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!

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

love that you're blogging... thank you!

ACB said...

Beautiful wig, beautiful costume, beautiful girl!! xoxo

sfmike said...

Saw and heard you last Friday night, and even though "Rosenkavalier" isn't my favorite by a long shot, I loved the entire cast. Plus, I've never heard Runnicles conduct Strauss that well.

You in particular were awesome, funny and oddly sexy bouncing between genders. Brava(o). Enjoy your beautiful holiday.

hbh said...

Nerves? From up top, it looked like you have nerves of steel. It really was marvelous and very much worth traveling for.

Thank you for such a wonderful memory.

Anonymous said...

utterly swell perf - you'll go far as octavian and maybe one day go up a notch to marsha lynn?

Yankeediva said...

Ah, thank you all so much -- it has been a complete joy to sing this role here in San Francisco and with such a generous and briliant cast that just feels like family!!