In a recent post I alluded to a recent law ensuring plain cigarette branding, with only brand names and health warnings allowed.

This is to make cigarettes less glamorous, so smokers don’t think they look like this…

Lauren Bacall Smoking…but like this…

Ugly Smoker

The Puritans in Parliament won’t be happy with Georges Bizet, because in his opera Carmen*, he has a Cigarettes Chorus:

Regardez-les! Regards impudents,

Mine coquette! Fumant toutes

Du bout des dents, la cigarette.

Dans l’air; nous suivons des yeux la fumée,

Qui vers les cieux monte, monte, parfumée.

Cela monte gentiment à la tête, tout doucement,

Cela vous mets l’âme en fête!

Look at them! Impudent glances,

Flirtatious looks! All smoking,

At the end of their teeth, a cigarette.

In the air, we follow with our eyes the smoke,

Which towards the sky, mounts, perfumed.

It climbs gently to ones head, sweetly

It puts your soul on holiday!

Absolutely beautiful. I’m surprised the tobacco industry don’t take it up as their theme song.

I mention this because yesterday I went to see the Welsh National Opera perform a show called Chorus! at the Theatre Royal. It was a selection of opera’s chorus numbers, with Lesley Garrett providing the occasional solo.

Other highlights for me were the Spinning Chorus from Wagner‘s The Flying Dutchman:

And finally the Anvil Chorus from Verdi‘s Il Trovatore:

It was a wonderful show, and I look forward to watching the same company perform Mozart‘s The Magic Flute tomorrow.

*I will be going to see the Plymouth Gilbert & Sullivan Fellowship performance in May.


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