Um... I feel free to comment in this old thread (as in others perhaps, too, but not all of once, of course).
Well, I am no opera fan and have never been to opera.
At first reading it was a rather weak book, I got some jokes, at second reading (this time in English), I got al lot more jokes and nevertheless it is still a flaw in the whitch series, I enjoyed it.
I enjoyed or actually like it on the same scale as I like Witches Abroad or Moving Pictures. There is not as much depth as I like in other (later or in some cases earlier) books but I like it on a smaller level.
Some Postings above there was mentioned, to dress up as Lady Esmerelda would bee out of charakter for Granny. And there were given some reasons why this not has to be the case. One though which occured for me while reading this postings was: Perhaps she is dressing up because "it has to go the right way", as Granny usually is firm on. If an evil duke sits in Lancre Castle, you not simply rush in to dispose him, you have to wait until the rightful heir of the throne turns up, if a whole city is bond to stories you not simply can abort the stories, you has to change them in the right way. So perhaps, it would also fit to say: If you want to go in the opera house and want to change what is going on so you have to do it the right way, this means dressing up in proper dressing an, well, go in the opera house.
Just a though, perhaps a tiny bit, perhaps I could be wrong. Personally I sympathize with the explanation to have a reason to fritter Nanny's money away, rootet in Granny's disapproval of the cooking book and more so that she
is "the Lancre Whitch" - who else?
(But I don't want chewing up this theme again and wouldn't persist on this observations).
Another question, I don't know if this anywhere else already is mentioned, but it reminded me immediately by first reading it. I didn't find it at the annotation file on l-space, I don't even know, if this reference is known or popular enough in UK, although I know that Terry knows many things and popular culture also from outside UK:
Two details in the novel reminded me at the Olsen Gang
, a danish criminal comedy. In one episode (The Olsen Gang Sees Red) there is a very popular scene in which the gang has to drill, hammer and bomb its way through the basement of the Royal Danish theatre. This because "the musicians hate the actors, the actors hate the singers, the singers hate the ballet dancers and all together hate the conductor" (or some similar statement) and therefore they have very thicks walls between their dressing rooms, recreation rooms and so on - through which each the gang has to break to get ther target (a ming vase).
The gang suceed in drilling, hammering and drilling in tact to the music of Elverhoi which has been played at this moment.
Now in maskerade there are two sequences which reminded me immediately at this episode. In one sequence Sarzella (?) says somethin very similar along the lines "the musicians hate the actors, actors hate the singers and all together hate the conductor".
And then the second sequence: Nanny explains that one of her son once had stolen the lead off the roof of the opera house - managing this while also hammering in tact to the music which has been played at this moment.
Simply because this is such a obvious theme that you don't can pass it while writing a parody on opera?
Perhaps the saying "X hate the Y and all together hate the Z" is a common saying which everywhere will fit?
Or did Terry actually know this famous scene which is even mentioned in the English Wikipedia?