There’s a fun discussion taking place on a friend’s facebook page about which operatic characters remind us of the party leaders in this year’s election.
I’ve gone for Gordon Brown as Wotan [Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen], the powerful, one-eyed brooding figure who’s made the running in the past, but now has a few problems and can’t work out how he can rescue his agenda without screwing everything up (and, as he sees it, at least, risking the end of the world), and who is doomed to fade into nothingness.
Nick Clegg is Don Carlos [Verdi: Don Carlo(s)]. He thinks he’s a romantic hero and a great crusader for political liberty, but he doesn’t really understand the nature of the game he’s playing in, and will ultimately get screwed over by more ruthless participants. (I’ve only a hazy memory of the plot of this one, so apologies if this isn’t getting it quite right.)
And David Cameron? It’s a tricky one, but I reckon he’s Escamillo [Bizet: Carmen]. Superficially attractive, but really a shallow, arrogant, pompous arse — though one with the considerable advantage of being the only major protagonist still alive and not in police custody at the end of the drama.