(1310-04-03) Ode to O
Summary: An opera singer and courtesan gets to talk with a bewitched bard, which can only lead to demonstrations of musical ability, artistic egos - and a daring ploy.
RL Date: 03/04/2018
Related: A Night at the Opera
lysander etalon 

Tue Apr 03, 1310 — Tue Apr 03 13:30:08 2018

Auditorium — Opera — Marsilikos

The auditorium, the heart of l'Opera Marsilikos, is as opulent as the foyer. Seating in the stalls and circle is upholstered in tones of crushed grape and gold, this matching the safety curtains of the stage and the draperies wound about gilded stucco columns. Several private boxes are available for those that are willing to pay for the privacy and better views of the stage that sitting within one provides, though the grandest of these is reserved for the Ducal family and favoured guests, easily recognised by the de Mereliot Crest it displays. Chandeliers glitter against a backdrop of a night-painted ceiling, and further illumination is provided by crystal sconces affixed to the walls.


Rumors of a new play are making the rounds at the opera, after the success of the last play, the final staging of which was attended by among others, the Sovereign Duchesse of Eisande herself. One of her daughters, a certain bard and actor had the pleasure of kissing the hand of, after the performance, and it seems this has gotten to Lysander's head. The handsome Eisandine commoner sits currently upon the stage, legs slightly crossed and dangling that are clad in colorful trousers of red and green, upon his lap is his lute, and the bard is trying out some chords, then beginning it what appears as a performance of a song, then halts and takes some notes on a parchment on the side.

"Ort… Ophélia… My Ophélia," he hums along, trying out a tune to fit the chords. Brows are furrowed. An artist at work. It is noon. The auditorium is deserted, which probably is the reason for Lysander to use the opportunity, waiting to be kissed by a muse as he challenges his creative side.

"OOOooophelliaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAA!" Comes a booming baritone from across the stage as Etalon walks towards Lysander. Then, in a far less operatic tone, "Lysander, isn't it? First Bard? I'm mightily impressed, that last play was ornate. A thing of utter beauty. Challenging the Companions for its epitome of d'angeline culture. Can I intrude?" He asks the latter belatedly, his loose and light garment off of his shoulders, mostly about his waist. Baring his beautiful torso. "Ophelia really is one of the most beautiful names, though, isn't it? It makes me want to eat bread on a bed of flowers."

<FS3> Etalon rolls Singing: Great Success. (8 2 1 7 4 4 7 2 2 8 5)

There is a pause when Lysander hears that impressive voice fill the auditorium without any effort, fingers muting strings, as he looks up to glance over where Etalon enters. "It is I," the bard admits, a warm smile playing over handsome features that cannot boast noble lineage, nor evident blood of the angels. "Lysander Beaufort, at your service." His own voice is melodic, pleasant on the ears, as if Lysander has worked on perfecting that specific quality. Setting the lute aside in one fluent movement, he hops off the stage with an acrobat's grace and then performs an elaborate courtly bow towards the man who is impressive both in talent and looks. "You must be…?" A lapse indeed, that he cannot recall having been introduced to Etalon, but he assumes… "working here at the opera, a performer I haven't really quite met, as of yet?" The rhyme is a playful thing, that just occurs, a lyrical quality there in a man versed in creating his own songs and poems. "Ophélia," Lysander agrees with a smile, "is a beautiful name, but as I don't know yet about the name of the heroine of our next play, I chose it… as a placeholder of sorts."

"I am that, Etalon no Heliotrope, at your most sincerest service." Replies Etalon, returning the bow with the true grace of noble angels and trained actor types. "It's a good placeholder… I always like a protagonist's name to be a bit foreshadowy. Your playing, by the way, is utterly beautiful. I am entranced, sir."

<FS3> Lysander rolls Lute: Great Success. (1 2 2 3 8 8 5 7 4 4 7)

An actor always has a weak spot for flattery, and how would this be different, with Lysander, when he hears the massve compliment the Heliotrope courtesan pays him so effortlessly. "Is that so?", the bard asks, eyes brightening, that are so incredibly blue. Before lips twitch into a smile and he lowers his gaze, "It was nothing, I was just fooling a bit around with chords." His gaze lifts, eyes shining with a sudden idea, "You want me to play for you something really beautiful, Monsieur?" That Etalon introduced himself as a member of the Night Court of Elua causes a bit of awe and respect in the bard. It was a suspicion confirmed, if going by the grace and effortless art the man displayed. "Let me… play for you a piece, I have earned some adoration for, wherever I played." Yes, he used to be a travelling minstrel, but now the restless bird seems to have settled down, right here in Marsilikos.

Sitting back down on the edge of the stage, Lysander begins to play, an instrumental piece that starts off all quiet and calm, deceiving as it will soon grow in a crescendo and accelerando of notes, rippling through the auditorium. His technique is remarkable, evidence of long hours of practice, for many days, weeks, months, years!

Etalon blushes at the offer and he states, a bit wide eyed himself, "I would love that! Please do." He settles himself with the grace and charm that decorates the Mont in Elua so effortlessly. Truly, these two gentlemen cut a cunning and breathtaking visage up front of the opera house. So much talent, such form and figure of differing types, such charisma. Etalon's full tattoo of delicate flowers shown upon his back. It's slightly different from the norm, small variations that make it a bit more pronounced, louder, more masculine as it matches his physique and powerful build. Etalon can't seem to stop smiling as he listens to Lysander begin to play. As the crescendo begins, Etalon shuts his eyes, savoring the music as he might a lover. His chest flushing, arms flexing faintly as he breathes in deeply as if the music itself were a powerful aroma.

"When I played this very tune to Clémentine nó Trevalion, I did a far less remarkable job," the bard confesses once he is done, admitting without shame that he is so very pleased with his own performance right now. "As for the… placeholder.", his features shift into a slightly mysterious expression, "it is more that I looked for a name that would not cause offense, while still being somewhat similar to… Ah… you know…" There is a wink, nothing more, to accompany the cryptical remark, and Lysander shrugs, shifting once again into a more upright poise, as he resumes the piece from before.

"O…phélia-rette,
You caught me right in your net.
Your helpless captive is my heart,
I should have been on my guard,
But you looked so beautiful and frail,
You shall be my holy Grail…"

<FS3> Lysander rolls Singing: Great Success. (7 7 8 6 1 3 2 7 1 2 7)
<FS3> Lysander rolls Acting: Good Success. (7 6 2 5 8 6 6 8)

Where Etalon can call a booming baritone voice his own, Lysander is more of a tenor, with a range that can reach all the way up to high falsetto. Where the lyrics may lack in inspiration and finesse, it is his performance that makes up for it, true anguish and passion apparent in handsome features, showing the actor in him.

Etalon slowly grins a bit at Lysander, a knowing grin that grows as he listens. "Ophelia, hm?" He winks right back, clearly knowing of whom they speak. Such is half the job of a true Courtesan, anyhow. "I like where this is going and I shall personally endeavor to ensure that your love flourishes for there is so /much/ beauty in who you are, Lysander, that it must be rewarded by passion in those you seek to be known by. Perhaps a duet? A private audience?"

"A duet?" The lute falls once again quiet, and the bard looks up, for a moment confused, if he had really been so easy to see through. "Or…phélia would be pleased, I'd wager, but I doubt her mother would approve, and I very much doubt, I'll even get as far as into the palace." There, he said it, a thing shared in confidence between one actor and another. "I wouldn't be given a chance, truly…"

"You should leave some of that to me. I will /gladly/ distract the mother. I'll have the offer written up soon and sent to her, a private concert with the First Bard and one so incredible as myself. Being bred, born, and benefited upon the Mont has to have some meaning, otherwise I'm left to rely purely on my wit and we would all do much better if that were not the case." He's clearly mischievous at this point, and honest, already plotting a path for the forlorn Bard to find his beloved. He narrows his eyes faintly at Lysander, as if challenging the other artist to defy Etalon's next words, "There is no greater thing in life than love. Love is a many splendid thing, the thing of wings and feathers, of snowflake falls and hope. It is all that matters in these fleeting few hours we have called living. I will see to it that Love is yours, Lysander."

Again, the lute is put aside, as the nimble and agile bard swings his legs up to stand on the stage, facing the tall Etalon nó Heliotrope, so tall that even when standing, Lysander has to lift his chin and eyes to meet the charismatic courtesan's gaze. "You are… suggesting?", he asks, even if words do fail him for a moment. "Suggesting, to invite Her Grace and her daughter…", he coughs, "Ortolette," he coughs again and clears his throat, "for a private concerto were you offer to distract the Duchesse while I… umm… distract the daughter?" Brows lift as his eyes go distant for a moment, digesting the incredibly cunning plan. "I can't say, whether it is Naamah speaking through you or Elua, Etalon nó Heliotrope. This would earn you my gratitude, my loyalty… anything you could ask for, and I'd do it. But I'm a nothing, no one… It must be you who makes the suggestion, who issues the invitation…"

Now a bit loud, for his excitement, Etalon points at Lysander with eyes a bit wide, "Yes! Precisely that. Better yet, that /we/ are the ones invited into their home." He then drops his voice and grins a little bit, "I will state the invitation, and never again call yourself a nothing. You are art and beauty. You are passion and meaning. There is nothing more meaningful in culture and humanity than they that express it so intimately. Your main job now is to prepare a duet that will be both sure to win you your 'Ophelia' and me her mother."

"Umm… Yes!" It is an ambitious plan, and Lysander cannot quite believe his ears nor his senses, that he is in the process of trying to win over a lady of high nobility - a novelty it would be, and yet something he has hoped for when he decided to make the theatre his home. "You'll make a subtle invitation, stating that the palace would be more suited for this? I wonder… I can't see they'd accept. It's too many if's and treacherous pitfalls… We are -actors-, artists! Hmmmmmm…." Lysander falls quiet, his handsome visage looking thoughtful as he considers. "I shall compose that duet, I think we can pull it off and make it memorable. Just… you have to stress that it is to be a private concerto, a… premiere, if you will. The first performance of an oeuvre that may make it to the next play that is to be staged at the opera."

"Well, we are that. I do have…. /other/ talents… which might progress the acceptance of such an offering." Etalon somewhat subtly suggests with a waggle of his brows. "This is also utterly selfish of me, I've adored the Duchess for quite some time. I will certainly suggest that, this will be rather smooth my friend."

"By the Companions, can it be that you have set your stakes so high?" The statement of Etalon nó Heliotrope leaves Lysander speechless for a moment. "Too high, perhaps? I believe many are aiming to impress the Lady of Marsilikos. She has a husband though, if I'm not mistaken, the father of her daughters… My Mereliot meanwhile is very young, inexperienced perhaps… and a patron of the arts. If my charms fail, maybe my artistry will suffice to persuade her to become my mentor. Oh my lovely Lady O." And with the soft sigh that follows, Lysander's eyes go dreamy, apart from a faint wicked glint. "Oh how I would like to win you over." Words aimed at the mysterious lady of course. It will take him a while to pull his thoughts and focus back to the task at hand.

"Ah… there is a duet waiting to be written and composed…"

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