So Joe came home, and later was given a discharge from the army. He afterwards served his time properly as a blacksmith with Paddy Myers of Mile Mill. Subsequently, after marrying in , he bought the property, home and business from his former employer.
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Pat Kelly demonstrates some of the techniques of the blacksmith used by generations of his family. He also had to maintain ironwork in Coolmoney Camp in Co Wicklow, and at the shooting ranges. He also made new teeth for the buckets used by his land drainage friend Dan Breslin from Brannockstown. Inevitably, Pat Kelly and his brothers Joe, Ned and John spent most of their youthful spare time around the forge, especially on Saturdays.
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Pushing the bellows up and down, mixing the slack, drilling bars. Through all this contact with thoroughbreds, Joe gained a reputation as an expert in how to present young horses. They used to rehearse in one of our bedrooms, especially coming up to times like Easter and Christmas. Here's his lighting, swinging anvil-less version:.
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Miller and Verdi are, of course, also in the excellent company of the Marx Brothers, whose A Night at the Opera , features scenes from Il trovatore and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. This montage offers a tantalizing view of a Marx brother hammering away about 13 seconds into the clip:. And just in case the ironies of the opera business are unclear to you, here's a little Marx Brothers boot camp in opera contracts as Groucho and Chico barter over "the greatest tenor in the world":.
There's something about the clarity and regularity of a pounded anvil and the unity of a community singing together that offers listeners brief respite from narrative complications. And no wonder: Il Trovatore weaves a tangled web of love and revenge in 15th century Spain. As rival princes battle for supremacy, two lovers, Count di Luna and the troubadour Manrico compete for the hand of Leonora.
Prior to the start of an opera, a gypsy woman is burned at the stake after being blamed for the illness a child. That gypsy's daughter, Azucena, kidnaps the child to get revenge but instead of throwing it into the fire, she accidentally casts her own child into the flames.
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So the child Garzia grows up as Manrico. And if your instincts for convoluted operatic plots are sharp, you've already guessed that Manrico and Count di Luna are, unbeknownst to them, brothers. Shakespeare had a special fondness for the dramatic family reunions made possible by children lost and then found again. But there's no happy ending for Il Trovatore as Count di Luna slays his own brother and Azucena feasts on avenging her mother but only at the cost of the death of her adopted son.
Il Trovatore imagines a world remarkably complex: Leonora keeps confusing her would be lovers, Azucena fatally confuses her child with another, and two brothers never quite have the chance to recognize one another before it's too late. In spite of these horrors, audiences come flocking back to the sharp sweet clarity of the anvil hammering out time in the midst of chaos.
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