The Wandering of Winifred and Igor

The Wandering of Winifred and Igor

( For those who do not understand the original Rumanian-Russian-Italian-Finnish libretto of this long lost opera by Manfred Ripofficca, here is an English prose translation. )

( Scene ) A wood near Crestfallen Castle. The lovers, Winifred and Igor, meet under the trees, thinking it may be for the last time. Winifred has been told by her father, King Ragg, that she will marry Prince Nuke, to tighten the bonds between the lands of Norfoggia and Swineland, and to forget Igor, who is only a court minstrel. )

( Igor sings wretchedly, over the toply, under the trees. )

O, an arrow your father has hefted in my heart, deeper than a wound made by the horn of a boar that frequents this wild wood full of trees and shelter less air. O, Winifred, he cannot force you to marry Prince Nuke, the Prince of Swineland. Alas, if so, my heart would melt like butter on a parsnip, like an iceberg in the flames of my anguish.

( Winifred, distressed, turns her tear wet face towards the chin of Igor and begs him to abandon her, to flee into exile. )

O, Igor, you must go. My father fumes, like a bulldog who cannot find his bone, like a locksmith who cannot find his key, like a walrus who feels a tooth ache in his tusk, like a giraffe who feels an itch in his neck, like an elephant who hears a bee that buzzes in his trunk. He will come after us with swords men to banish you to the land of the trolls or a worse place, below the goblin mines of Mount Horridhash.

( Igor lifts his chin and shakes a torrent of tears from his left eyelid. )

You with the grace of a swan on the waters of twilight in the gloaming of dawn’s shadow cannot cleave to the cold hands of Prince Nuke, even if he brings all the doltish hosts of Swineland to lay siege to your embossed battlements. Rather the cold claws of the crow touch the morning’s sun beam.

( Winifred turns in horror and great fear, hearing a dry branch crack in the wood. )

Beloved, be gone. My father comes.

( Enter King Ragg with a company of crossbow men. )

( King Ragg: ) Seize him. Seize him. There is the wretch who turns the heart of my daughter away from her true trap place at Prince Nuke’s side.

( Igor: )

Slay me now. You might as well as I am dead as a hog with no heart without the divine company of Winifred, the fragrance of fair meadowsweet, the dew of tulips.

( King Ragg: )

Tempests burst in my soul when I kneel to smell the stench of a bull’s toe nail. Aghast I am. You are banished from my land.

( Winifred )

Father, do not be cruel, like a headmaster who cannot find his chalk, like a cobbler who cannot find his glue, like a deaf frog who cannot hear the thunder, like a canary who cannot find his seed, like a plough man who cannot find his hoe. Instead, be kind, like a rain drop on a leaf, like a swallow on a roof, like a lion on a rock, like a beaver on a dam, and let me be with Igor, my heart’s heron.

( Igor: )

The hog of my heart snorts in the bog of my misery. I cannot endure the torrents like a camel in the dusk of the desert without the nightingale of my soul.

( King Ragg: )

Then you must chirp in the cage of your prison. Winifred, my daughter, siren of my soul, you must ignore Igor, abhor Igor. You must come with me to where the crows bark in the morning light. You must marry Nuke,Prince of Swineland.

( Winifred: )

No, no, we go, we go, like hot porridge from a bowl, like cold ice down a drain, like treacle from a pot. Father, farewell.

( Winifred exits stage with Igor.)

( Final Act ends to the sound of jubilant trumpets. )


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