NoisetteandtheDude’s Blog

November 10, 2008

Ode to Joy

Filed under: Election 2008 — noisetteandthedude @ 11:55 am

The day after the election, my younger daughter and I attended a dress rehearsal performance of Portland Opera Company’s production of Beethoven’s “Fidelio.”  The production was terrific, all the more special to me because my oldest grandchild was an especially vivid supernumerary on stage for the final scene.  You’ll remember that scene if you’re familiar with the story: the whole town rejoices as Don Fernando, the Spanish minister of state, frees Fidelio/Leonore’s husband, Florestan, from unjust imprisonment by the connivingly murderous governor Pizzaro.

The music of the final chorus, celebrating Florestan’s freedom and the triumph of justice, was so reminiscent of another Beethoven masterpiece: the “Ode to Joy,” the German folk music forming the core of the fourth movement of his ninth symphony. 

That finale brought tears to my eyes – not as many as had been there the night before, when Barack Obama was declared President Elect at 8:00:01, Pacific Standard Time – but still… 

I couldn’t help but see “Fidelio” as such a satisfying and timely metaphor for this election – the triumph of the people over tyranny, of opting for renewal and hope after such a long period of gloom and strife.  Fidelio’s joyful final chorus provided terrific punctuation: we prevailed!

Not that we won’t have a long road to travel to get back to what we deserve: peace, prosperity, a measure of happiness.  But at least we can celebrate now.  We are on the right road, and we’ve chosen the best man to lead us.  And I am certain we’ll get there.

It’s going to be a terrific journey!


–The Happy Dude



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