Page 51. " everything from Die Zauberflöte to Trouble in Tahiti "
by hector

Papageno, the birdcatcher
Public DomainPapageno, the birdcatcher
Perhaps surprisingly, these are both operas. 

The Magic Flute (Die Zauberflöte), by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is a two-act opera about a prince, a birdcatcher, a temple, the Queen of the Night, and all kinds of enchanted extras.  Listen on Spotify

Trouble in Tahiti, by Leonard Bernstein, is a one-act opera about a miserable married couple.  Listen on Spotify



Page 52. " there was no third act for Lulu "
by hector

Lulu is an opera by Alban Berg (1885-1935) about a circus girl and dancer who undergoes some fairly extreme experiences and meets her end at the hands of Jack the Ripper.  It features an onstage jazz band, a palindromic structure, and a silent film in the middle.

This reference may be a rather neat joke: Berg died without completing the third act of Lulu.  He left notes, however, and the third act was finally completed in 1979.

Listen to the third act on Spotify



Page 53. " Carmen gave him dreams "
by hector

If any operatic heroine could disturb a priest's sleep, it would be Carmen.  In the opera of the same name, Georges Bizet (1838-1875) gave her some of the most alluring tunes in the repertoire.  There is a great deal of sensuality and seduction before we get to the bullfight.  For example, this is the song that Carmen sings to the officer who is supposed to be escorting her to prison (he releases her):

Listen on Spotify: Près des remparts de Séville




Page 72. " mostly from Bergman films "

 Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007) was a highly admired and influential Swedish film director.  Among his most famous films are The Seventh Seal and Through a Glass Darkly.  He also directed plays and documentaries.  Many of his works concerned death and insanity.



Page 75. " the sacrament he had most often performed was viaticum "

Viaticum is Latin for 'provisions for a journey'. In the Catholic Church it is the name given to an individual's final Holy Communion (Eucharist) when they are on the verge of death. It forms part of the Last Rites, which has two other components: Anointing of the Sick (sometimes known by the more archaic term Extreme Unction) and Penance (repentance of sins).


'Last Rites'
Public Domain'Last Rites' - Credit: Letzte Ölung