Snapera! Crackera! Popera!
August 20, 2009
The Cereal List is a new, NYC-based blog, rather insider-y (i.e., there are plenty of references to New Amsterdam Records thus far), and dedicated to the proposition that
all the classical new contemporary classical music world needs is a little something to spice it up
in the form of juicy, salacious, occasionally outright fictitious gossip. The current banner atop the site is also a treat: a splendidly insouciant double portrait of Philip Glass and Leonard Cohen.
The Cereal List takes its name not only in acknowledgment of those pesky Serialists with whose lingering tradition any serious classicist must deal in one way or another, but also in tribute to the video artifact below, an advertisement of which I had not been reminded for a very long time. This is perhaps the finest use of opera in a commercial, ever. It is also a priceless memento of the lost Golden Age of Mother-In-Law jokes. Oh, the pathos of it all!
Researching further, I discovered that this was not the only operatic Rice Krispies spot. Apparently, it is but one of three created in 1969 by the Mad Men (Chicagoans, actually) at the Leo Burnett agency. Of the other two, I have found only one online, and I can't say as I can recall ever having seen it before. It is remarkable for achieving what Belasco and Puccini could not: a happy ending to Madama Butterfly.
The right utensil conquers all, even when love alone cannot.
The sweet power of music is not to be gainsaid. Indeed, it has been shown again and again that opera, in the hands of the right ad man, can reconcile almost any difference:
Opera can even sell you an automobile. Naturally, it is an Italian automobile: