Opera Australia announces WOTOPERA, a competition for schools in which new works are created from scratch. Driven mad by another agency requiring consideration of Herbert von Karajan’s hairdresser, your correspondent offers to schools, for development, the following extract from a work in progress.

Scene: A tumbledown shopfront in Tiergarten, on the western side of the wall. A buzzing neon above the door flickers –“Salon de Baton”.

Inside an expatriate is sharpening a cut-throat razor on an old strap, while humming a few phrases of Bruckner. A tall, distinguished figure appears at the door, glancing behind him as he knocks (duh,duh,duh, daah) and slips inside.

HvK: Herbie, mach schnell. Ich habe ten Minuten before rehearsal. Bitte. Kurz back and sides.

Herbie (dusting off chair) : Tag, Maestro. Wie geht’s. Please to sit down. Am I not Herbie Haarschneider. In zehn minuten kann ich everything do. But kurz back and sides, fur Sie, nein.

HvK: Herbie, I lift my arms – one thousand fall silent. I raise my hand –  tympani roll. I lift my finger –  brass blare. You vill do as I say.

Herbie; Maestro, I raise my razor – the mighty tremble. Have I not sheep in Turkey sheared, royalty at London’s court tended, and others in Fleet Street. Ich bin no Barbier of Seville. No Butcher of Berlin. No Charlottenburg chopper. I am artist. Here gibt’s no kurz back and sides. Ich bin Friseur d’Honneur.

HvK is becoming agitated.

Herbie continues: Maestro, mit respect. Must have pomp on podium. Bouffant, Welle, Stahl. Nicht zu kurz. Haar move mit beat. Wave like baton. Bitte, thinken. Need to distance from Nazipartei, Braunshirt, Blackshirt, SS. Alle Kurzhaar.

HvK: Goring und Goebbels! Cut crap, cut Haar.

Herbie: Maestro, maestro! Bin ich nicht friend? Habe ich nicht Number Two cut to friend Sabine given? She still not job get.

HvK: Deutsches Fraulein. Busen. Nicht gut in pants. Berlinersoloist, Tuttispieler, alle old Farts. Du! Schneide, Sprich nicht!

Herbie: Gott im Himmel. Barbieren always sprechen. Issues raisen. Probleme solven. Rumour spreaden. Furtwangler hat Haar (auf die sides). Toscanini auch. Klemperer hat Haar. Maestro muss Haar haben. Haben Sie nicht heard.  Philharmonie talking to Sir Simon. I give Maestro curls and volume wie Sir Simon.

HvK (becoming more agitated): Nicht Rattle. Nein….Never. Nicht gut genug to replace Gott….ich meine, Karajan. Never.

Herbie waves hairspray and calls cab.

Cab driver enters.

Cabbie: Where to, Maestro?

HvK:  Macht nichts. Ich bin in demand uberall…..                                                [curtain]

(With thanks to the New York Times for relating the taxi story in their HvK obituary)

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About johnofoz

An occasional correspondent, with particular interest in music.
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One Response to Opera Australia announces WOTOPERA, a competition for schools in which new works are created from scratch. Driven mad by another agency requiring consideration of Herbert von Karajan’s hairdresser, your correspondent offers to schools, for development, the following extract from a work in progress.

  1. johnofoz says:

    Hi, Longharry48, This particular piece of satire has no real meaning. It was prompted by a competition which was being run by our Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the prize for which was two seats to a forthcoming Berlin Philharmonic concert in Sydney. The tie breaker question (humorous of course) was to propose a name for von Karajan’s hairdresser. In frustration at the absence of ideas I felt the urge to write the little scene. Nothing more to it than that! Certainly no offence was intended, and hopefully none has been registered. Cheers, JohnofOz

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