Parlando: The COC Blog

3/9/2011

An Introduction to Ariadne (with some help from YouTube)

Ariadne auf Naxos is one of Richard Strauss' most playful and lighthearted operas, but the plot may seem a little confusing at first on paper. Think of it as a backstage drama: in the first half, we see a collection of singers, actors, comedians, and a composer trying to hammer out the details of the show they're going to put on. In the second half, of course, we see the show! 

The main twist: the performance they're putting on was originally going to have both a dramatic section (the mythological story of Ariadne abandoned on the island of Naxos) and a comedic section (a troupe of clowns in the commedia dell'arte style), but due to a change in plans, there's only enough time for one of them. The initially absurd, but eventually ingenious solution? Work the clowns into the Greek story! 

Here's a video of our Ariadne, the phenomenal Canadian soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, singing the opera's gorgeous diva showpiece aria in a 2002 production from the Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcelona. This aria, titled Es gibt ein Reich, is from the play-within-a-play, and expresses the mythological Ariadne's sadness at having been abandoned by Theseus, her lover.

Posted by Cecily Carver / in 2010/2011 / comments (0) / permalink

2/24/2011

Kanyova becomes Mrs. Nixon

[This is a guest post by Gianmarco Segato, Retail and Editorial Co-ordinator]

Before the Feb. 11 performance of Nixon in China, soprano Maria Kanyova (who is singing the role of Pat Nixon), generously allowed us to take a few photos of her as she transformed herself from an everyday, contemporary opera singer into a 1970s icon remembered best for her perfectly-set blonde hairdo and smart red suit. 

 

As she began applying her makeup (standard foundation, thick false eyelashes, and the pièce de résistance, deep crimson lipstick), we chatted a bit about her take on the First Lady.

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Posted by Gianmarco Segato / in 2010/2011 / comments (0) / permalink

2/22/2011

Robert Orth to Richard Nixon

[This is a guest post by Gianna Wichelow, Senior Communications Manager, Creative]

Before the Sunday, February 13 performance of Nixon in China, American baritone Robert Orth graciously let us in on his makeup and wig transformation into Richard Nixon, the role he’s been playing recently on the stage of the Four Seasons Centre.

Robert’s transformation begins with an understanding of the differences between his face and Nixon’s.

Nixon had a square face; an almost iconic, bulbous nose; and a sharp crease between his eyebrows. Robert uses different shades of makeup to create the illusions he needs: paler shadow is used on the sides of his face, and darker on the top and bottom to make it wider and squarer. Shading also plays an important role in widening his slim nose, especially making it flare out at the bottom. Pencil creates the marked crease (an intense worry-line) between the eyebrows, and also the small vertical indent at the end of his nose. 

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Posted by Gianna Wichelow / in 2010/2011 / comments (3) / permalink

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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001