The Metropolitan Opera is offering free streams of their past performances. I have the luxury of two monitors at home, so I leave the performance up in a browser window and listen/watch throughout the day while I work in the primary screen. The process is a little more osmosis than active engagement, but by the end, I feel like I got 80% out of it as I would watching the first time.
One tip, I also pull up the synopsis of what happens in the opera in Wikipedia and it increases my understanding of the work immensely.
Opera sets seem to be a whole different type of stagecraft. All are spartan in some manner, “pointing” their construction to the performers. I watched the entirety of Carmen and they employed a complicated mechanism of rotating sets. The design and way the performers used this to dramatic effect was top-notch.
As I’ve been sharing things on the blog, I’ve wondered why I’ve kept things unserious after all the pressures, concerns, and nightmares of the past week. Perhaps I need a place for respite from the typical news flow across the internet. I felt I’ve needed evocation, rather than provocation.
Here’s a series of photos that evokes something inextricably Kansas out of me, and thought I’d share.
I have desired to go
Where springs not fail,
To fields where flies no sharp and sided hail
And a few lilies blow.
And I have asked to be
Where no storms come,
Where the green swell is in the havens dumb,
And out of the swing of the sea.
Another link I found in early 2013, was a series of videos an auteur named Matt Shapiro has put together for the last seven years called The Cinescape. It’s pretty amazing craftsmanship, and even though none of the films he spliced together are original works, the way he did it is. It’s masterful and brings to mind how movies, even in their most mundane form, can be filled with wonderful images and themes. Sometimes I feel as if there’s a boredom of abundance. There’s just so much high-quality filmmaking these days, that even the worst of the Hollywood dreck can be filled with amazing facets.
The Cinescape above also reminds me of how movies feature variations on a theme, and that the tropes can get tedious after a while. So, there’s a sense of wonder and disappointment as I flip through all seven of these and start to see some of the tricks filmmakers use to emotionally and visually connect.