Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I am sorry not to have been more active this last month. Some of it I blame on my Siamese Twin (we are pictured in our comely youth, which alas has fled) who uses the unpronounceable name, Albert Innaurato (who would call themselves that? I'd pick Mamet or Durang!) who has been asserting him/herself blogging at Musical America. His last there was called the Callas Cliche: 

It got him into trouble and that preposterous fascist, AC/DC Douglas complained. He has a rival blog and sent it to The Powers that Be, some thought it hysterically stupid, but poor Albert had to do some sweet surgery. Douglas is one of the Wagner creeps: that is he embraces the grotesque, hideous and horrible stories with their monstrous implications but NEVER talks about the music. Wagner, probably a transvestite -- he was a lady's man because he wanted to BE a lady --is only of value as a long winded, pretentious but remarkable composer, often of genius and genuinely a tremendous influence on those that followed, even those who hated his operas. I, Mrs. John Claggart, have dealt with Wagner's modulatory innovations in the otherwise appalling Parsifal, his undermining of tonality, his remarkable use of chromaticism there and his phenomenal orchestration, right here in my poor blog, despite being prone to spelling mistakes ("better prone than supine," our mother used to say when giving sad Albert and glorious me our sex education.) The grotesque story with its vision (explicit) of racial supremacy, gross misogyny and bogus religiosity is nauseating. But no one with an interest in music can ignore that aspect of the work -- except Douglas who in all the years that he has bored people at Opera-L has NEVER so much as mentioned a key change in Wagner. What a fool. Opera lovers often hate music but at least the queen who wants an unwritten high E flat at the end of act one of Traviata isn't embracing the ugliest sensibility in opera. 

I thought it amusing reading a typical discussion on Opera-L about whether Verdi had been influenced by Tristan und Isolde in Otello that Douglas could only make moronic generalizations. It's easily settled, he should know Tristan note by note, don't you think? One need only compare that score (free on line) with the score of Otello (free on line) to come up with a very specific point where Verdi shows he knew Tristan and remembered a particular sequence. Wagnerian techniques of transition and the shaping of lines are also present in the opera, which however remains a great work by Verdi, not a derivation. As do all professional composers (including ones called Wagner), Verdi used techniques taken from others that he thought worked for him in a particular piece. But I thought (Albert was too kind), what kind of pompous, perverted fraud has made Wagner his Christ but can't even make generalizations rooted in the music?

Oh well, "the idiots of the earth have ye with ye always," saith the Risen One, or those who were inventing him (take your pick) and we should leave it there.

I promise to write here more. I am really grateful to those who have joined (brave souls!), and appreciate all who read. I wish everyone whose eyes fall on this by accident or design a better new year than I am likely to have, in fact a wonderful new year. One needn't be a prophet to see that things are going badly in fecund America today (Emerson), so how long anyone has before things fall apart must be a matter of speculation. But I wish all who read as much joy as they can seize. 

Mrs. John Claggart


  1. Glad to see another of your posts here. We have waited a long time, but it's worth it!
    Happy new Year everyone!

  2. Hello Albert,

    "I promise to write here more"

    Please do.

    Your blog is one of the highlights from my RSS feed.

    Take care,


  3. Thank you wonderful Lawrence and very brave Genevieve!!! You keep up your fight and your honesty. You have much of great interest to say! Happy New Year to both of you.

    1. I see for some reason my twin usurped me -- it is google? Is it his (??) OVERWEENING aggression that has gotten him BANNED everywhere or is it a trick of fate???

      MRS JOHN CLAGGART (just in case it happens again!!)

    2. Aha! A new Albert post, excellent way to begin the 2014. I hope to read many more in the next few months. (Devastating dissection of ACD, by the way, whose contributions to the understanding of Wagner's opus stand at exactly zero.) All the best for the new year. Jackie

  4. So nice to see a new post. I refresh everyday hoping to see some new insights!

    Happy New Year!

  5. Thank you for the new year's gift. I, like Cathy, have been refreshing every time I am at the computer hoping for a new one. Read your Callas blog post. Spot on, and so sad. The reality of her final years would make a better play than "Master Class." But Charles Ludlam already got there. Thanks again, and have the best 2014 possible.

  6. Happy New Year Mrs. JC! My education continues in the right direction, thanks to you.

    Laddie (louannd)

    1. Thank you Schmup53 of the multi-names, somehow I understand that! Also good to see you, Cathy, I think this is your first comment, please comment more, there probably aren't enough regulars to have big discussions but I like the opinions of others (it might not always SEEM that way) and don't demand to be agreed with. Thanks, Jackie. And Perfidia, despite your name, you have been a true friend. Yes, Galas was phenomenal, both hysterically funny and heartbreaking. I have said often that Ludlam was the greatest theater talent of my generation. He and most of his company (though his secondo, Everett Quinton is with us still) was wiped out by AIDS. But would this awful culture have had a place for Ludlam as other than a character actor? His remarkable creative work depended on what was once called "good general culture" and I think it was more extensive then. I've had college classes where no one had HEARD of Dickens or most any other artist -- not read -- but with no idea of who they were. Though one didn't need to be an "opera expert" to get Galas one had to know a little something about both Callas, Camille and memorably, Madame Butterfly, again not in great detail but enough not to be lost. I think that's gone. Happy New Year to all, again, though now in North America we have to start wishing people Happy Freezing!!!!