intends to marry Cherubino.
- Love At First Sight: Bavón for Cherubino, whom he mistakenly believes will reciprocate; Cherubino promptly sets him straight.
- Medium Awareness: Several characters appear to possess this, most notably the Countess.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Bavón attempts to poison Barbarina after Cherubino agrees to marry her.
- No Periods, Period: Averted as part of the Countess’ plot to fool her husband:
Susanna: Sir, someone in the kitchen told me you had some chocolate . . . I wondered if I might be able to have it.
The Count: Chocolate? At this hour? Whatever for?
Susanna: It’s for her ladyship – she’s become rather . . . emotional. It’s quite distressing, actually – when I asked if her she was feeling all right, she screamed that she hated me and threw a chair at my head.
The Count: Wretched woman! She does this every month!
“Right, and I’m the king of Barataria!”
- “Suck my Rosenkavalier!”
- Figaro is a very important man – he has a tower.
- “We should turn that into a song, the kind that someone in prison would lock himself into the superintendent’s office to play to the other inmates!”
- Some of the alternate names suggested for Cherubino include:
- The contents of Barbarina’s picnic basket are the same as Ratty’s.
- “The signal will be . . . ‘pulsating prunes’!”
- Safe Word: Figaro and Susanna’s is “Portugal”.
- Talks Like a Simile: WitchChao: “Our situation seems to be stickier than a melted caramel chew on a warm gingersnap . . . ”
- Unusual Euphemism: “Show you my snail collection” ultimately becomes this.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: The Countess stores pens and leaves of parchment down the front of her bodice.
- Waxing Lyrical: With Loch Lomond, Bohemian Rhapsody and Oh! Susanna.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Smoperators team member SuperMimbles360 may be a budding example of this, expressing a desire to wear a kodona outfit instead of the dress she’s in.
- Yandere: Bavón.
- Yaoi Fangirl: At least three of the village girls ship Bavón/Cherubino.