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Petitgirard
Elephant Man
English
Introduction
Act 1
Act 2
Act 3
Act 4
French
Introduction
Act 1
Act 2
Act 3
Act 4

ACT IV

8 Prelude to Act IV

9 Scene 1
(Elephant Man, The Coloratura
Onlookers and visitors (Chorus)
Treves, The Young Girl, Carr-Gomm)

Elephant Man's flat.
(This flat has been constructed thanks to
the gifts of The Times' readers.)
Elephant Man has prematurely aged.
He wears the costume of a dandy, tailor-made, but still with his slippers.
Letters, numerous gifts are to be seen, as though it were Christmas Day.
It is visiting time.

ELEPHANT MAN
Welcome to Elephant House!

Dragged in by the Coloratura, the onlookers and the visitors are like a swarm

of bees about Elephant Man. Treves and Carr-Gomm are present.

THE COLORATURA
Joseph, my friend,
The papers are talking only of you!
Everyone is talking only of you!

CHORUS
We are charmed to make your acquaintance.

ELEPHANT MAN
Oh, thank you!

CHORUS
It is an honour, Mr. Merrick.

ELEPHANT MAN
You are kind.

THE COLORATURA
The Princess of Wales
came to greet you and ever since
it's been an extraordinary craze!

ELEPHANT MAN
My princess…

CHORUS
Your courage amazes us!

THE COLORATURA
You've become a celebrity!

CHORUS
(Sopranos) We have everything to learn from you,
Elephant Man.

THE COLORATURA
Nobody is unaware of you.
Everyone adores you.

CHORUS
(Tutti) You are an example to us all.
(Sopranos) A reference!

ELEPHANT MAN
I do not deserve so much attention.

THE COLORATURA
Joseph,
You are in the hearts of every woman!
You are so sensitive, romantic.
How can one not love you?

The Coloratura monopolizes Elephant Man.

'THE COLORATURA'S ARIA'

THE COLORATURA
We'll be loved,
Famous, adored!
We'll go to the Americas,
And I shall become Mrs. Merrick!
We'll show them
What life is like,
And the whole world will get to know us,
The whole world will applaud us!
In New York, in Chicago,
In Madras and Borneo,
We'll be happy,
Always the two of us!
I shall be your diva!

CHORUS
He is really charming,
Fascinating, captivating.

CHORUS
He deserves to be happy.

THE COLORATURA
(with the Chorus)
…diva, diva, diva, diva, diva, diva,
A-assoluta
Your diva assoluta!

CHORUS
Joy and sweetness, diva, diva, diva

THE COLORATURA
…diva, diva, diva,
A-assoluta
Your diva, I shall be your diva!

THE COLORATURA
(alone)
We'll be loved,
Famous, adored!
We'll conquer the public,
We'll make a fantastic couple!
Our's the passion,
Our's the emotion!
They will discover your soul as it really is,
The finest kingdom for a woman!
They will see all that we are,
They will say you are a man!
We'll be happy,
Always the two of us,
I shall be your diva!

CHORUS
They are touching,
Moving, engaging,
They are made to love each other!

THE COLORATURA
…diva, diva, diva, diva, diva, diva,
A-assoluta
Your diva, I shall be your diva!

CHORUS
He should marry her.

THE COLORATURA
…diva, diva, diva, diva, diva, diva,
A-assoluta
Your diva, I shall be your diva!

On the third orchestral couplet, the Coloratura
tries to dance with Elephant Man.
The Coloratura enters over the orchestra.

THE COLORATURA
(alone)
Joseph, you are handsome.
Joseph, let's get married!
We'll be happy,
Always the two of us,
I shall be your diva!
(final vocalise)
Your…
…diva!

Everyone applauds the Coloratura.
Treves and Carr-Gomm, to one side.

TREVES
You see, Carr-Gomm,
Life is edifying.
I thought I was a doctor
and I am just a showman.
I'm no better than Tom Norman!

CARR-GOMM
Beware of bitterness,
Doctor Treves!
One often gets addicted.
They leave.
The Coloratura, the onlookers and visitors try to make Elephant Man sing.

CHORUS
(Men) Have a go!
(Women) Come on!
(Men) Come on!
(Women) Give us a song!
(Men) Have a go!
(Women) Come on!
(Men) Give us a song!
(Women) For us!

ELEPHANT MAN
(with difficulty)
We shall be famous and admired…
We shall be loved and adored,
We shall conquer the public,
We shall be a fantastic couple…

CHORUS
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo!
He has a beautiful voice!

THE COLORATURA
What an artiste!
(with the women in the Chorus)
What an exceptional man!

CHORUS
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo,
Bravo, Joseph!
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo,
Bravo, Merrick!
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo,
Bravo, Joseph!
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo,
Bravo and viva!

THE COLORATURA
We'll make a fantastic couple!

CHORUS
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo,
Bravo, Joseph!
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo,
Bravo, Merrick!
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo,
Bravo, Joseph!
Bravo, bravo, bravo, bravo,
Bravo and viva!

All exit, the Young Girl last.

THE YOUNG GIRL
The poor thing!

 

0 Scene 2
(Treves, Mary, Elephant Man (to the rear, in his living room))

Mary goes up to Dr. Treves

 

MARY
He's going to die,
isn't he, Sir?

TREVES
Yes.

MARY
Are you going to tell him?

TREVES
Yes.

MARY
I know you have this conviction,
But a conviction is not a certitude!

TREVES
No, it can only be, at best,
a demonstration.

MARY
Then I beg you,
just this once,
for him, just for him,
don't tell him the truth,
at least, not until
you are asked to.
He so different.
He's not ill,
nor a man like any other.
He's alone, so alone,
alone with himself,
resembling no-one else.
What do all our words mean for him?
We don't know how to understand him.
He's so far from us,
far from what we are.
He's so far from us,
far from everyone.
So I beg you,
just this once,
for him, just for him,
don't tell him the truth.
I'm afraid he doesn't have
the strength to take it.

TREVES
Mary, believe me,
There is less anguish
in knowing than in fearing.
There is less anguish
in knowledge
than in ignorance.

MARY
Is it really for him
that you mean everything?

TREVES
No, for us,
For all of us,
For all the patients!
Their illness is their own,
their very own, not the doctors'.
Our knowledge is their's,
their very own, up to the end.
That is how I can respect them.
That is how I can have consideration for them.

MARY
But it is we, afterwards,
who are still there
when their life has gone.
You say these things,
but it is we, afterwards,
who hear their despair
and their distress.
You say these things,
but it is we, afterwards,
who end up loving them.
And it is we, afterwards,
who are abandoned by them.

TREVES
I know,
and that is why I admire you,
why I admire your courage.

MARY
Don't tell him what's going to happen,
I beg you,
he has nothing left.

TREVES
He still has the present,
his last moments,
and they too belong to him!

Exit Mary.
Treves goes over to Elephant Man.

 

! Scene 3
(Treves, Elephant Man, Charles Taylor (young violonist))

Elephant Man is looking at some photographs.

ELEPHANT MAN
How pretty a princess is!
You could not dream of anything better
to forget your own condition.
Treves checks Merrick's pulse.

TREVES
You are in pain.

ELEPHANT MAN
Yes, but it is strange.
It always hurts less
When you are there,
Doctor.
It always hurts less
When I am not alone!

Treves listens to Merrick's heart.

TREVES
I'm worried.
Your heart is exhausted.

ELEPHANT MAN
That's normal…
(with false naivety)
It is for ever in love!

TREVES
Mr. Merrick,
Your illness is in full evolution,
with aggravating phenomena,
such as premature aging.

ELEPHANT MAN
I have aged a lot.

TREVES
Yes.

ELEPHANT MAN
You see, Doctor,
 thanks to God,
I shall have lived a complete life!
Pause.

TREVES
Joseph!
We must expect
certain complications.

ELEPHANT MAN
What would hurt me
Would be being incapable of reading.
I love stories so much,
I always think they are true.
Does it happen
that one becomes blind, Doctor?

TREVES
Yes,
in some cases.

TREVES
Joseph,
I can no longer do anything for you.

ELEPHANT MAN
You have already done so much for me,
You have already given me so much!
I do not even know how you have been able
to look after me so well,
what with all the patients you have to care for,
who expect everything from you,
and even if you prefer them.

TREVES
That is part of my profession.

ELEPHANT MAN
Doctor,
Does anyone else
in the world look like me?

TREVES
No.

ELEPHANT MAN
So, it is perhaps not an illness.

During the last exchanges of Treves and Merrick,
the son of the bursar of London Hospital, Mr. Taylor,
enters to one side. He has his violin with him.
Young Charles Taylor, aged 17, starts to play.

ELEPHANT MAN
He is my friend.
He plays well, doesn't he?
He comes nearly every day.
It is the only thing that does me good.
You will not believe it, Doctor!

TREVES
But I do!
There have already been a few celebrated cases.

ELEPHANT MAN
Excuse me.

Elephant Man goes over to young Charles Taylor.
Exit Treves.

@ Scene 4
(Elephant Man, Charles Taylor)

The violin stops playing.

ELEPHANT MAN
More!
Carry on, please!
Young Taylor strikes up the last theme again and leaves. Elephant Man is left alone.

ELEPHANT MAN
My God,
Forgive me.
I cannot hope any more.
I am so tired.
My God,
forgive me.
I have never had a good night's sleep,
A whole night without waking up,
A whole night without getting out of shape.
I am so tired.
I have loved life as much as I have been able to.
You cannot ask for anything more.

Elephant Man looks at the portrait of his mother.

ELEPHANT MAN
Why did you let me live
instead of my brother?
Why I and not he?
He was normal.
He looked so much like my mother.
She would have been so happy to keep him.
To be able to love him
instead of consoling me.
She suffered so much because of me.
My God,
forgive me.
I would rather be alone.
I do not want to die
in front of other people.
I am too ashamed of myself.
I do not want people to see me any more.
I am too ashamed of myself.
I do not want people to look at me.
I know they will carry on
presenting me, showing me
in the faculties.
Even when I am not here
they will still look at me,
examine me.
I know well enough that for them
I shall always be a mere curiosity.

Elephant Man goes and sits on the bed.

ELEPHANT MAN
(softly)
Just for once,
I shall sleep.
I shall sleep a good night.
My God,
Shall I be cured
when I come before you? My God,
Are you mine
as you are everyone else's?

Elephant Man falls over backwards, across the bed.
He dies from a broken neck.

- END OF THE OPERA -

 

 


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12:27:25 PM, 19 December 2014
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