Just on the beat of three,
Just as the timpani rang,
The music stand broke free,
Stepped forth and sang.
Into the hall a foreign timbre soars,
Sweet as a flute, rippling as a cello;
The singing music stand implores
Cruel Scarpia or possibly Othello.
O Dio! the declamatory racket —
The shouts as chairs come crashing to the floor;
O Cielo! while the pages of the score,
Leaves on the wind, fly swirling from the bracket.
Moves precisely but
To arrest the rogue display:
He stands and plays an open A.
Then mighty as the rising tide,
The orchestra sweeps all aside;
As waves fall crashing on the sand,
The tuning overwhelms the stand.
A moment’s pause for breath;
The noble tripod straightens for her death.
We see her in the spotlight gleam and sway;
We sense her burnished edge, her steel, her scorn;
She folds beside the footlights and is borne —
Triumphant on her opening night — away.