Sunday, April 17, 2011

Semper Fidelio

For the record, I’ve got only two articles left to read for my paper, I still have 7 days before it is due, and I’m going to have the outline and introduction written before lunch.  Therefore, I have time to blog.

Once a year or so, basically every time a bunch of new people start reading the blog, I es’plain why my name is Fidelio.  When I go commenting on other blogs, lots of people think I’m a guy (unless they come look at my blog), since I have  a masculine name.  Occasionally, they’ll get the reference itself.

Beethoven wrote only one opera, and it was a bit of a comedy of errors.  He re-wrote the overture four times before he got one he liked.  During those early days, the opera was called “Leonore”—the name of the female protagonist.  Beethoven based his opera on a couple of previous operas and plays of the same name.  In the story, Leonore disguises herself as a man (“Fidelio”) and works at the prison where her husband is being kept wrongfully.  She saves him from death at the end of the opera.

I thought it was really clever to use an apparently masculine name as my online name.  Besides, I knew Beethoven, most of my friends were music people and easily got the reference, and it satisfied my mother’s concerns that my blogging (this was all several years ago) be secure and anonymous.  Fidelio spent three years blogging in concert with roommates and friends on a group blog. :)

It’s retired now, as you see, but full of good memories.  More later on how the choice of a screen name was fortuitous, and then (of course) how my current blog got its name in the first place.

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