The Curse of theMacCabbra Opera HouseLyrics
A few teaching notesThe parts of Libby Ritto, Dee Parton and Compo Zerr will be played by Scottish Opera facilitators.SINGERS – this should be the most advanced group given there are some difficult composer names topronounce. On the performance day they will be led by the Scottish Opera facilitator playing Libby Retto.WORKERS – the Scottish Opera facilitator playing Dee Parton will lead this group.CRITICS – the Scottish Opera facilitator playing Compo Zerr will lead this group.There are some lines of dialogue that pupils can take on in the show featured throughout the script.These will be given out on the day of teaching.
Recit 1: VelcomeAn overture. It’s like something from Hammer House. And then we see Libby Retto andCompo Zerr – typical artist types, wearing berets, over the top clothes, dark framed glasses.They look scared. Very scared. They are carrying a map. A strike of lightning.Libby shrugs this off, making motions to Compo that everything is fine. She knocks on the door.A creaking noise as the door slowly opens to reveal Dee Parton (pronounced Dee Pah-r-tong).She looks like Fenella Fielding in Carry On Screaming.DEEVelcome to MacCabbra Opera House!A crash of lightning and thunder.DEEYou must be our young opera writers?COMPOIndeed. Compo Zerr. I write the music.LIBBYLibby Retto. I write the words.DEESo you have our opera written?LIBBYHmmm – well you see, it’s been a little tricky.COMPOAs musicians we’re both rather picky.LIBBYWe find ourselves down on our luck.COMPORight now we are, Ms Dee Parton….LIBBY/COMPOStuck.DEEVOT!!! It must be written, we must have a script.Without your opera we’ll be trapped in our crypts.LIBBY/COMPOEh?DEENudding. Nudding. Forget I spoke. It’s fine.But I need zat opera before the clock strikes nine.Now step inside with your writing tools.Come, come now, you pair of fools,In zerr.
LIBBY/COMPOIn… zerr?DEEDo you risk it? Do you dare?Spend ze night with ze GHOSTS in zerr?LIBBYIt’s a gamble.COMPOA risk to take.LIBBY/COMPOBut for our art we do forsake.They both gulp.DEEEnter, as the clock chimes midnight.But whatever you do, don’t turn off the lights...Mwah haha hahaha.They enter the MacCabbra Opera House.
Song 1: Raise the DeadAs they enter the MacCabbra Opera House we hear creaks, groans and the sound of the deadbeing brought to life. Compo and Libby are both somewhat scared as the ghosts start to singto them.ALLThere’s a nip in the air, and a whisper in the walls.The Curse of MacCabbra Opera House, hear our ghostly calls.Hear our tombs, open up, as we swing back into life.The tension here might cut you like a knife.COMPOMonsters? Aliens? Who are these hosts?KIDCalm yourself laddieWe’re just lil ol’ ghosts!COMPO/LIBBYGhosts!!ALLRaise the dead.Can you hear our anguished calling?Raise the dead.We’ve been trapped in misery.Every night we come to haunt,No sunlight makes us look so gaunt.Raise the dead.But we mean no present danger.Raise the dead.Now the other side calls to you.It’s been dreich for decades,Now you two can save us.We’re not here to cause you any dread.Raise the dead.LIBBYSo what happened?ALLHmmmm well…There we were back in 1923Opening night of The Silent Jury.SINGERSUs singers were magnificent, our voices strong and gallus.CRITICSAs critics we’d our poisoned pens poised with malice.WORKERSThis place was sparkling, it filled us all with glee.SINGERSWe were in the wings, we were needing a wee wee.
CRITICSThe lights did dim as the audience did cheer.WORKERSThen from high above a shout filled with fear.SINGERSLook out down below! We thought it most queer.CRITICSWe watched as the lights did fall.ALLAnd then we….LIBBY/COMPOWhat?ALLRaise the dead.Can you hear our anguished calling?Raise the dead.We’ve been trapped in misery.Every night we come to haunt,No sunlight makes us look so gaunt.Raise the dead.But we mean no present danger.Raise the dead.Now the other side calls to you.It’s been dreich for decades,Now you two can save us.We’re not here to cause you any dread.Raise the dead.SINGERSThen the light, it did spark,As the ember turned to flame.WORKERSAnd things in MacCabbra Opera House,Would never be the same.CRITICSThen the place filled with smoke.We began to cough and choke.ALLAs all inside were trapped here.No sign of hope,It really was no joke.ALLRaise the dead.Can you hear our anguished calling?Raise the dead.We’ve been trapped in misery.It’s been dreich for decades,Now you two can save us.
ALL cont...We’re not here to cause you any dread.But now you’ve woke us from our beds,Right where the angels fear to tread.And raise the dead.Raise the dead!COMPOLets get out of here!
Song 2: Work, Hard WorkKID(S)Don’t be scared of us wee lassie.We’re just your regular, everyday Scottish afterlife.You need to write that opera and set us free.WORKERSHello, welcome,Make yourself at home.Take your shoes off,Please turn off your phone.Ship shape and order,Structure we prefer.Manky or boggin?Not here monsieur.So many shows,To sell, to fill, to clean.So much to polish,To buff,And rub,And gleam.WorkHard work.Sweat and dedication.WorkHard work.And some co-operation.We’re just tiny cogs in the greater scheme of things.But without our backstage help they’d be waiting in the wings.Like a phoenix,Risen from the ash.Audience applauding,Till full of cash.Keep the bosses happy,Get your opera complete.Get those stalls a-thumping,Bring the circle to their feet.Silence the critics,With a perfect symphony.Lay rest the ghosts with sweet, sweet melodies.WorkHard work.Sweat and dedication.WorkHard work.And some co-operation.We’re just tiny cogs in the greater scheme of things.But without our backstage help they’d be waiting in the wings.WORKERSHow we long for those new stories, the drama, the costumes!We’ve spent a century lying in our tombs.
LIBBYIt’s not so simple, not so easy to write.WORKERSYou should try mopping floors in the afterlife of Fife!There’s a saying round here, it came from Wagner’s Ring.The opera ain’t over till the fat lady sings.Think on it.Find a story.Create a show,Scary and gory.A plot majestic,And so unique.It makes Aida look real cheap.We’ll get to work,Behind the scenes.Put the posters up and check the toilet’s clean.WORKERSWork COMPO MeditationHard work.Sweat and dedication. LIBBY Some stimulationWorkHard work.And some co-operation. COMPO ImaginationWorkHard work.Blood and perspiration. LIBBY ConsiderationWorkHard work.And some imagination. COMPO MeditationWork LIBBY StimulationHard work. COMPO DedicationWork LIBBY PerspirationHard work. COMPO MeditationWork LIBBY StimulationHard work. COMPO DedicationWork LIBBY PerspirationHard work.Dedication, BOTH PerspirationCo-operation,ImaginationNo hesitationNo hesitationJust work!!Just workHard work!Hard workNow work!!!And Compo does work. He has an idea…
Recit 2: The Story’s the ThingLibby is meanwhile elsewhere in the mansion looking exasperated. Dee notices her.DEESveetie, darlink, luvvie, a kizz, mvah, mvah.I cannot vait to read your darlink opera.Sveetie, darlink, baby, so talented, so unique.Now is zere a teeny tiny part for little old me?LIBBYIt’s easy for you but there’s pressure don’t you know?So many greats whose wonder casts a dark shadow.An opera can’t be rushed, you need time, creative flow,It took Beethoven 11 years to write Fidelio.DEEMozart wrote his first opera at the tender age of twelve.Use your imagination, into your heart you must now delve.A fabulous new show is ze only zing we seek.Rossini wrote Barber of Seville in under 2 weeks.LIBBYI… can’t….Think.I can’t write.The story is the thing.And I need oneTonight.
Song 3: A Flash of InspirationKIDSCough cough cough. Perhaps we could be of assistance?SINGERSVerdi, Puccini and Monteverdi,Handel, Bellini and Donizetti.Wagner, Beethoven, Mussorgsky,Bartok, Rossini, Tchaikovsky.Offenbach, Humperdinck, Corigliano,Philip Glass, Von Weber, Leoncavallo.So many greats, such exquisite craft,Now write us an opera with comedy and laughs.How about a man with lofty notions?And a doctor selling his fake potions?Don’t want to push, prod or shove,But write us a hit like The Elixir of Love.A flash of inspiration brings them to their feet.They’re screaming for an encore – now our work’s complete.With just a humble singer and an orchestra,The opera singers will be turned to opera superstars.A flash of inspiration goes a long, long way.Create a work of art like Carmen by Bizet,Can turn a simple note into a well-known song.Create a final masterpiece and your legacy will go on.LIBBYI feel a shake, I feel something stirAn idea for our opera…?(A huge rift.)Oh no, it’s just wind. Nope. Just wind.SINGERSVerdi, Puccini and Monteverdi,Handel, Bellini and Donizetti.Wagner, Beethoven, Mussorgsky,Bartok, Rossini, Tchaikovsky.Offenbach, Humperdinck, Corigliano,Philip Glass, Von Weber, Leoncavallo.So many greats, such exquisite skill,Now write us an opera with drama to thrill.LIBBYThink, dream, createTo innovateThen orchestrateA romantic tale ending tragically,Set in the town of Nagasaki.We want to make them all cry,So write us a hit like Madame Butterfly.A flash of inspiration goes a long, long way.Create a work of art like Carmen by Bizet,Can turn a simple note into a well-known song.Create a final masterpiece and your legacy will go on.
LIBBYI feel a shake, I feel something stirAn idea for our opera?Is she going to rift again? No. She does have an idea. What a relief!LIBBYA tale so ghoulish with a sense of dreadAbout an opera house filled with the dead!SINGERSIt’s perfect, it gives us quite a fever,A ghostly tale more ghastly than Julius Caesar.We should let you work, give you space to concentrate,Pick up that pen dear Libby Retto and create.Because,Aaaaaaaaaaa,Flash of inspiration goes a long, long way.Create a work of art like Carmen by Bizet,Can turn a simple note into a well known song.Create a final masterpiece and your legacy will go on,And on,And on and on,A flash of inspiration makes the show go on.
Recit 3: Note By NoteLIBBYCompo I’ve got it!First we need the characters, perhaps a woman aged with me?She’s smart, brave, a blether, she’s walking modesty.COMPOSounds good!LIBBYShe needs a little sidekick, a man, don’t you agree?He’s nervy, scared, an eejit.COMPOHe sounds a lot like me!LIBBYHmmm… you think?COMPOWhat happens then?LIBBYThey’re summoned to a haunted houseCOMPOAt midnight?LIBBYBut of course.COMPOAnd once they step inside?LIBBYIt’ll be a tour de force.COMPO/LIBBYNote by note,Beat by beat,We’ll sweat and toil til the show’s complete.We then see them manically work away.COMPO/LIBBYNote by note,Beat by beat,We’ll sweat and toil til the show’s complete.And they still keep writing, until….
Song 4: PoisonCOMPOWe’re finished, we’re done.Finito, we’re through.It’s really quite a show,I’m pleased to tell you.The critics have heard this, they refuse to believe the show could possibly be that good.CRITICSWe’ll be the judge,And we will decide,Don’t cross us boy,We’ll be forced to make you cry.COMPOOh please.What are you going to do?Write about it.Big deal.CRITICSThe pen is our sword,The pad is our shield.Written words our weapon,This place our battlefield.Ink is our arrow,Paper, the bow.We use our words to put on quite a show.We don’t wish to sound snooty,Or cause offence.But we are the critics,And we want excellence.So are you ready to be reviewed?Your opera to have its big debut?Like poison,We seep into your veins,And then we like to print the blame.Like poison,Can kill or can condemn,Our vicious words closed La bohème.Words can be a gift,Words can be a bane.Reviews are just opinions,Designed to entertain.Music for the spirits,Music for the soul,We wish we could’ve finished rock ‘n’ roll.But we keep our minds open,We know we’re smart.Don’t mean to be a killjoy,But is this art?
CRITICSSo are you ready to be reviewed?Your opera to have its big debut?Like poison,We seep into your veins,And then we like to print the blame.Like poison,Can kill or can condemn,Our vicious words closed La bohème.And then a change, are those evil critics softening up?CRITICSButSometimesWe get it wrong.I know,Who would believe?SometimesWe mispredict.But more often than not,We know what shows to mock.Except for Madame Butterfly,We were sure that one would flop.COMPONot always rightNot always smartNot always openTo new works of artActually no they aren’t soft at all, they start to really intimidate Compo.CRITICSLike poison,We seep into your veins,And then we like to print the blame.Like poison,Can kill or can condemn.Our vicious words closed La bohèmeCOMPOI don’t need you to like itDon’t care what you sayBut it couldn’t hurt you to call meThe new StravinskiSo are you ready to be reviewed?Your opera to have its big debut?
Song 5: MasterpieceEveryone crowds round Dee to read the opera.LIBBYI feel so nervous, feel so sick.COMPOWhat will they say? Is it a hit?DEEHmmm?LIBBY/COMPOHmmm?ALLHmmmm?LIBBY/COMPOHmmmmm?Tell us – what do you think!ALLIt’s a masterpiece,A work of art.Both sad and scary,But full of heart.SINGERSA masterpiece, a chance of fame,We’ll see in lights our own name.CRITICSAn opera we all adore,WORKERSA masterpiece lives forevermore.ALLIt’s a masterpiece,A work of art.Both sad and scary,But full of heart.WORKERSA masterpiece, a five star dream,We’ll double the sales of our ice cream.LIBBY/COMPOThey like it,They love us,We’re a smash.It’ll run for years,And make us lots of cash.DEEIt’s vonderful, genius,It’ll break the curse that’s been so heinous.The MacCabbra spell broken from the past,And your opera’s even better than the last.Dee gasps realising she shouldn’t have said that, a kid shouts.
KIDWHEESHT! Big mouth!LIBBYOur last? Surely you joke?That was the first opera we wrote.DEEAh. Vell. Zat is not strictly true….ALLEvery tale needs a twist.Dear departed ours is this –Our tale of MacCabbra Opera House,There’s a few people we missed.In this place we did burn,Though we weren’t the only ones.On that night all were cursed,Including those who wrote for us.DEEMy dear Libby and Compo Zerr,There’s a reason we seem familiar.You knew us zen as you know us now.But you zat night took your final bow.Your masterpiece vent up in flames,All that vonder down the drain.Ve brought you here to rewrite your creation,The curse can break viz a standing ovation.ALLAhh…Ahh…Ahh…Ahh…ALLIt’s a masterpiece,A work of art,Both sad and scary,But full of heartLIBBYAre you saying?COMPOAre you trying to scare?LIBBY/COMPOWe’re dead? We’re part of this nightmare?ALLYou’ve raised the dead,You’ve heard our anguished calling.Raised the dead,We’ve been trapped, and now we’re free.There’s a switch, the cast get scary and look at the audience.ALLWe’ve laid here for decades,Now you two’ve unchained us.We don’t wish to cause you any dread,But now we’re loose and needing fed.
You’d better check under your bed,Cos we’re the dead!DEEAnd votever you do, don’t turn off the….Lights.The cast laugh manically as they ghosts disappear in the shadows and the door of TheMacCabbra Opera House slams shut.