The Sofa and The Departure
Dominic, a playboy and pleasure-obsessed wastrel, is having a wild party. It is about two in the morning and everyone is worse for wear. The party is going full swing out on the balcony, while inside Dominic is busy trying to seduce Monique on the Sofa. She is playing hard to get, but soon gives in.
They are interrupted by the arrival of the Grandmother – a hag with magical powers and the holder of Dominic’s purse strings. She launches a tirade against his hedonistic and wasteful behaviour, and decides to punish him: “You say you’re sat on? Sat on you shall be.” With a flick of her wand Dominic is transformed into a Sofa, the condition for his release being that a couple must make love on top of him.
A trio of young women emerge from another room and plonk themselves down on the Sofa (the transformed Dominic), languidly dreaming about men. Two of the girls, Laura and Yolande, are approached by a pair of young men and are led off to the balcony. Lucille, however, is begged to stay by a third young man, the Suitor. He proceeds to flirt with her, which of course raises the Sofa’s hopes of an early release. As the passions rise to a climax and a by-now almost hysterical Lucille swears to give him anything he desires, he produces… a diamond engagement ring. The Suitor slips the ring onto Lucille’s finger, and they float off, to the utter fury and frustration of the Sofa.
The party guests swarm in, looking for Dominic. No one can find him anywhere, which leads to a couple of revellers wondering whether his vengeful grandmother has had something to do with his disappearance. They drink to his safe return with the witty and unusual “Champagne Canon”. As they disperse, Monique enters the room with Edward, a posh boy from the countryside. They are obviously old friends. Edward eventually realises that Monique still finds him quite dishy and loses no time in seducing her on the Sofa.
The Sofa is swiftly transformed back into Dominic, and Monique is left in a rather compromised situation…
The plot of this opera is so unusual and surprising, that we feel that providing a synopsis would dilute the work’s dramatic suspense.
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