Saturday, December 4, 2010

Opera Anticipation -- pre-show post

So here we are again, my fellow bloggers and I, sitting at a table in the lobby of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Rather like the growing excitement before a symphony concert, with the instruments tuning up in that marvellous cacophony, there's a building minute by minute as the various personnel take their places, calling out instructions or requests, making sure ice is ready for drinks, checking that we have everything we need. Soon the opera-goers will begin to arrive in their finery, two of my daughters among them. By then we will be on the backstage tour, but right now, it's fun to watch the early-birds.

If they've come for drama, they won't be disappointed tonight, I'm sure. Lucia di Lammermoor was adapted from a novel by Sir Walter Scott, that old master of the page-turner, and it abounds in all those elements we love (as long as we don't count realism among those). When I updated my Facebook status tonight to say that I'm opera blogging, my brother-in-law quickly commented that I should post whenever someone dies. I don't think the body count will be high tonight, but I won't let Pete down. This photo, provided by the VOA from a bank of rehearsal shots, leaves little doubt that we'll have drama. Star-crossed lovers, intrigue, fraternal treachery, brooding scenery, and yes, finally, blood. No need to warn of spoilers -- it's opera, after all! Above, Burak Bilgili as the chaplain Raimondo, and Eglise Gutiérrez in the title role. So excited -- just got back from the Backstage tour and as we left, we walked past the cast dressing rooms -- Bilgili and Gutiérrez were both in the hallway, along with several other lead singers, and we excused ourselves as we squeezed past -- apparently Gutiérrez and Bilgili are husband and wife IRL.
Below, Michael Fabiano (squeezed past him in the hallway as well) as Edgardo and Eglise Gutiérrez as Lucia, the passionate, but doomed, lovers in an embrace.
Pater and I saw Gutiérrez as Gilda in Rigoletto last year -- brilliant soprano -- ánd we're looking forward to hearing and seeing her again.
The bells are chiming so I'm rushing to post this before going in. Here are some scenes from our backstage tour -- fellow bloggers Stacey and Niki --- I'll add links later. Next day: links added -- and here's third blogger Miranda's link as well -- she's a fabulous wedding photographer, do check out her site.
and more proof there will be drama.

The set is a very clever unit set (that is, it will remain on stage as is for the entire show) -- castle with stairs, ramparts, very interesting use of perspective.Daggers, castles, candelabras, all very atmospheric, no?

Here's Ling Chan, the very gracious VOA Social Media Manager, getting a shot of us -- do check out the Vancouver Opera's blog, if you get a chance, to see photos and coverage not only of the opera but of the Bloggers' Night at the Opera. The VOA has been widely lauded for its use of social media in various forms to get the word out about opera as entertainment that still rocks in the 21st century!

Really, I'd better go . . . talk more in the intermission


  1. What fun to see this from behind the scenes...the three daggers, the one edged in red brought it home to me. It has been too many years since I've been to the opera.

  2. Terri: I love getting backstage, a completely different perspective on the show! We've made the opera our primary entertainment, building a schedule around those four dates over the year.

  3. Oh my, it is all finished and done, and yet here I am just starting with your posts and I feel the anticipation building.


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