Say You’re Don Giovanni
Say you’re Don Giovanni Giovanni and you make
love to Donna Anna and fight a duel with her father
and kill him and invite him to dinner and he says
“Repent!” and you say forget it and the earth opens
up and flames shoot out and you fall all the way
to hell. Or say I’m Don Giovanni and you’re Donna
Anna’s dad. This time, you’re Donna Anna. Or is it
Donna Elvira? Make up your mind, I want to be
the other one. Now I’m Leperello, Don Giovanni’s
faithful servant, and you’re an oboist in the pit.
How’d you get to be an oboist? I know, same way
everybody does: your parents played Peter and
the Wolf for you when you were a kid. You’re
a little girl who’s at the opera for the first time,
an elderly widower who left Europe not a minute
too soon, a music student who can only afford
a cheap seat but knows she’ll be a star some day.
What happened to me? I’m outside Lincoln Center
selling hot dogs; I just got to this country and I’m not
quite sure what opera is. The show must be over—
isn’t your dress pretty! I’m a cab driver, so hop in.
Let’s go to a restaurant. Let’s go to a restaurant
in China. We’ll just point to what we want;
you’ll have the noodles, and I’ll have that thing.
Dessert? Gelato? I can’t fly a plane, though—oh,
you can. Then let me tend to the drinks and
the little bags of peanuts. Why are you
turning red? Doctor! This will only sting for
for a second. Should we go to hell and see how
Don Giovanni’s doing? Oh, that’s right,
you’re Don Giovanni. Well, you say you are.
Pleased to meet you. I’m Donna Anna, and this
is my dad. Places, everyone. Maestro to the pit!
Wait, what happened to the Met? It’s 1964 and we’re
at the Copacabana; you’re Sam Cooke and I’m all
the sadness in the world. You’re the audience now.
I’m nobody. You’re Emily Dickinson. Don’t let the door
hit you on the way out! Look, I’m Emily Dickinson,
and I’m working here, see?