|v Story: The 'quartet' in the opera Rigoletto|
|v Parallels with the family situation|
|v How do I deal with these things now?|
|v The story in review|
|v Are these all the pieces of the puzzle?|
The 'quartet' in the opera Rigoletto
During the winter of 1950/1951 John and I went to dancing classes. I was 15, my brother 18 years old and mother had decided that we should have dancing lessons. Father had died four years earlier and the other two members of our family play no part in this story. Why we should have dancing lessons I do not know, I presume mother considered it part of his and my education. John was not a very easygoing person who would go by himself, he was rather shy at the time. Dancing class included falling in love for the first time, my first carnival-party and my first ball. Anyway, this was the year in which my 'society life' began.
I am not sure whether my father, whom I missed badly, liked opera or not. I believe he
did. He called opera singers, mockingly, "window howlers" (father was rather
sober and enjoyed mocking drama and romanticism). Both father and mother loved going out.
Mother loved the theater, music and opera, but later she often was unable to go even when
she had tickets for a performance in 'Concordia'. Whenever she could go to the theater,
she used - after my father's death and after he had grown a little older - to go with my
brother. When she herself could not go I could have her ticket and go with my brother.
That first opera was Rigoletto (Giuseppe Verdi, 1851). We did have a program with the
texts, but what can you do with Italian lines whilst there is so much to see and to hear
and to digest and our knowledge of Italian at best existed of a few words from popular
Neapolitan songs. 'Mamma mia.' In short: I didn't understand much of what was going on,
especially in the acts before the interval. During the break we went looking for better
seats as the view from our places was very poor, we sat at the right side of the balcony
very close to the stage. We also bought a glass of lemonade (which had been manufactured
in our own lemonade factory led by mother). And then we had an opportunity to take a quick
look at the program and the text, which made a bit of a difference.
The story of the opera: the hunchbacked Rigoletto serves the Duke of Mantua as his
jester. With his sharp tongue he fights everyone, even the Duke, who is notorious for his
seductive behaviour with women. At the same time he supports him. The Duke has seen a
young girl who must be his next conquest. It turns out to be Rigoletto's daughter which
has always been kept carefully concealed. Gilda is abducted and seduced. Rigoletto shows
her why she can't trust the Duke and hires, in his powerlessness, an assassin. Gilda
consciously gives her life to save the Duke's.
|From the part after the interval I remember two scenes in particular. The last, of
course, with the 'corpse' in a bag that sang on before she actually died. But the most
fascinating scene for the opera as well as, in this case, the most important for me, was
the 'quartet'. Halfway at the left side of the stage, on a sort of loggia, stood the
womanizer with his sweetheart. In the front, a bit to the right of the center, the
revengeful Rigoletto. Behind a little wooden bush, at the right, his daughter Gilda,
betrayed by her loved one. These four people, each involved in their totally distinct
affairs, all sang different texts simultaneously which harmonized unbelievably beautifully
into the quartet "Bella figlia del' amore". I have seen several operas since and
my knowledge of Italian has expanded a little, but especially this scene I remember very
clearly. At that time I did not realize that it held such importance for me that I would
remember so many details.
Parallels with the family situation
Looking back at the situation in the story and my position in our family at that time,
I note a strange similarity. In retrospect I interpret my situation as equally
incomprehensible as I thought it to be for Gilda. Trusting, romantic and as naive as a
child, she lacks the experience of life to be able to protect herself and is still greatly
dependent on her father who is unable to protect her.
My own story, like the opera, has four performers: both mother and brother John
interchangeably exerting their own and the father role, my absent father, and myself in a
tangled and lonely situation. Father had died when I was eleven years old and mother had
to take over his role. At that time I was very angry at mother and we made eachother's
life a misery. John was given premature power as a fatherly authority without having
experience as such and I resisted him fiercely when he got too bossy and extremely
forceful. I experienced mother and John as if they formed a block against me when they
made decisions for me without talking them over with me first. The comparison with the
quartet, the four people in the opera Rigoletto, does of course not hold water on all
levels. The resemblance has to do, as I sense it, with the situation: four people who did
not all play unambiguous roles. At that time I did not understand in the least how father
could have died so calmly and seemingly without resistance and leave me alone with mother.
I usually longed in vain for her sympathy and felt very much let down. With this drama on
the stage my spiritual horizon started to broaden a little.
How do I deal with these things now? I make the time necessary in order to process!
Last time, in Zine #7, I have dealt with the place of the combination of elements in the opposition of the Sun with Pluto, which is inseperably connected with the Moon, in my pattern of beginning. The question arose of whether more capacities were involved with this combination. This time we ask ourselves: 'With which other planets do these have dynamic connections?' and 'What place do these planets take within my pattern of beginning?'.
The above story indeed adds new subjects to the material of the previous stories. What all this seems to be about this time is
The story in review
|Skip this part just now?|
Concise descriptions relevant to the story
Terms and symbols
|Leading from this story I shall take a look at the other resources that I
have at my disposal, in so far as they are directly involved with the conjunction and the
opposition I described earlier.
As the Sun is situated in Capricorn and the planet Saturn has a special relationship
with this sign, Saturn is important in my birth chart. He plays a decisive role especially
in determining time but also in emotional and social matters.
Click for the full birthchart
Are these all the pieces of the puzzle?
You wonder perhaps when the capacities of communication and the acquisition of
knowledge will be brought up. We have treated the more direct aspects of planets with the
opposition between the Sun and Pluto and with the Moon. The only planet which was not
directly involved with all this is Mercury. This planet of communications and trade is in
conjunction connected with Venus and thus both are in a square connected with the
Ascendant. This subject will certainly come up for discussion at some other occasion.