Defining Love

What a dream. I was watching a production of Siegfried. I was watching from a box that overlooked the stage so intimately that I could reach out and touch the singers. It was a somewhat avant-garde production.

The scene is not in the opera as far as I know. Siegfried is being asked to define what love is. The person he was talking to was not a character in the opera, but was some kind of supernatural being such as a dwarf or elf. He starts to sing, in German, "what is this feeling that makes you shudder, tremble, flare up, burst into flame?" These lines are in fact somewhat reminiscent of Mime's description of fear in act one. The music however sounds a little bit like Helen singing about love in the third act of Michael Tippett's King Priam.

As Siegfried sings, he is eating slices of duck and noodles which he removes with chopsticks from a glass cabinet set in front of him, similar to the cabinets found in Chinese noodle shops. There are also dim sum in the cabinet.

As I intently lean over, a chef in a tall hat comes to the front of the stage. To my annoyance he places a large round flan of bread on a cutting board in front of Siegfried. He pours sauce and mincemeat topping over the bread as if he's making a pizza. But then he takes a squeeze bottle of ketchup and squirts it all over the right half of the pizza. The smell rises up and as I'm allergic to it makes me very ill. He folds the pizza. This covers up the ketchup and fixes the smell.

I lean over to my companion at the opera who appears to be the stage designer Stephanie Mielchen. I tell her this kind of thing is completely normal on stage.