Der Glücklich Widersprüchlichmensch

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Myths and legends of the market

The JC’s guide to the foundational mythology of the markets.™

Margaret Matzenauer in costume as Provocatoria in 1924

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Der Glücklich Widersprüchlichmensch, or in italian Il Felice Provocatore (lit. “The Jolly Contrarian”) is an overly long comic opera by Otto Büchstein. Not popular, but it kept him out of his long-suffering wife’s hair for more than a decade while he wrote it. Features the bracing aria Io Devo Saltare, sung by the contralto role of Provocatoria Presuntuosa (thought to be loosely based on Buchstein’s own wild-haired, fiery-tempered spouse) who, when repeatedly subjected to the clumsy amorous advances of quixotic paramour Don Iolio Contrario, absents herself with a series of increasingly implausible excuses, the final one being, “mi piacerebbe restare a chiacchierare, ma devo aspettare in corridoio” (“I would love to stay and chat, but I have to go and wait in the lobby”).

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