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P.D.Q. Bach: The Abduction of Figaro (1984)

Cast: Michael Burt, Michael Burt, Will Roy, more...
Director: Kaye S. Lavine, Kaye S. Lavine
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Studio: Video Artists International
Genre: Music, Music Videos/Performance
Running Time: 144 min.
Languages: English
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Labeled "a simply grand opera in three acts," The Abduction of Figaro is the only full-length opera (so far) by the uniquely talented P.D.Q. Bach (pen name for classical music satirist Peter Schickele). Figaro opens at the opulent palace of Count Alma Mater, where the title character appears to be on his deathbed. His wife, Susanna Susannadanna (Dana Krueger), watches over him. She is visited by Donna Donna (Marilyn Brustadt), who seeks the elusive Donald Giovanni (Michael Burt), revealing in "Perfidy, Thy Name is Donald, Although They Call Thee Don for Short" that he has done her wrong. Donald arrives soon thereafter, accompanied by his servant, the supposedly mute Schlepporello (Jack Walsh), and Donna demands that the bounder make amends. At that moment, however, Captain Kadd (Will Roy) emerges and tells all that "My Name is Captain Kadd and I Am Very, Very, Very, Very, Very, Very Bad." He proves this by kidnapping Figaro (bed and all) and hijacks a ship to Cuba. A rescue attempt ensues, which involves a shipwreck and a visit to an unknown island, on which Kadd discovers what he has sought all along -- the Maltese Falcon. Unfortunately, someone has already taken the prized jewels from the Falcon -- namely Schlepporello, who agrees to exchange the booty if he is allowed to sing and dance, and all ends happily. ~ Craig Butler, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • 1972 TV Interview with Prof. Schickele and Performance Footage

GreenCine Member Reviews

Delightful by RHorsman May 27, 2004 - 8:21 AM PDT
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
There were probably several musical jokes that I missed in my ignorance of opera and most classical music, but this stands on its own as a very entertaining comedic opera. The recording was made from two live performances and that's key: the obvious enjoyment of both the cast and the audience really adds to the experience.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.17)
12 Votes
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Operas and Ballets at GreenCine, annotated
{a list in progress}: GC's 'Music' and 'Music Videos/Performance' genres return tons of entries, mostly pop, but still omit a lot. Here's what I find (1/08) of 'classical' opera & ballet, loosely defined, but excluding purely instrumental performances.

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