THE SINGING WINE-WAITER
Clad in classic black, a sommelier presents to his guests an assortment not of wines but of various vocal works. Before the a cappella musical presentation, he offers amiable and judicious advice concerning the selection of an appropriate title, just as should be expected from fashionable hotel service – enriched here, however, with unexpected replies filled with dexterous wordplay.
Does the melancholic mood of the selected song agree with Madame, or would something sweeter be more to her taste? An earnest warning is uttered concerning the dryness of certain ironical texts. Here a prickling Italian title is recommended, there a delightful Austrian selection receives its due praise. Now and again comes an elucidation of the house tradition that the particular title just selected is to be sung by the suddenly consternated guest ...
Within this servant so devoted to elegance and discretion is hidden a nimble string-puller who employs subversive charm and tactful impudence for animating his guests to share laughter and sometimes even to sing together in raucous chorus. He knows how to usher his listeners into spontaneous and fun-filled role-play before serving them a draft of exquisite music with his warm, lyrical tenor voice.
Upon leafing inquisitively through the “Musical Wine List,” guests find many surprises and sometimes even their favorite songs among this extensive offering of operetta melodies, Broadway classics, Neapolitan songs, film tunes, rock oldies, jazz standards and German popular songs from the Twenties and Thirties. Passed on from hand to hand, already eagerly awaited at the neighboring table, the repertoire sets in motion a rising wave of enthusiasm and a rollicking sequence of songs.
Conversations with the guests take place in German, English, French and Italian, with a linguistic command that is not halting and fragmentary, but instead fluent and richly expressive.