Classical music to thumb nose at British Parliament
By Chris Van Hof ~ Posted Tue, 06/23/2009 - 12:27pm
What do British people do when they get really angry about their elected officials spending hideous amounts of taxpayer money on things like life-size statues of Winston Churchill made out of Legos? They write an opera, of course.
British composer Peter Maxwell Davies (above, and writer of WXXI staff favorite "An Orkney Wedding, With Sunrise") decided the best way to castigate those foul MPs (which I presume means "Magical Person," judging from what I've learned about England from the movies) would be to write an opera that humorously pokes fun at the politicians.
The article also has Davies stating that Gordon Brown is "the worst of the lot" among the trio of recent British PMs, including Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. "That," says Davies, "is saying something." His reasoning? He is disgusted with the way recent administrations--the current one in particular--have diluted and scaled back classical music education in Britain's schools.
I tried to think of what the American equivalent of this whole exchange would be. So let's play some common-movie-promulgated-sterotype word-replacing to find that answer:
British: polite tea-drinkers
Americans: brash energy drink-pounders
British genre: comic opera
American genre: bikini musical reality television show
British composer: Peter Maxwell Davies (note three names, and please read aloud in appropriate stuffy British accent)
American composer: Lynyrd Skynyrd
British result: A comic opera by Peter Maxwell Davies, with some jolly conversation and tea afterwards, then a polite game of Quidditch
American result: An epic 4-minute rock powerhouse debuted on a cruise ship by the Rockettes and Lynyrd Skynyrd with free Red Bull for everyone. Monster truck rally and BBQ follows until the police send everyone home.