Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Million Dollar Opera

You know me. I love costumes. (I think we covered this with The Pearl Fishers.) This production is sending me into "pretty!" overdrive. And because I'm an extra special kind of dork, I love seeing the costume renderings (and how close – or not – they are to the end product.) I'm posting some costume renderings and production photos on the slideshow to your right for you all to also drool over – just watch the keyboard.

Production photos and renderings courtesy Boston Lyric Opera; renderings created by set and costume designer Andre Barbe, photos by Jeffrey Dunn.

See you next week!

A Clockwork Opera

This week on the AriaGirl blog, it's all things Hoffmann. For those of you unfamiliar with the opera, this week will get you up to speed.

The story starts, like most good stories, in a bar. Hoffmann is a poet trying desperately to get over his former female obsession: the opera singer Stella. Hoffmann gets persuaded to tell a few tales and begins recalling the three great loves of his life – who are really just Stella in disguise. The first one is a real doll (no, seriously) named Olympia, the second one is a diva-in-training named Antonia, and the third is a full-blown you-know-what named Giulietta. Each lady love gets her own act and we see Hoffmann's attempts at happiness dashed against the rocky shores of reality. You see, Hoffmann knows this guy, Lindorf – a local bigwig in politics – and is convinced that Lindorf is trying to destroy his life. So, in each act, there's an Evil Villain who ruins Hoffmann's chance for true love.

What's so great – although a little confusing – about this opera is that the composer wanted all the villains played by one baritone and all the women played by one soprano. Talk about a workout! Come November, Gaetan Laperriere and Pamela Armstrong will take the stage to sing those respective roles. (There won't be any flies on Julian Gavin as he's singing the extensive title role, either.) And if that doesn't get your opera motor running, take a gander at the crazy-beautiful production photos on the slideshow to your right.

THAT'S what I'm talking about. And I'm not the only one:

“Whimsical…highly imaginative”
-The Boston Globe

“A rare operatic production that combines a sophisticated story with excellent acting and top-flight music. Don’t miss it.”
-The Boston Herald

“A feast for the eyes…an incredibly fun and unique night of theater, and you'll never see its like again.”
-River Front Times

Ever since we announced the opera last January, people have been drooling over these sets and costumes. (I still want Leila's costume from The Pearl Fishers, but I wouldn't mind Giulietta's tiara!) Out of the whole production, they costumes and sets are probably What I'm Looking Forward to Most.

And what about you guys out there reading? I want to know what you're looking forward to. You can comment here, e-mail me, send a smoke signal, or whatever your heart desires.

See you next week!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An Opera Named Desire

Welcome back, readers! After a long and relaxing summer, it's time to gear up for The Tales of Hoffmann. I'll be back blogging about costumes, singers, events and more as we get closer to the opening night performance of the opera. November 7…it seems so close and yet so far. (As I sit typing, our intrepid Box Office staff is juggling phone calls from people wanting season tickets. We're going to run out of places to put these people, soon…)

If you didn't catch me last time – blogging for The Pearl Fishers – this is an informal, behind-the-scenes blog. No long treatises on the convention of ballet in French opera. No analysis of Offenbach's historical and musical influences. What we will have are updates on how the production is going…profiles of the singers…plenty of production photos…and maybe a few surprises!

It's going to be a lot of fun, and I look forward to comments from you guys. I'd love to hear what you want to know or see, and I'll do my best to make it happen.

See you next week!

PS: Temporarily satisfy your appetite for all things Hoffmann with our two preview videos. The Tales of Hoffmann preview talks about the production as a whole. The Behind the Scenes preview takes place at our warehouse and previews the sets and costumes (guess who's behind the camera!).