Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Venite, Inginocchatevi - Staging Notes


The Countess is sitting in a chair stage right facing inward.

“Venite Inigochiatevi” (meaning, literally, come and kneel)” Susanna motions for Cherubino to come over to her with her index finger, and has a ‘come hither’ look on her face… Cherubino moves toward her, middle of the stage widthwise, but stage left.

“Restate fermo lì”  Points down with the same index finger, and indicates that Cherubino should kneel down right in front of her.

Cherubino takes a step back towards the Countess, she takes him supportively by the shoulders, broad comforting smile, and says “restate, restate,” and turns him around so that his back his facing the audience. She then turns around.

“Restate fermo li” gently pushes Cherubino down by the head in front of her to his knees. Cherubino turns to look at the Countess as she does this.

“Restate fermo li” Susanna now turns his head so that it’s facing her, and the head should appear to the audience to be right in between Susanna’s legs. Susanna tries to powder Cherubino’s face, but Cherubino keeps turning his face towards the Countess.

“Pian piano, or via, giratevi” Pushes Cherubino’s head in the direction opposite the Countess while powdering that side of his face makeup on him… Uses the other hand to take out Cherubino’s pony tail. “Bravo,”

“Va ben così.” Susanna runs her hands through Cherubino’s hair.

Susanna pulls Cherubino up to his feet by his elbows. “La faccia ora volgetemi” Susanna begins to remove Cherubino’s shirt.

The shirt gets over Cherubino’s head but caught on it. “Olà, quegli occhi a me. Olà, quegli occhi a me.” The head should get through the shirt right on the second ‘me.’ Cherubino is wearing a full undershirt underneath.

Cherubino tries to walk away quickly stage left towards the Countess… The Countess gets up and begins to walk toward where they were a second ago. Susanna follows him... “Drittissimo: Drittissimo.”

Susanna catches up with him, steps ahead of him from the back, and blocks him in front. “Guardatemi, guardatemi.”

“Madama qui non e’,” Susanna leads Cherubino back by the hand to where they were.

“Madama qui non e’,” The Countess is standing where they were a moment ago with her back to the audience. And Cherubino is now facing her.

“La faccia ora volgetemi:” Cherubino and Susanna are facing the audience, Susanna turns his head toward her to distract him, like a child about to get a vaccine. The Countess kneels in front of Cherubino and undoes his belt buckle.

“Olà, quegli occhi a me.” Cherubino gets his head out of Susanna’s grip to look down at the Countess as the Countess pulls down Cherubino’s pants. Susanna turns his head to her.

“Dritissimo, dritissimo, guardatemi, guardatemi.” Susanna keeps Cherubino’s head in a firm hold right on her eyes as the Countess gets Cherubino’s pants off past his shoes.

“Madama, Madama qui non è. Madama qui non è.” Susanna leads Cherubino by the hand past a mirror downstage stage right whose top should be parallel to his letters, or some other object of roughly shoulder length so that Cherubino’s shoulders will soon be exposed but no more of him (open to suggestions). The Countess meanwhile goes behind the curtain and after a few seconds produces a dress.

Susanna pulls his undershirt over his head, “Restate fermo,”  

Or via, giratevi” Cherubino obeys Susanna’s command of turning around, which helps him get his undershirt off. He immediately crosses his arms over his chest to cover it up. He should now give the appearance of being completely undressed from the waist up and wearing only underwear with shoes and socks. Which causes Susanna to exclaim “Bravo!”  And then immediately turns to the Countess who has the dress in her hand and is holding it up to her body to show Susanna how it wears.

“Piu alto quel colletto.”  The Countess holds it a little higher.

Susanna looks studiously at the dress. “Quel ciglio un po' più basso”  The Countess holds the lower part, resulting in a tighter looking fit on her. Susanna nods her approval and turns around.

“Le mani sotto il petto”  Susanna uncrosses Cherubino’s arms.

“vedremo poscia il passo, quando sarete in pie'.” Susanna bends down beneath the mirror to remove Cherubino’s shoes.

During the D-7 chord, the Countess goes over to behind the “mirror” to hand Susanna the dress. When she gets behind the mirror, she begins to laugh. Susanna is still invisible.

“Mirate il bricconcello! Mirate quanto è bello! Che furba guardatura! Che vezzo, che figura!” All this sung from behind the mirror while Susanna is helping Cherubino get his shoes off and put womens shoes on.

“Mirate il bricconcello! Mirate quanto è bello! Che furba guardatura! Che vezzo, che figura!” Susanna sings this while rising to her feet.

“Se l'amano le femmine han certo il lor perché. Se l'amano le femmine han certo il lor perché.” Susanna sings this while the Countess and she put the dress over Cherubino to wear and Cherubino gets into the sleaves.

“Han certo, certo il lor perché. Han certo, certo il lor perché.” Susanna leads Cherubino by the hand in front of the mirror.

Flute line, Susanna curtseys to Cherubino, then sings, “il lor perché.”

Cherubino curtseys back, Susanna sings “il lor perché.”

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