Dio Fa

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In "The Real Frank Zappa Book" (1989), FZ described a "PROPOSAL FOR A WORLD CUP FOOTBALL OPERA", called "DIO FA". It is listed under the chapter (18) "Failure"...

FZ would have proposed to write, produce and direct a special entertainment event for the conclusion of the World Cup Football Finals in the summer of 1990, to be financed by the City of Milan and the Italian Football Committee. It would have been an opera, with the premiere performance in La Scala, broadcast via satellite, worldwide.

The idea was to produce a script in English, Italian, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian. The performance would include dancing in many styles, special effects and a fashion show.

The musical accompaniment would include full orchestral settings, chamber music settings, ethnic choral and instrumental setting (executed via digital sampling and digital tape playback), advanced electronic music techniques and rock music (in styles ranging from doo-wop vocals to heavy metal). The music would be partly acoustic, partly amplified and, in some instances, mimed to digital playback.

FZ was to write the story and lyrics, supervise the set design, costumes and special effects.

The City of Milan, through its Sister City arrangement with Chicago, would engage the Chicago Symphony to provide the orchestral backing (the La Scala orchestra would be represented by selected instrumental soloists). The La Scala Chorus would be featured.

FZ was to select the stage director, the orchestral conductor and the featured vocal soloists. The negotiations for their fees would be the responsibility of the City of Milan. Their fees were not included in the proposal or budget.

The A U.S. designer and staging company would be selected by FZ to prepare the blueprints for the sets and special effects. The sets would be constructed in Milan, in the La Scala scenic facility under the supervision of the U.S. designer. The special effects would be constructed in the U.S. and shipped to Milan.

"What follows is not a complete description of the event... only a collection of ideas to begin with. All material is subject to irrational modification. The theme of the opera is: Millions of people believe football is God, but, it is said (at least in Torino), 'God is a liar'. – Dio Fa. To present this theme, we propose to use a large mechanical version of the marionette character shown in the logo of the Italian Football Committee in the role of 'FOOTBALL GOD'. This FOOTBALL GOD marionette is afflicted with an uncontrollable Nasal Growth Syndrome, pioneered by Pinocchio (perfected by Reagan). Whenever FOOTBALL GOD tells a lie, a horrible soft nose grows out of the soccer ball which forms the head of the logo. With each new lie, another monk appears (singing in Sardinian ethnic choral style), struggling to hold up FOOTBALL GOD'S repulsive nose with inexplicable religious machinery. To conclude the production in a way that allows FOOTBALL GOD to have a tiny nose and live happily ever after, we propose: As soon as the Italian National Team is selected, a rock video is made (in the style of 'THE SUPER BOWL SHUFFLE') using the players in uniform to render an Anglo-Italian rap version of Michael Jackson's 'I’M BAD'. This will be made into an instant hit by all Italian radio and television stations. At the end of the opera, FOOTBALL GOD sings His Hit (assisted by the monks — who turn out to be the Italian National Team in disguise). And so, by singing 'I'M BAD, I'M BAD, YOU KNOW IT, YOU KNOW IT!', GOD'S nose shrivels to Jacksonian proportions, and HE dances away."

"DIO FA", the logo for the opera itself, as it would appear on posters and advertising, was to be licensed (as part of the opera plot) to a mysterious Soviet clothing designer who plans to unveil the new line of Soviet fashions, via satellite, during the most dramatic part of the opera.

FZ would attempt to make an actual licensing and manufacturing deal with the Soviets for REAL CLOTHES to be offered worldwide under the "DIO FA" label, with the garments making their debut as part of a choreographed fashion show, with ballet and ethnic dancers as models, and the Soviet designer appearing on stage to be hugged by them after the clothing is shown.

Other characters include: Galileo, Tesla, Newton, da Vinci, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, and Elvis Presley as THE DEVIL.

Great Britain was to be represented by dancers dressed as football hooligans, misinterpreting signals from The Queen (a waving mechanical cardboard arm, viewed through the window of a passing car).

America was to be represented by a group of tourists who line up at a phone booth with a sign on it that reads "TALK TO GOD". Each one would get to ask a single question. The all-important questions are: [1] "Did I wake you up?" [2] "What time is it there?" [3] "How much is that in dollars?" [4] "Is that a castle, or what?" [5] "What's the weather like there?" [6] "When are you coming to America?"

See Also

Dio Fa (The Track)


Nasal Growth Syndrome