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 ‘‘Opera for dummies, by dummies.’’

Essentially The Abridged Series for Opera in written form, Smooth Operators parodies gently poke fun at both specific operas and operatic tropes in general.

The Smooth Operators team have so far abridged:

This series provide examples of:

General tropes

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.”

  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?

  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

 Susanna: Madame, could you be thinking what I’m thinking?

The Countess: I think so, but really, why should it matter whether Idamante is played by a tenor or a mezzo-soprano?

  “Between that voice and those hips, “he’s” not fooling anyone.”

 “Sometimes I dream about Godmamma, and sometimes about Barbarina, and sometimes about [Susanna] too! And sometimes, I dream about the three of you together!”

 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!”

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