Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wigs, Brocades and Canons, Oh my!
I've been shopping! In preparation for my upcoming REAL, LIVE, NO-CELL-PHONE VACATION (my first in over 5 years!), I took the plunge and made the long-anticipated purchase of a coveted SLR camera! I'm in heaven. I've been flirting with photography for awhile now, and even had the nerve to begin boasting that it was my 'hobby'; however it's hard to be taken seriuosly when your lens of choice belongs to a flimsy point-n-shoot camera! (See? One purchase and I'm a camera snob already! Now there will be no talking to me!) I did my homework, got very friendly with the neighborhood pro, Bill at Wolf Camera, and jumped into the world of filters, polarizers, and lenses (oh my!).
Call me "Trigger".
The beautiful thing is that it came just in time for my debut at the San Francisco Opera as Octavian, and I found the distraction of shooting photos backstage to be a beautiful balm to the nerves pulsing through my veins screaming "what have I gotten myself into????"
Up first: my very first powdered wig (in over 8 years of professional opera, that's rather astonishing, actually), with the most stunning roses in the background, sent by my 'adopted parents', Pam and Tom Frame, who, incidently, were my Merola sponsors 10 years ago in this very same city...
And second: for the brocade, a close-up of the stunning detail work hand-crafted on Octavian's "Presentation of the Rose" costume...
Perhaps it's worth mentioning that the costume was based on the original 1911 costume designs, and was originally worn by none-other than the great Frederica von Stade for the debut of this particular production in 1993. Considering that she stopped backstage beforehand to wish me good-luck made me feel that I was truly in the best of hands!
Thirdly, I'll rely on a professional photographer with the real bragging rights to demonstrate 'how it's done', with a shot of both the beautiful costume and wig in action...
A big thank you to Bob Cahen for this photo, who has been shooting opera at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the San Francisco Opera for over 50 years. Not only does he have the most engaging stories about all the great Opera Stars of the past 50 years from Callas to DiStefano, but he currently has a magnificent exhibition of great photos on at the SFO - what a legacy he is creating!