英日対訳:T.ビーチャム自叙伝「A Mingled Chime」第27章(2/2)「金鶏」の魅力/再会を誓うも…








Of the other operas that were wholly new to us Le Coq d'Or was in every way the most interesting. Rimsky-Korsakov is with Tschaikowsky the greatest of craftsmen among the Russian masters, and although inferior in the main to his rival in passion and rhetorical vigor, he frequently excels him in delicacy of imagination and now and then, as in La Fiancee du Czar, in beauty and originality of melodic invention. As a writer for the stage he easily out-distances all his fellow-countrymen in versatility and command of those technical resources that seem to be the happy possession of a bare handful of names in the history of the lyric drama. There are a dozen scenes in Russian opera more powerful, more moving and more impressive than anything in Le Coq d’Or, but there is nothing more beautiful and exotic than its second act from the moment the Queen of Chemaka, one of the world’s greatest dramatic creations, makes her appearance. For the first time in the theater do we hear an authentic cadence that links East and West. There are none of those over familiar devices for creating local color which sound so pathetically fatuous even in the hands of skilled musicians. Here is a character conceived and worked out from start to finish as a musical entity, with an idiom all its own, and we salute it with gratitude as a genuinely consistent as well as fragrantly lovely contribution to the world’s stage. One has only to think of it in comparison with other attempts to reproduce the Orient, as for example the Flower Maiden’s scene in Parsifal, to realize its immense superiority over anything else in this line. Of the remaining novelties in the operatic repertoire the most noteworthy were La Nuit de Mai of Rimsky-Korsakov, a charming and melodious light piece of work, and Le Rossignol of Stravinsky, which delighted the ultra-moderns of the town and was adorned by one of Bakst’s most sumptuous scenic inventions.  




It was now the turn of the Ballet, which during the first few weeks had remained a little in the background, to take the field, and worthily indeed it performed its task. There were many who regretted the absence of Nijinsky from the list of dancers this season, but there was some compensation in the return of Fokine, the choreographic creator of the Ballet, who had parted from it in 1912. These two events were not unconnected, and the choice between them was determined by the best friends of both Diaghileff and the Ballet, who placed the maintenance of the finest ensemble in existence above the claims of even its greatest solo dancer. The three star productions were the Daphms et Chloe of Ravel, La Legende de Joseph of Strauss and Le Sacre du Piinteraps of Stravinsky. Of these decidedly the most attractive was Daphms et Chloe, the most original Le Sacre du Piintemps, and the least attractive and original La Legende de Joseph. The German master revealed no talent for this sort of thing; in spite of a few vivid and picturesque moments, the piece went with a heavy and plodding gait which all the resource and ingenuity of the dancers could not relieve or accelerate, and perhaps the most memorable feature of the performance was the first appearance in the Ballet of Massine in the part of Joseph. Le Sacre du Piintemps created more surprise than delight, although as there had been a good deal written and talked about it in advance, the public listened to it politely and attentively. I will express no other opinion on this striking and interesting work than to reiterate my mature view that Petiouchka remains its composer’s masterpiece. Daphnis et Chloe has not only continued in the repertoire of most ballet companies until this day, but is familiar to every symphony concert audience. It is Ravel’s finest achievement in instmmental writing and one of the treasures in the regalia of twentieth-century French music.  




For variety’s sake I interpolated an all British production, of which the music was by Holbrooke and the libretto by Lord Howard de Walden. Dylan, founded on an old Celtic legend, is less an opera than a series of scenes, with the frailest link of connection between them and the minimum amount of action, and it was not the easiest of jobs to put it on the stage at all. When the authors had completed their work they sat down to think of the right man to design the scenery and supervise the mise-en-scene, which included a few doubtful innovations such as a choms of wild fowl. They approached the most celebrated of English scenic artists, prolific in imaginative conceptions whose originality made them usually impossible of realization on any earthly stage. He asked for a copy of the libretto, kept it a few months and then announced that if the authors would omit two of the scenes and condense the story and music into the two remaining, he might see his way to provide suitable pictures for them. Further than this he would not go, as the rest of the piece did not appeal to him. Naturally the authors were unable to accept this annihilating condition which reduced their work to insignificance as well as nonsense, but I have often thought that if the cinema should ever take it into its head to experiment with opera it should proceed in some such way as this, which in the ordinary theater would be putting the cart before the horse.  




A producer would select a subject, design some twenty or thirty wonderful pictures to relate the outline of the story and add words and music to fill in the accompaniment of lyrical and dramatic illustration. The main reason why no opera written for the living stage bears adaptation to the film is that in it the music is of supreme and the rest only of negligible importance. On the screen the pictures are virtually everything, and it is these which attract the interest of nine-tenths of the spectators. Further, the musical unit in any opera, be it a song, a duet, or concerted number, will last from five minutes to half an hour, and barring a very few exceptional instances it is quite impossible to change the scene during any one of them. On the film no one wants to look at a picture for as long as this, and as you cannot have a moving procession of pictures while a soprano is struggling with the complexities of a coloratura aria as in Lucia, or a baritone is anathematizing those who have betrayed him, as in II BaJIo, the only alternative is to have musical units of much shorter length. As no operas exist where such are to be found, it will be necessary to write them: and when that is done, the cinema will be enabled to bring forward a brand-new artistic convention, the like of which it stands in evident need. 




Holbrooke was (in those days anyway) a musician of natural ability handicapped by a poor aesthetic endowment and a total want of critical faculty. No one with the united talents of Mozart, Wagner, and Verdi could have made an opera out of Dylan, and indeed not one of them would have tried for two minutes. I believe that much of the music was liked by those who heard it, but without question both the story and the text were wholly beyond the comprehension of the Drury Lane audience. One of the drawbacks of opera in English where everything that is sung or said can be instantly understood, is that our public which has a lively sense of humor never misses an opening for a laugh; and there were quite a number of these in Dylan owing to the author’s failure to remember that whatever else may take place in a wholly serious scene, not one word must be spoken to reduce it suddenly to comedy or farce. In the first act the hero signalizes his entry on the scene with the unfortunate line, “I sing, I have sung, I can sing better,” and as that evening he was obviously in poor voice, the emotion of the audience can be easily imagined.  




The London season was beginning to draw to its close and my mind goes back to an evening in the latter part of July when a company of persons assembled to bid a temporary farewell to one another. It was in the garden of my house, an old world dwelling in Hobart Place standing some way back from the street, in which a fountain playing day and night tempered the summer 

heat. There we gathered for supper, and to few of us came even a fleeting apprehension that the normal current of our lives would not remain unchanged for years to come. Plans for the future were made, hopes and promises of early reunion were exchanged, and the party broke up under the certain impression that the next year and the years after that were to be so many new hnks added to the existing chain of their comradeship in work.  




Within ten days Europe was smitten with madness and  

the old world fell into ruins.  






RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Le Coq d'Or - Suite / Beecham · Royal Philharmonic Orchestra