Tuesday, August 18, 2009

opera boxes

Yet somewhere else where one isn't allowed to take photographs, it turns out, is inside the Santa Fe Opera House.   I can understand this when the opera is happening, but when one's waiting for it to start, before the orchestra is even tuning up...?   However - this is the view of the view behind the stage, and the boxes are the basis for the set of La Traviata.   They start off as tombstones - Pere Lachaise, maybe? - since the performance began with Violetta's funeral procession, one could be in no doubt as to what is going to happen to her - even if she hadn't been coughing in a fetching manner in Act 1.   In Act 2, they are very much in the background, like skyscrapers - suggesting that V and Alfredo's country retreat is really very close to town.   Act 3, they're back to providing a party setting - this time with mirrors, giving odd and very Caillebotte-like angles of the backs of women's dresses and men's polished shoes.   And by Act 4, they are definitely funereal, shrouded in sheets (all of this acting up to very effective minimalism, so that the singing really mattered - and Natalie Dessay, in particular, was quite wonderful as Violetta - both her interpretive singing and her acting.     As ever, part of the whole treat in going is the setting - this time, for once, it was a superb production as well.


  1. Dear Kate,
    Since I first saw your blog, I've been sitting in front of the computer every morning (with a cup of coffee still too hot to drink) reading your posts. I have just been reading Havi Carel (Illness) for my work and somehow both of you can make "every moment count" (I am not even going to mention where this quote is from). It's a pleasure to travel with you every day, so even if I can't meet you at a conference, I can drink your positive energy here. Monika (Siegen)

  2. Monika - I was so happy to read your comment! You've made my day! I think I always forget about a potential audience out there (or think that it's composed, if it exists, of three or four friends and an equal number of cats) - and it's lovely to hear from you, and to think of you reading as you drink your coffee... K