From the Ministry of Arias


Reader Jeff Patterson notes that London's Royal Opera House will be staging an operatic production of 1984, based on Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. The music is by Lorin Maazel, familiar to Manhattanites as director of the New York Philharmonic (and to Wagnerites as the first American to conduct at Bayreuth).

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  1. Been done 20 years ago — fictitiously. In 1979, somebody published a satirical book titled The 80s : A Look Back at the Tumultuous Decade, 1980-1989. One of the great events of the decade that was “looked back upon” was the hit musical 1984!

    Only it was supposed to be an Andrew Lloyd Weber-type musical, with music provided by the Bee Gees. And it was to be the source of the decade’s hit songs “Gonna Be Some Changes ‘Round Here” and “The Ministry of Love.”

  2. And it was to be the source of the decade’s hit songs “Gonna Be Some Changes ‘Round Here” and “The Ministry of Love.”

    Now that’s funny.

  3. 1984 will make for great opera material. I can just imagine what a Room 101 aria would be like; it would have to be sung by O?Brien. I can’t imagine a long, drawn out, “Do it to Julia!”

    …it’ll be like following Cavaradossi into the torture chamber.

  4. “Do it to Julia” could be sung to “O Fortuna!”

    Or they could go they West Side Story” route: “I just met a girl named Julia …”

    Or even a la Grease:

    Summer lovin’ had me a blast
    Summer lovin’, happened so fast
    I met a girl crazy for me
    “Am I holding up two fingers, Winston? Or is it three?”

    Summer days driftin’ away,
    To uh-oh those summer nights
    “Tell me more, tell me more,
    With whom are we at war?
    Eastasia or Eurasia?
    Tell me more, tell me more!”

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