My darling goat

Meyerbeer’s Dinorah ou le Pardon de Ploërmel must be a very strong candidate for the silliest opera ever written.  It concerns a young girl, Dinorah, who is deserted on her wedding day by her fiancé Hoël who disappears in search of a cursed treasure.  She goes mad.  There’s sheep and goat ballet, a lullabye to a goat accompanied on the bagpipes, more sheep and goat ballet and a scene where Dinorah sings a very difficult aria to her own shadow.  There’s a “ghastly” enchanted glen scene at the end of which Dinorah, pursuing her pet goat, falls into a river; apparently fatally.  Rather than resolve this we then get another half hour of pastoral with a hunter and a reaper and assorted shepherdesses and, inevitably, dancing sheep and goats before Hoël shows up having rescued Dinorah. He persuades her that the last twelve months have all been a bad dream and they get married accompanied by much pious singing.

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