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Carpe Noctem is a song/set piece from the German-language musical Tanz der Vampire. It functions almost as a musical-within-a-musical, and is often referenced within the Sueniverse. The title is a pun on the Latin expression carpe diem, which means "seize the day". "Noctem", of course, means "night".


Summary of the scene Edit

"Carpe Noctem" is the second song in Act II of Tanz der Vampire, following the love ballad "Totale Finsternis". The scene opens in the bedchamber where Alfred and Professor Abronsius are sleeping in a huge, Gothic-decorated four-poster bed. There is a small piano prologue and sounds of thunder, and then a vampire double of Count von Krolock (sometimes even played by a woman!) appears on top of the canopy, heralding the start of Alfred's nightmare sequence.

Dancers dressed as decaying corpses in motheaten shrouds emerge from under the bed while others, dressed as vampires, climb down from the canopy. One of the female vampires is always sung by the same actress who portrays Magda von Waldemann in the rest of the show, but is not the same character- this vampire has a partially shaved head, pink dreadlocks, and far more frightening makeup than Magda.

The centerpiece of the nightmare occurs when Herbert von Krolock, cast as Master of Ceremonies in Alfred's mind, leads in an image of Sarah Chagal. An image of Alfred also appears and tries to get to her, but the vampires and corpses prevent it. As the Alfred and Sarah dancers make it to the foot of the bed, another dancer, representing Count von Krolock, drops down from the canopy and throws Sarah to the floor. She slides to the front of the stage, and the most notorious part of the scene takes place- he rapes her, represented by highly symbolic choreography.

The rest of the song consists of Alfred attempting to save and comfort Sarah, only to be bitten and seduced (in a bit of heavily suggested slash) by Count von Krolock himself. Sarah runs to him, and all seems well until Alfred leads her to the foot of the bed and allows Krolock to attack her, finishing the kill himself. The two men drag her lifeless body to the front of the stage.

As dawn arrives in "real life", the vampires fade and disappear. The corpses pick up Sarah's body and carry it away in a pose that resembles the removal of Christ's body from the cross, and the real Alfred awakes in terror.

On the night of Steve Barton's final performance in the show, as a special in-joke, the final sequence of the scene depicted Alfred as the victim and Sarah as the killer, complete with dragging him to the stage and making exultant, sexual vampire gestures.

Sueniverse connections Edit

"Carpe Noctem" first entered Sueniverse consciousness when Megan posted a video of the scene on the Sueniverse LiveJournal community, comparing it to theDracula/Irene Adler/Francis triangle. Indeed, Irene had been raped by Dracula, and Francis had become a vampire in his rescue attempt.

The second comparison arose when Megan Kroger became involved with James Norrington. Jess made a comment that James feared greatly that Erik was abusing or even molesting Megan, and the scene was quickly recast to fit the situation- Megan as Sarah, Erik as Count von Krolock, James as Alfred, and Julian as Herbert, and Erika Carriere as the lead female vampire.

The scene's "rape dance" has been referenced many times on the board, and Jess has confessed to having a nightmare of the scene herself.


Elsewhere Edit

Meat Loaf recorded an English-language version of the song, entitled "Seize the Night", for the album Bat Out of Hell III. This version was completely rearranged, replacing the rhythmic keyboard sections of the song with intense electric guitars, and the "Dies Irae" refrains sung initially by a child soprano. This version actually begins with the entire Tanz der Vampire overture, as performed by an entire symphony orchestra. Megan has stated that she intends to open her fan film of ''Good Omens'' with this version of the overture.

Links Edit

A professionally shot video of the scene.

The in-joke version referenced above.

Meat Loaf's cover, set to clips from the TV show ''Heroes''.

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