Re: AJ's brushes with death

FlyOnMelfisWall wrote:dsweeney, why make this a new topic since it was being argued as part of the season 5 thread you revived? It's clearly a rebuttal but left with no context at all when lopped off from the thread that gave birth to it. Please make a better effort to locate posts where they logically should go.
Sorry about that, will try and do better. But to be fair, I did start it by saying you don't think he had brushes with death so it did have some context, at least in that it was a direct response to your assertion. I should have stuck to the same thread though.

Re: Mysterious Paper Under Carm's Butt, Her Non-Death

badabellisima wrote:You have succinctly described the great sublime mystery of the power of opera. You hear, you see, you feel. It brings you to that moment, transported here and now, yet something else, something from the past; now in the present. All the arts are together- Acting, drama/theatre, sometimes dance, music, Live singing/vocal, live symphony, stagecraft, painted scenes, etc. etcetera...Its so profound to me i really cannot even discuss it. The closest experience to it for me, sometimes but not always, is receiving communion. Accepting Jesus, accepting God: into my soul, my self, my life.

Sometimes when i "attend the opera", i want to cry from the depths of my soul, right there in the theater. And this is how i feel about the Sopranos sometimes: just awestruck by the masterful orchestration of all the arts in one moment of almost well, bliss. Transcendant, it parallels the eternal. Beyond genius, sublime.

imho, if you ever go see La Rondine performed live, you will be thinking of the Sopranos moment you referred to. You will always be thinking of that profound scene when the ducks fly away (from or to?) home, maybe to return. You will be able to experience Rondine in a way you never, if ever, did before. When you watch/hear the first act, which introduces the aria we are discussing and the heroine, and then later watch/hear the last act, when she flies off like the swallow (yet returning like the swallow to somewhere, someone else), the opera will inform your experience of the Sopranos, as will your Sopranos experience influence your perception of La Rondine.

Another theme here: like Jesus leaving ('dying'), we have, or learn to have, faith He will return: thats the story of the Swallow. Most people think of the Swallow as the bird that returns. But for it to return, it has to have left. We can have faith it will return. And it does.

Knowing all this, imo, it can't help but inform your interpretation of watching the first scene of The Sopranos and then the last scene. Remember how Chase said that the last scene will tie up something from the first scene? By the last episode, Tony no longer experiences ducks flying off as fearful: he seems to have gained faith, imo. Notice his demeanor when he is raking leaves before he goes to see Junior and then Holsten's. The ducks are heard above. Tony is at peace in his home. He has his family and is not in a state of fear that he will lose them. Perhaps he has, or operates from, faith now. Hearing the ducks didn't transport him to a fearful state. Maybe it even comforted him. Hearing is believing. Hear, if you have ears to believe.

The story being told in the opera is just almost an excuse to communicate the music and vice versa. Yet they are intertwined forever, complimenting one another. Separately, the music stands alone beautifully (like most soprano arias); but together with the story... indescribable. I am thinking of Chase's original vison and hope that each episode could stand alone on it's own: like an individual soprano singing their individual aria. Yet taken all together over time, they formed a true opera of combined sopranos voices. A masterpiece. The opera music and the story and the lyrics can be a collaberation among different artists, or spring from one brillant mind; or a combination-- like Chase and The Sopranos. :smile:
In the second to last paragraph you mention the difference in Tony's demeanor. He is certainly more at peace in himself. While you are surely correct about this I can't agree on the reason for his new found serenity. You suggest it may be because of some new found faith. A certainty of things to come. This, for me, does tie in with the " fifth question " idea I was sorry you didn't respond to. You're suggesting that he is now " an optimist" and trusts in the power of God that he and his "ducks" will all be well.

This may be the case on some level but for me the real reason for his almost wistful serenity comes from a much less pure place than you credit him with. The reality is Tony has murdered his way to this state of mind. With the decapitation of Phil he has extinguished the threat from New York. The ducks are no longer in danger. At least as far as he knows.

Just one other point on the " pessimist/optimist " question. While you may feel Tony is now an optimist, there can be no doubt that up 'til now he has been a total pessimist. "Everything's black", " all the bulls**t" etc, the constant self regard. Even in his " newness" there's the classic " every day is a gift, but does it always have to be a pair of socks"? Taking the line of thinking in the Talmud this would have damned him for his lack of faith in God. Perhaps if there is any Jewish posters on here they might shed some more light on this idea. Like I said previously, " it's the fifth question and he's used all his lifelines" was a bit of a shot in the dark on my part so when I googled it and got this "final test by God on leaving this world" I was thrilled. It is surely another " spiritual reference" by Chase, like the Buddhist ideas expressed in the coma sequences. I'm well aware most people here would be of the Christian Faith but I still think we should at least explore all the ideas Chase touches on in the text. Input from someone more read up on this would be very welcome.

Re: Mysterious Paper Under Carm's Butt, Her Non-Death

Wow, bada, you ARE an opera aficionado, aren't you?:icon_biggrin:

I know you're in California, but it sounds like you must live in or near a major city that features a lot of live opera (San Francisco, perhaps?)
Correctamundo on near San Francisco (i actually work in the City)- season ticketholders for ACT and Best of Braodway for plays out of New York. But opera is my first love. When you talk about the recitative aspect- i'm thinking of the leitmotif- repetitive theme in the music that repeats/occurs throughout the opera, like the ducks theme that recurs throughout the Sopranos. Sometimes you have to hear it a bunch of times to notice it and connect it to the story. Thats another reason i think Chase is so brilliant- it really is a new experience to re-watch the series. Curious that he says he never re-watched it yet. i am really hoping for that day and to hear is his comments after the second time around.
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